Drama Recaps
Incarnation of Money: Episode 2
by | February 6, 2013 | 56 Comments

That’s more like it. We’re still in the past but this episode lays out much of the groundwork as we learn more lessons about the power of money. Desire can be a tricky thing to contain and when that starts tipping into greed, we see just how dangerous money can be. Our hero finds out that number of people he can trust is quickly dwindling and in order to survive, the only person he can depend on is himself.

Note: Though the recaps may not come out the day the show airs, out of courtesy for your fellow readers (and myself), please keep the discussion to the episode at hand. Thanks!


The air is thick with tension just before the judge declares the verdict: not guilty. Everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief (well, everyone except Prosecutor Kwon). Hugging Mom tightly, Kang-seok shoots Se-kwang a thumbs up.

Lawyer Hwang (he has a name!) and Se-kwang take questions from reporters who ask for a word from the law student. How does it feel to beat the famed prosecutor in court? Se-kwang humbly answers that it wasn’t a battle between two legal representatives, “but a fight between what’s true and false.”

Prosecutor Kwon shoots him a hateful glare.

At the hospital, Mom sticks to Chairman Lee’s bedside and Lawyer Hwang reports that the amended will is nearly complete. In the meantime, he advises that she cut off life support and prepare for the funeral. Mom gives the go-ahead.

After his loss in court, Prosecutor Kwon drowns his sorrows in drink, when he’s handed an unmarked package. Inside is the tape with Mom’s recorded voice about taking the chairman off of life support. The prosecution team interprets this as a clear motive for murder (which is what Se-kwang wants them to think) but they’ll need the autopsy report to reveal the cause of death before taking any action.

The following day, the doctor disconnects Chairman Lee’s life support monitor in the presence of the family and staff. Kang-seok grieves over his father’s body just as the prosecution enters the hospital room.

Prosecutor Kwon thanks Mom for agreeing to the autopsy; he would have suspected her again if she didn’t. He turns to leave but then Kang-seok calls out that he overheard a reporter say that his father had a mistress who also has a lover of her own. He’s certain that the two had a hand in Dad’s death.

Se-kwang looks on with curiosity, astonished that Kang-seok is sharper than he lets on. Prosecutor Kwon thanks him for the tip and promises to look into it.

At Chairman Lee’s funeral, Se-kwang calmly pays his final respects whereas Lawyer Hwang is a bundle of nerves about the unknown reporter. Se-kwang quells the man’s anxiety, telling him that by now, Prosecutor Kwon should be completely engrossed with redeeming his loss in court than waste time chasing after a potential dead end.

The autopsy report reveals tetrodotoxin to be the cause of death, which means Mom is once again considered the prime suspect.

The chairman’s will is read aloud to the family by Lawyer Hwang. Even Bi-ryung is in attendance (to Mom’s great displeasure) and everyone is all ears as they listen in for their share. Mom squeezes her son’s hand tightly, waiting to hear the reading of all his prime properties, stocks, and fortune.

And all of those assets are given “to my loving… Eun Bi-ryung.”

Confused faces all around though no one is as shocked as Mom, who rises in protest. But before she can say another word, the prosecution team arrives with a warrant and drags her away.

Bi-ryung wastes no time establishing herself as the new owner of the estate, ordering the house to be sold off and for Kang-seok to move out. Kang-seok’s relatives balk when they see Bi-ryung’s name on the will and deduce that Mom had clear motivation to do away with the chairman.

But Kang-seok’s finally had enough and hollers at them to leave (it’s pretty ballsy since he’s so young). When they do, he ignores Lawyer Hwang’s attempt to hand him emergency pocket money and storms up the steps to be alone.

At the police station, Se-kwang freezes when Mom mentions that she’s figured out who Bi-ryung’s secret lover might be. However, she names him as Lawyer Hwang, convinced that the two worked together to amend the will. She knows without a shred of doubt that the Chairman would never leave his entire fortune to his mistress.

When they find out who Bi-ryung’s lover is, they’ll be able to find the true culprit. Would it save time to tell you that you’re looking right at him?

