Yet another satisfying episode of Heirs/The Inheritors, though not much happened and it did get bogged down in the things least interesting such as Chairman Daddy’s strong arm fully coming down on Won, Tan, and Eun Sang. He’s going to manipulate everything until his entire family fractures, and he will still think he’s doing the right thing. Frankly I don’t care if he’s the smartest man in this drama and everything he does is for the greater good of Empire Group. This drama has been skating at the edge of bare minimums of reality it’s hard for me to take the business dealings and corporate conflict seriously. There are other dramas for that, this one should let the kids keeping staying at the forefront and push the parents to the back. Episode 15 was really Young Do’s episode to shine, and even Eun Sang stepped up big time albeit in her own limited capacity. These two also tentatively took their friendship to a comfortable mutual understanding place, even if Young Do is hurting because he really does like her. It’s assuring to see him climb off his own ledge and start behaving like a decent human being. Was it Tan’s talking to in episode 14 or Eun Sang’s friendship that brought Young Do some measure of calm so that he’s not lashing out all the time like a wounded animal?
I like this new Young Do, even if a quick glance in the rear view mirror shows us the destruction he wrought in all the early episodes and nothing will atone for that other than himself making genuine amends one at a time. As a character, in many ways he’s more interesting than Tan mostly because we see his change happening during the drama whereas Tan’s happened offscreen when he was during his US exile. Tan shines more nowadays when he’s with Young Do who serves as a catalyst to bring forth stronger emotions from Tan, though I am loving their detente and even resurging bromance in this episode. The house escape scene was ridiculous yet entertaining, which at the end of the day sums up his entire drama. I’m looking forward to how Tan will fight Won and his dad and how he will fight for the chance to be with Eun Sang. She was really on the backburner in this episode until the very end, but it was a scene that was worth waiting for. The way Eun Sang’s face lit up without reservation when she arrived at Tan’s bedroom door was the very emotional candor I’ve been waiting for from her since mid-way through the drama. I knew they would have to battle the world to be together, it just felt like a waste for them to fight their feelings for each other when their time is limited and they might as well enjoy it. It’s here and I’m primed for what comes next.
Episode 15 recap:
Eun Sang announces her charity case status at Bo Na and Chan Young’s party, and when Tan is asked if he was kept in the dark, he proudly claims Eun Sang as his by taking off her apron, letting down her hair, pinning a corsage on her wrist, and kissing her on the forehead. I think this is the Tan way of saying “This Girl is Mine.”
Outside the party, Young Do has gone to confront Rachel with her trickery and decides to let this one slide since in the end it was Eun Sang who outed herself. Man, when did Young Do get so…..thoughtful and rational? Rachel mocks the degree of his concern for Eun Sang and asks if that girl knows? Young Do clearly doesn’t want her to ever know.
Myung Soo comes barreling outside talking a mile a minute clearly to keep Rachel and Young Do from going inside to the kissy fest. He even asks if Rachel remembers the love letters he used to send her once a year. Some of the mean girls storm out of the party complaining about how Tan is kissing that charity case Cha Eun Sung. Myung Soo quickly takes his leave to go to the toilet and avoid the scene. Young Do looks resigned and leaves. Rachel….not so much.
Hyo Shin arrives at the party and runs into Rachel outside. She sees him and seems to have an idea. She tells him that he’s just the guy she was hoping to see. As Rachel walks in, Hyo Shin gets a call from Hyun Joo chewing him out for ditching the college entrance exams and going MIA where his family is looking for him. Hyo Shin gives her the party location and tells her to come yell at him in person.
Back at the Kim household, Ki Ae sneaks up on Eun Sang’s mom and then pulls her into Chairman Daddy’s study. She’s there to crack his safe to look for information that can be of use to her. The two moms try all the important dates in the family but can’t open the safe. Eun Sang’s mom gets some pencil shavings to use to dust for fingerprints which reveals the numbers that were pushed. Ki Ae sadly realizes that the combination is the birthday of Won’s mother.
Ki Ae opens the safe and rifles through the contents. Her eyes widen when she alights on pictures inside an envelope. Ki Ae’s omomomo face is awesome.
Hyo Shin goes inside and is warmly greeted by the sane crowd of Eun Sang, Bo Na, Chan Young and Tan. They ask how he did on the exam and he says alright not explaining he skipped it.
Rachel walks in and Tan asks Chan Young to keep Eun Sang busy before walking over to speak with her. Rachel can handle his not picking her, but she can’t handle him being happy. Rachel’s supreme bitchiness continues and if Tan hurt her, then she’s going to ruin something of his. If he gets Cha Eun Sang, then she’ll take something away from him. Rachel walks up to Hyo Shin and kisses him, clearly intended to ruin his friendship with Tan. Er, that would only work if Tan cared even a whit about you, Rachel. Hyun Joo walks in just in time to see this kiss. Tan just snorts at the ridiculousness of it all.
Rachel ends the kiss and tells Hyo Shin she doesn’t like him. Hyo Shin spots Hyun Joo and says likewise to Rachel before pulled her in for another kiss. LOL.
Everyone stares and Bo Na literally rips the tiara off her forehead in frustration that her party is ALL RUINED! She’s such a drama queen, her party is probably the talk of the school for the next month thanks to all these antics. At most she’s upstaged is all.
Eun Sang is staggering down the street all buzzed since Myung Soo spiked everyone’s drink at the party and Eun Sang drink three cups of juice. I knew this guy was good for more than just laughs. Tan tells her to stop enticing him. She’s an adorable drunk, complimenting Tan on being so so handsome. She likes him so much, the Kim Tan who only has eyes for her but is also suffering because of her.
Tan grabs her hands and realizes its very cold. He breathes on her hands to warm them as they smile at each other.
Tan gets a call and goes back to the hotel where Ki Ae waiting for him. She’s there to counsel him to apologize to Rachel and keep that engagement alive. Tan flatly refuses to keep living a life constructed by a major lie. Ki Ae sees no lie since he is the second son of the Empire Group. Tan asks if that distinction matters so much to Ki Ae, that she needs to be the mom to the second son and not just the mom to Kim Tan?
When Tan goes up to Won’s hotel room it’s been cleaned out. Won left and the room is all Tan’s. Sigh.
Hyo Shin is called to task by his parents for ditching the college entrance exams, but they are strangely accepting of it and even goes so far as to say Hyo Shin can go to any college and study whatever he wants for undergrad. The kicker is that he’s going straight to law school afterwards. Double sigh. That’s like saying I’ll punch you in the face, but not until tomorrow.
Tan goes to school the next morning and runs into Hyo Shin, who says the school is waiting to see how awkward it’ll be between them. It’s not awkward in the least and Tan sits down to ask about the aftermath of the test ditching rebellion. Hyo Shin explains he’s still on track, merely delayed until grad school. Even Tan thinks Hyo Shin’s living in some scary hell nightmare. Hyo Shin brings up the kissy last night and apologizes, explaining that he was trying to make a point to someone. Tan asks if that person was him? Ha, it’s not always about you, Tanny.
Eun Sang is in gym class and the mean girls immediately single her out, outraged that she would lie about her background and come to their elite school and steal Kim Tan. Gah, this is so juvenile and lame. Young Do saunters up and shoos them away, earning a thanks from Eun Sang for being her black knight. Young Do wonders if that means Tan is her prince charming on a white horse? If so, can’t she see Young Do’s got a whiter complexion? That gets Eun Sang to smile.
They walk and talk a bit and Eun Sang finally points out this is their first conversation NOT about her hidden background or Tan, and she likes it but wonders if Young Do just lacked the ability to talk about whatever he wants. She realizes he’s been keeping others from bugging her by talking with her, though Young Do is all like “you don’t know the half of it.” Young Do then gets called away.
It’s back to washing windows for the brawling duo, and strangely I can watch mellow Tan and surly Young Do wash windows side-by-side all day long.
Young Do is the first to spot his dad and Won walking in the front door, which leads Tan and Young Do to quickly whisper about what each other told the family that would bring the scary elders here.