The case is reopened in court and Prosecutor Kwon alludes to the fact that the defendant could have poisoned the chairman with the neurotoxin (tetrodotoxin) found in his arthritis medicine. Prosecutor Kwon attacks from a different angle when Se-kwang counters that argument: Did Mom know that Bi-ryung would acquire the chairman’s fortune prior to his death?

When Mom stammers that she only found out when the will was read, Prosecutor Kwon pulls out the big guns with the recorded tape. Everyone in the courtroom gapes as they listen to Mom’s desperate pleas for Lawyer Hwang to revise the will, saying how she’d end her husband’s life by her own hands.

Se-kwang objects that there’s no way to confirm when the conversation took place. Interesting how his voice shakes with feigned panic, so different from his confidence from the other day in court. But Prosecutor Kwon has anticipated this and states that Lawyer Hwang has verified the evidence.

Mom launches herself at Lawyer Hwang, screaming that this was all his doing. Se-kwang watches with pained eyes as Mom is dragged away from the courtroom.

Once things calm down, Se-kwang sits with Mom and informs her that at present, her best option is an insanity plea. If she cites her history of depression (that explains the pills), she’ll do time in a psychiatric ward versus prison. Mom is against the idea, since it means she has to plead guilty to a crime she never committed.

But Se-kwang tells her to think of her son, arguing that a lighter sentence means that she’ll be able to see Kang-seok sooner. Mom starts to cry at the thought.

When court resumes, the judge lists off Mom’s crimes, which include murdering the chairman to obtain his money and lying in court. Her sentence: twelve years.

Kang-seok sits for a moment in shock and then rises as Mom is taken away by the guards. He desperately reaches out to touch her – crying – before he’s held back by Se-kwang. Even Bi-ryung can’t help but shed a tear watching their heartbreaking separation. Does that black heart of yours know how to cry?

There’s more bad news awating him as Kang-seok returns to discover that his family estate has been sold off. Movers are hauling away their precious belongings.

Kang-seok waits outside the SBC building for hours until he tracks down the same reporter who lingered outside his home a few days earlier. Reporter Go finds it hard to believe that the chairman would leave his entire fortune to his mistress. But Kang-seok doesn’t consider the idea that far-fetched, especially if someone planned it that way.

He asks Reporter Go if he knows who Bi-ryung’s secret lover is. The reporter remembers his face but didn’t get a name (he’s the same reporter who was caught outside Bi-ryung’s home in the previous episode).

Reporter Go catches a whiff of a juicy story and agrees to help.

It’s sad to see Kang-seok put on a brave face when he visits Mom in prison. He tells her in his usual cheery tone how he’s so busy these days that he barely has time to think about Mom. When she catches him in his lie, he laughs it off.

Mom tells him to stay with relatives but Kang-seok puffs up that he’s not a little kid anymore and that he’ll be fine on his own. He even shows off his biceps to prove how strong he is. “Just wait,” he promises. “I’m going to catch the criminal, avenge Dad, and clear your name. Okay?”

Mom puts a hand to the glass and breaks down crying. Kang-seok does his best to hold back his tears.

Reporter Go makes good on his promise to Kang-seok and runs into Se-kwang when he tries to catch Bi-ryung for an interview. Both men acknowledge their previous meeting and Se-kwang offers to go out for drinks. We don’t hear their conversation but it seems that Reporter Go agrees to Se-kwang’s terms.

Turning to extended family works out just as you might expect, and Kang-seok aimlessly wanders the streets, hungry and homeless.

He raps on Se-kwang’s door and slumps against it when he realizes that no one’s home. Kang-seok takes out a family photo and closes his eyes, recalling a time when his father took him to his private vault.

The sight takes his breath away: a room filled with valuables, with a mountain of cash sitting in the middle. Well, now we know where all that money in the beginning of the series came from.

Kang-seok exclaims that he has never seen so much money before and Dad answers, “I don’t see this as money. I see it as God and this place is a temple.” Placing a wad of cash to his heart, he instructs his son to make a wish because nothing is impossible with money.

Dad was about Kang-seok’s age when he first came from the countryside with a mere 30 dollars in his pocket. But that was stolen as soon as arrived in the big city.

That’s when he knew that just because he had the money in his hands didn’t necessarily make it his. “The owner of that money isn’t the person who earns it, but the one who spends it.”

Dad admits that he still can’t bring himself to spend any of it without trembling at the thought. Then what’s the point of amassing such great wealth? He turns to Kang-seok: “So that you can spend it.”

It doesn’t matter if his son grows up to be the president or a chaebol; all this money is at his disposal. He hands Kang-seok the trademark gold coin as a reminder that “money is scarier than ghosts.”

In the present, Se-kwang returns home and ushers Kang-seok inside. He listens as Kang-seok excitedly tells him about Reporter Go over dinner and vows that he’ll catch the criminal by his own hands. Just then, Se-kwang steps outside to take a call from Lawyer Hwang and we learn that he bribed the reporter with a large sum of money.

Kang-seok accidentally knocks Se-kwang’s planner off his desk and notices the corner of a photo peeking out. His eyes widen at the photo of Se-kwang and Bi-ryung. Looks like you won’t need Reporter Go’s help after all.

He hurriedly stuffs the picture into his pocket. Then, as if we needed any more confirmation about the two, Kang-seok picks up the phone and hears Bi-ryung’s voice at the other end. When Se-kwang wraps up his call and turns around, Kang-seok is gone.

Se-kwang tears out the apartment after him but loses sight of him just outside the complex. Kang-seok hides behind a pillar.

Kang-seok makes the call to Reporter Go, who in turn calls Se-kwang with the boy’s whereabouts. The glint in Se-kwang’s eyes makes Lawyer Hwang nervous and he asks, “What are you thinking of doing right now?”

“The kid knows too much about things he shouldn’t,” Se-kwang answers. Lawyer Hwang gapes at the mention of hired men – is he planning to have the boy killed?

Se-kwang tells him that the chairman’s biggest mistakes was that he had no idea the lion cub he raised out of sympathy would rip him into shreds one day. “Do you want to raise someone like that?”

Lawyer Hwang tries to dissuade him but Se-kwang won’t hear a word of it and roars that there’s no time to lose.

Kang-seok waits in the phone booth as he recollects better times with Se-kwang. A car approaches and he runs over. The window rolls down… and it’s Se-kwang. Kang-seok soon finds himself sandwiched between Se-kwang and the group of hired men.

He runs through the golf course, using anything in sight to defend himself and manages to get away.

Count on Se-kwang to find another way to get to Kang-seok, visiting Mom in prison. He assures Mom that he’ll take care of Kang-seok while Mom serves her sentence in the psych ward. Mom tears up in gratitude.

In the car, Lawyer Hwang lets out a regretful sigh since this means that Mom is now forever branded a mentally ill patient. Se-kwang reminds him that the bigger issue at hand is Kang-seok, who knows their secret.

Lawyer Hwang asks if the boy will ever think of tracking his mother to the psych ward. Given Se-kwang’s nod at the other car full of hired men, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say no.

It seems that Prosecutor Kwon has been demoted as he packs his things (along with that bottle of liquor, natch). He’s in no mood to listen to more of Kang-seok’s leads, but Kang-seok shows him the picture he found at Se-kwang’s apartment.

He informs Prosecutor Kwon about how the secret lovers planned to murder his father and framed his mother for the crime. And if that weren’t enough, they’re out to kill him too.

Prosecutor Kwon assures Kang-seok that he’s in good hands now and tells him not to worry.

Prosecutor Kwon persuades Se-kwang to take a meeting at a restaurant, and Se-kwang stops to see a grungy, disheveled Kang-seok sitting by the prosecutor’s side. Kang-seok is dismissed but before he leaves, he levels eyes with Se-kwang: “I told you that I’d catch the criminal by my hands.”

The prosecutor pours himself a drink as he explains that although he won the case in court, there were a few things that troubled him. Like the mysterious sender of the incriminating tape or how Bi-ryung acquired the chairman’s fortune.

But the biggest question that plagued him was who Bi-ryung’s lover was. He tosses the photo of the lovers on the table. Se-kwang keeps his cool and asks if he’s being accused for the chairman’s death.

Prosecutor Kwon smiles – he doesn’t expect a confession from Se-kwang since the truth will eventually reveal itself. Se-kwang acted as Mom’s lawyer, Prosecutor Kwon reminds him. “But who will act as yours?”