Ji Sook sits down in her office with Won and Tan to one side and Young Do and his dad to the other. Turns out it wasn’t any fighting and prompted this parent teacher conference, it was the midterm results where Young Do scored 98th and Tan 100th. Won asks if Tan scored 100th place in the nation and hears that Tan scored 100th place out of 100 students in the Empire High junior class. Won actually looks flabbergasted and turns to give Tan a wide-eyed look of disbelief. Tan pouts that he never has any middle ground.
Young Do walks out of the office with a happy dad who doesn’t care about his score insofar as he beat Tan.
Tan gets rightfully scolded by Won for being such an academic failure and he promises to do better in the finals. He’s rather happy to see Won upset about his poor test score since it makes him feel like Won cares. Won’s all like “you can’t possibly do worse”. Touche.
Won leaves the office and runs into Hyun Joo, and at this point these two are so lame in their lame relationship and lame giving each other up I just want no more scenes between them. Won asks how she’s doing and turns out Hyun Joo is well received because there was no news report about her being a former charity case. Won says no such report will ever be released and tells her to answer him phone since he’s not going to devour her. He leaves with Hyun Joo asking if he did it for her?
Ki Ae calls Esther out to meet and asks for the engagement between Tan and Rachel to be called off. She’s very polite and says this is what her son wants and its not a good idea to put two young kids into a business marriage. Esther is haughty and refuses to discuss such important matter with Ki Ae. Ki Ae says Esther needs to discuss this with her because she is Tan’s mother. Esther says Tan’s mother is Ji Sook as far as she knows. Of course Ki Ae came prepared and now the gloves are off and she whips out the pictures of Esther sucking face with Secretary Yoon. Esther was going to pass on seeing what is in the envelope but Ki Ae takes out the pictures. That pisses Esther off royally but also gets her to agree to call off the engagement. Ki Ae: 1, Esther: O.
The kids are in Hyun Joo’s literature class and she hands out a final class group project in teams of 2-4. The selection of books are Western classics ranging from Pride and Prejudice, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Les Misérables, Anna Karenina, and The Great Gatsby. Each team is to pick a book and present a book report with a different method of analyzing it. Brainy smurf Rachel complains that all these titles were read by everyone in the class when they were younger. Hyun Joo knows that but wants the kids to read the book again now when likely their added life experiences will allow them to take away something else from it. Bo Na and Chan Young immediately form a group and Bo Na wants smart Eun Sang to join them. She agrees leaving Tan and Young Do staring at her.
Eun Sang ends up with Tan and Young Do and she asks who did it since she was supposed to be with Bo Na and Chan Young. Ha, it’s like running a relay race and her teammates are a guy with one leg and a guy who is blind. When asked, Young Do says this threesome is so not his style. His style is Eun Sang, Young Do, Suzy, and Hyuna. Tan says this is not his style either, his style is Tan and Eun Sang, Eun Sang, Eun Sang! Eun Sang accepts her fate in resignation and orders the two to watch the movie version of their book while she’ll read the actual text since that is as much as she can expect from them. She slides one half of an ear piece into each of their ears and tells them to start watching and she’ll keep an eye on them. She tells them not to fight and co-exist peacefully for this time period.
Young Do and Tan sit there sipping their fruity drinks and watching Eun Sang work instead of the movie. Both of them move to get out of their seats when they see her being chided by a difficult customer. Eun Sang gives them death glares and they meekly sit themselves back down. Two men in black stride into the cafe and they are here on orders of Chairman Daddy to bring Tan home. Young Do snarks at how Empire Group does things. The guards say they are ordered to use force if Tan won’t come. Young Do offers to use his taekwondo now if Tan asked for help. Tan says no need and tells Young Do not to flirt with Eun Sang while he’s gone. Tan goes with them leaving Eun Sang looking at him worriedly. Eun Sang asks to leave early today and asks Young Do to give her a ride home. Young Do agrees and says she owes him one.
Tan goes home and sees an array of engagement presents sitting on Chairman Daddy’s desk having been returned by Esther who called off the engagement. Daddy is livid and even more so when he hears Ki Ae made it happen. Tan talks back to his dad and is about to be beaten with his cane when Ki Ae stops him. Tan is furious that his mom still calls his dad Chairman at home.