Se-kwang answers that the late chairman always used to say, “Nothing is impossible with money, except when you don’t have enough.” And then he has the audacity to name a price.

After a long pause Prosecutor Kwon replies that Se-kwang must think that he’s a corrupt person. Se-kwang counters that he has yet to see someone who’s completely innocent when faced with money.

Prosecutor Kwon: “If I refuse?” Omo – is the prosecutor a righteous man after all? Se-kwang: “You wouldn’t have asked to see me if you wanted to open the case again.”

Prosecutor Kwon smirks and acknowledges that Chairman Lee’s saying about money is indeed true. He’s heard that the chairman’s estate is worth several hundred billion Won. But he believes in equality, be it regarding the law or money.

Taking that as the prosecutor’s answer, Se-kwang agrees to divide the estate equally. He then burns the photo of him and Bi-ryung.

Kang-seok asks the prosecutor what happened and Prosecutor Kwon lies, telling him that Se-kwang confessed to the crime. And here I thought you were going to help the good guys on this one!

Prosecutor Kwon remains silent as Kang-seok smiles at the (supposed) good news. Kang-seok cheerily says that he hopes to be a great prosecutor like him one day, and put all the baddies in jail.

The guilt finally eats at Prosecutor Kwon and he suddenly pulls over to an abandoned yard. He tells Kang-seok, “Anyone can become a prosecutor, but it’s difficult to remain righteous.” He yells at Kang-seok to get out.

Kang-seok barely has any time to register his surroundings when he sees a car… coming straight for him.

We abruptly cut away to give us a hilarious introduction to two important characters. Young BOK JAE-IN (Seo Shin-ae, later played by Hwang Jung-eum) stuffs her face while her mother, whom we’ll call BOSS BOK (Kim Sumi), reprimands her. I especially like that they squabble over the H.O.T. song playing on the radio.

But back to Kang-seok, who runs into the street and is hit by the oncoming car. The car carrying the hired men waits a minute before quietly slipping away.

Boss Bok and her daughter rush out to check on the boy and start to panic when the driver tells them that he’s not breathing. Kang-seok lays there unconscious, bleeding from the head, and Jae-in hollers that they have to take him to the hospital.

Kang-seok undergoes surgery and Boss Bok waits anxiously (and scolds her daughter again for eating. Jae-in’s like, I need to eat when I get stressed! Ha). Boss Bok’s heart sinks when she hears that they can’t find the boy’s parents.

Meanwhile, the Traitagon (Traitorous Pentagon) celebrate together and Se-kwang divides the chairman’s fortune among them, with Swiss bank accounts containing over 7 million USD each.

You can see their eyes sparkle just by looking at all the zeros, but Prosecutor Kwon finds it unfair that all their shares are the same. Soon it turns into an argument of Who Did the Least Evil, and Se-kwang is the one to put a stop to it.

The doctor informs Boss Bok that the patient’s hippocampus has been damaged, which can only mean one thing in dramaland: amnesia. The patient will need to regain consciousness for them to know the extent of the damage. Then Boss Bok’s assistant rushes in – the boy has woken up.

Aww, it’s sweet how Jae-in smiles at Kang-seok at his bedside. The doctors burst in and ask Kang-seok to say something: his name, address, anything.

They help him up and wait patiently as he opens his mouth. A tear rolls down his cheek and he utters, “M…om.”


Dun dun dun! Now that we know how Lee Kang-seok became no more, we can move on to how he later becomes Lee Cha-don. I both welcome and groan when it comes to classic drama tropes, especially amnesia. But whenever it does happen, I’m always curious to see how the show handles the tabula rasa. This makes Cha-don more of a mystery in the present. Is the amnesia still present some fifteen years later or is our hero coming to grips with some of the consequences as more of his past peeks through? We can certainly see tiny traces of Kang-seok in present day Cha-don, like how he flips his gold coin, and we have no idea where he is in terms of his search.