Later in Tan’s room, he asks if Ki Ae really ended his engagement and she is proud to have finally done something for her son.
Rachel hears about the broken engagement and burst into tears. Esther says that family is too much of a mess and this is better off. Rachel calls her mother out for being no better. When she divorced her dad, she brought a team of lawyers to the table. Esther says she saved Rachel from a sham of a marriage. Whut? She’s upset because she did like Tan, and here everyone and their dogs are like Double Whut? Girl sure has a strange way of showing how much she likes someone. Esther counsels her pragmatically, saying that she also liked Rachel’s dad but they ended up divorcing anyway. Rachel tells her mom not to mess with her life anymore or use her for business gain. She is not this season’s current It product.
Young Do deposits Eun Sang outside Tan’s house and she gets off the back of his motorcycle. He pauses as she pulls her hand off his jacket gingerly because its cold. Young Do says she should have put it in his pocket like he told her to. Their sudden comfort in hanging out should have happened like 6 episodes ago. Eun Sang spots the guards outside the front gate and Young Do points out that Tan is being locked up now and Eun Sang won’t be seeing him even if they live under the same roof. Eun Sang knows that and thanks him again for taking her home. She promises to do something for him and leaves, with Young Do sighing that she doesn’t even know what he might ask for yet she so easily promised to do it (i.e. why does she trust him?).
Eun Sang walks in the house and immediately her mom pulls her aside to check on the status of their moving out. Her worry is that Chairman Daddy will turn his attention to Eun Sang. She texts Tan asking how he’s doing but Tan’s phone has been confiscated by his dad.
Chairman Daddy is currently meeting with Ji Sook, Secretary Yoon, and Ki Ae. He tells Secretary Yoon to be prepared for RS International to reveal Tan’s birth to attack them now that the engagement is kaput. He wants the shares to be readied for transfer. He orders Ji Sook to find a rich girl to get engaged to Won and then tells her to get ready to sign divorce papers if she dares to use her shares to back Won in any way. Ki Ae sniggers until Chairman Daddy coldly tells Ki Ae to get out of the house if she keeps raising Tan like this. He tells Secretary Yoon to submit his resignation for not stopping this or being on his side. Won fired everyone on Chairman Daddy’s side but kept Secretary Yoon, which means he was not taking anyone’s side. But that has come to an end. He knows Secretary Yoon is a principled guy but now is the time to take a side. Talk about major bloodletting in a civil setting. He gives Secretary Yoon another chance and tells him to re-educate Tan.
Secretary Yoon goes home to dinner with Chan Young, who hears about his dad’s unceremonious firing and is worried. Secretary Yoon doesn’t look as concerned. Methinks he’s got other plans up his sleeve. Chan Young supports his dad and says he will quickly graduate and get a job.
Tan paces and mopes in his room, surrounded by guards posted at the stairs and outside in the courtyard. He ignores Ki Ae as she comes to check on him and leaves his food untouched. Rule number 1 of captivity – eat the damn food to maintain your energy for the escape, fool!
Eun Sang is walking alone to school when Young Do comes by and asks if Tan is locked up? Eun Sang says he’s as locked up as can be but her candor takes Young Do back and he wonders why she’s telling him things as friends? Eun Sang says they are friends but Young Do isn’t ready for that despite the fact that he likes her.
Tan tries to go to school but is told he’s not leaving the house even for school, and if he tries then the guards have orders to hurt him if necessary.
Tan goes back to his room where Secretary Yoon is waiting to teach him about business management and perhaps mental re-education. Tan isn’t interested, because when he was 10 he learned about the share structure at Empire Group from Secretary Yoon and when he asked Won why Ji Sook had more shares than his mom, that was when Won pushed him away completely. That was also when Tan decided he never wanted the company.
Lunchtime at Empire High and Eun Sang sits down matter-of-factly in front of Young Do, which happens to be the infamous charity case seat. Everyone gapes but she just tells Young Do to enjoy lunch and starts digging in. He wonders why she’s sitting there and she’s just like “shush and eat your lunch”. You know, I’m so glad she follows through with being a friend to him, and he can see it.
The other kids in the lunchroom erupt into chatter when news breaks on their phone about Kim Tan being illegitimate. I’m pretty sure Esther had a hand in this. Everyone is gossiping except for the fabulous Bo Na who wonders what all the fuss is about. Young Do asks Eun Sang for a headcount of the guards in the Kim house.
Chairman Daddy is blowing his fuse in the study with this news break. I wish he got a brain aneurysm and left our screens forever. He orders the share transfer to happen ASAP so that Tan immediately becomes a major shareholder of Empire Group. He tells his minion to release even more info now and create a firestorm of news. This time it’s about the Kim brothers turning against each other for control of the company, which will make Empire shares skyrocket. One of the board members who is Ji Sook’s brother calls her with the news of the share transfer. Won reads it online and smashes his computer. Esther sees the share prices go up on the news.
Young Do comes to see Tan and is blocked from entering the house. He’s all like “you have no clue who I am” and suddenly two black cars pull up behind him and out pops his own cadre of henchmen in black. I love it! He introduces himself as the heir to Zeus Hotels and gains entree into the house.
Young Do greets Chairman Daddy who asks why he’s barging in with bodyguards? He respectfully explains he’s here to study with Tan. LOL forever at the mere thought. He explains their book report assignment and Chairman Daddy doesn’t really buy it but the mention of Young Do’s dad reminds him that Empire needs Zeus for a project so he lets Young Do up. Chairman Daddy says President Choi must be pleased to have such a studious son.
Tan asks if Young Do is crazy for coming here when the mood in the house is so tense. Young Do sits down in Tan’s room and explains the uproar in the outside world with the news leak of his illegitimate status and the dog fight with Won over control of Empire Group because he’s now a major shareholder. Tan tells Young Do to buy more shares of Empire. Tan asks Young Do to help him escape, and part of me thinks Young Do was just WAITING for all these years for Tan to ask him for help. Logic tells Young Do not to help him but its enticing to have Tan owe him one so he goes with his gut.
The two boys concoct a bait-and-sneak maneuver, with Young Do walking down the stairs with a helmet on giving the impression that he might be Tan. I love how he kinda walks like Tan as well. While the guards tries to grab him, Young Do’s guards join the scrum, and in the confusion the real Tan just saunters out of the house and vaults over the wall like he’s still Lee Min Ho in City Hunter. After Tan has escaped, Young Do take his helmet off and all like “heh!”
Secretary Yoon is talking with Won about his recent firing by the Chairman but Won leaps at this opportunity and rehires Secretary Yoon into a higher position at the company.
Tan comes and asks Won to look at him. Won laughs and asks if he has to listen to Tan from today forward. Tan tells him straight up that he did not ask for nor want the shares in Empire Group. Won says he doesn’t believe Tan nor does he care either way. Tan asks what Won wants before he’ll believe him and Won says for Tan to leave for the US and stay there forever. If Tan does this then Won will believe him.
Tan asks how Won can ask this of him? How can he tell Tan to leave and never come home? He can give him the shares but he can’t go to the US. Tan finally has enough and says no. He’ll keep the shares then, and if Won wants the share he’s going to have to take it from Tan. See Won, when you give people impossible choices of course they are going to give you the middle finger.
Eun Sang has finally been called into the lion’s den to meet with Chairman Daddy. He is going to offer her two choices but we don’t hear what it is.
Tan comes home and sees Eun Sang walking out of his dad’s study. She’s quivering but with her head held high. They walk towards each other and as they pass side-by-side, they reach out the grab each other’s hand and intertwine their fingers. They pause for a moment before each continuing on their way.
Tan goes to the study to inform his dad that today their family is irrevocably broken. He made an illegitimate son a major shareholder in Empire Group. He and Won have become enemies, and this is all thanks to Dad. He wanted to just live quietly but Dad won’t let him. Dad says anything can happen to Won, he can get in an accident or go to jail, and he needs an Heir. Dad claims he’s doing this for the greater good of the company and the family. Tan asks if all this in-fighting is to keep the peace in the family for the long run? Tan cries that from now on Won will never be family with his mom, and from now on dad is not his family anymore. His dad says this is merely the weight of the crown that Tan has to bear.
Eun Sang walks to the edge of the stairs and looks up. She flashbacks to the rest of her conversation with Chairman Daddy – the two choices are that she leaves Tan now and he sends her somewhere nice to study (US, France, England), or if she says she cannot break up with Tan then she gets to spend a half month with Tan all she wants and then they break up after 15 days he sends her where he decides. It won’t be in Korea, and will definitely be far worse than the US or England.
Eun Sang walks up the stairs like she’s made up her mind. She pauses outside Tan’s bedroom and knocks. He opens the door and is surprised to see her. She shushes him with a finger to the lips and then breaks into a beaming smile.
Thoughts of Mine:
This episode wasn’t nearly as zippy as the last two, but it continues to showcase some fun school scenes that make it all worthwhile. Tan and Young Do’s gradual resurrection of their friendship felt like it arrived without a big making up scene, but then I felt like one wasn’t needed. Tan was never that angry with Young Do, and the moment the latter stopped being an antagonistic ass they could easily fall back into their comfortable banter and mutual understanding. I suppose the arrival of evil dad and Won at the school for the parent teacher conference was a stark reminder that they have very difficult family situations and perhaps their friendship is the lesser of two evils at present. The scenes where they are washing the windows or watching Eun Sang instead of the book report movie are the bits of throwaway amusing interludes I actually want more of in this drama. Eun Sang’s matter of fact behavior with Young Do was also nice to watch, showing us that this drama doesn’t have to be all intense crazy emotions and heightened melodrama. Rachel and Hyo Shin took over the “what the hell?” crown in this episode, though she’s way more gone than he is. That she would kiss Hyo Shin to try and ruin his friendship with Tan is both bizarrely nonsensical as well as just lame. That he would kiss her back again to make Hyun Joo jealous is equally as pointless, though he’s dealing with lots of stress so I’ll give him a pass. Rachel’s tears over her broken engagement was laughable as well, because if she genuinely liked Tan is debatable but even giving her the benefit of the doubt she sure has a no-means-yes way of showing it. I wish the drama did something with the Won-Hyun Joo relationship other than as a fly by mention with zero emotional heft. It’s a giant waste of a plot line not to mention it renders Hyo Shin’s crush on Hyun Joo just as ineffectual. It’s like those three are staging a mime performance off to the side of the stage without a script.
This episode had too much Chairman Daddy, and also kept Tan and Eun Sang away from each other for much too long. At least it jump started the corporate battle for Empire Group, what with the outing of Tan’s illegitimacy as well as the transfer of shares that has been discussed for so long. Chairman Daddy is intense and scary like we expected, and the choice he gave Eun Sang at the end is way more dire than the usual take money and leave my son cash toss. I’m guessing Eun Sang’s choice is the latter, spend time now with Tan and get exiled forevermore. I doubt the Chairman will sell her into prostitution or anything horrible like that, more like he might send her to a developing country with limited funds and a second tier school. I wonder how the parents always think they know what is best, when there is still so long a road for the kids to walk until major life decisions need to be made. It’s not like Tan is marrying Eun Sang tomorrow, and what’s wrong with them dating for now? I guess the idea is not to give Tan any opportunity to have something that comforts him, because this rich world needs to have its leaders be cold and ruthless people. But it’s nice to see that some of the kids are showing kid emotions in this episode, with Rachel’s acting out and tears, Hyo Shin’s resignation, and Young Do’s playful assistance. I wonder if the ending is all the kids rising up like Children of the Corn and staging a coup and removing their parents and becoming the rulers rather than the heirs. LOL, I’m just joking of course, but I think we’ve got a pickle in our hands for Tan and Eun Sang and it’s time to see if they have the guts, brains, and fortitude to fight for what they want. It might not be a lifetime of a promise, but at least they deserve to have the now be with each other. Sadly Young Do doesn’t have his own Eun Sang-esque safe harbor like Tan found, and perhaps his happiness will have to come in another story in another drama.
Click here to watch Heirs.