I love the relationship between Kang-seok and Se-kwang and how the latter was someone the young’un could look up to. To have your friendly hyung now put a price on your head is bound to cause some strife in the relationship. Though they’re now enemies, I love that they learned the same lessons from the chairman about money and excited to see how those words will manifest for both characters. We’re beginning to see how Se-kwang puts the chairman’s words into action. According to the chairman’s words, Se-kwang is currently the owner of that money because he’s spending it on bribes to buy power and influence. But then what will happens if he doesn’t have enough? Furthermore, it’s frightening to see him be so manipulative – knowing exactly what reactions to put on to elicit a certain response.

Prosecutor Kwon is a tough nut to crack, especially when you pit him against Se-kwang. I hoped that he had a change of heart several times this episode and held onto that sliver of hope that he let Kang-seok go versus feeding him to the dogs. We see that even the men who believe in justice can fall victim to greed and power. And even now, though he’s a part of the Traitagon, I can’t help but think that there’s a reversal in his character up ahead.

The bit of humor at the end was a welcome surprise for the show that started off so dark. As soon as I heard Kim Sumi speak, I knew that we were up for a hilarious series. The Dramatic is still there (with a capital D because drama would like us to know when there is Drama) but we’re moving ahead rather than circle around the topic, which is a welcome change.


56 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Leona

    Usually I don’t like the childhood episodes, yet in this drama the kids give the adult cast a run for their money .
    However the drama tends to be bit too”noir” for my taste. I want my promised shenanigans

    • 1.1 snow_white

      Same is the case with me….I don’t like the extended childhood cast episodes, but here I’m liking it 🙂

      Still need to catch up with ep 2….will read the whole thing after watching it…..

      So glad that you are recapping this!!

      • 1.1.1 TS

        I was planning to skip the childhood scenes, but think I’ll watch these now after all.

        • cm

          I’ve noticed that these writers always tend to do that with their dramas. They start off in the present and start off with a cliffhanger persay and then flashback to the beginning of the story. Not necessarily to childhood scenes all the time but it was the same with History of a Salaryman. And they love doing noir followed by comedy. Don’t worry I’m sure the comedy will come.

          I am enjoying the drama so far and I love the kid too. But I can’t wait for Kang Ji Hwan to take over. I haven’t liked the last two things he’s done (movie and drama) so I’m itching to see him in something fangirlworthy again. Yay!

    • 1.2 TS

      “Hijinks, go!”

      lol, love dramabeans!

    • 1.3 Windsun33

      Most childhood and/or kid scenes drive me up the wall, as the only “acting” is closeups to show how cute (ala Queen of Ambition) or to show the kid nonstop crying, but in ep1 at least they actually seem to have a role with real lines.

  2. CAD

    I have no intention to watch this drama. But I love the first photo.

    That boy is Park Jae Bin right? I hope I get his name right. First saw him with Su Ae in a K-movie (not sure the title).. Man, I love that movie.. Daebak acting from Su Ae and this boy playing her little brother.

    Boy, please don’t grow up too fast!

    • 2.1 piggy68gal

      His name is Park Ji Bin 🙂

    • 2.2 True2u

      lol, The first time I saw him was in boys over flower!!! He was sooo tiny then, Boy is growing up so fast!

  3. maakopla

    This drama is pretty okay so far but there are loads of loopholes already. Whenever it comes to this kind of things, I think Korea’s inheritance law is reeaaaaallly strange. Of course, it’s just a drama but it should resemble the real law at least somehow… In contrast I have no problems in believing that all relatives would abandon the child, can totally see that happening after spending a year in SK and getting in touch with the culture.

    I’m just wondering where did Kang-seok spend all these days and nights without money after the house was sold. There were several days before the accident.

    And what about that money stash? Did only Kang-seok know about it or someone else too? If someone had known about it then probably the money would have been spent but it wasn’t. Then why didn’t Kang-seok go there and retrieve the money?

    I was waiting for Jae In to pop put, Hwang Jung Eum and the fat costume xD In American movies the actors/actresses really gain/lose wight for their roles but in Korea they use… fat costume? Sissies…

    • 3.1 Duq

      Well you can’t expect hwang Jung eum to put on 60something pounds for at most two episodes and and lose them all back can you? In America actors put weight on or dramatically lose it (ie Christian bale) for a movie which will take months to film not days. And if you badly want to see a korean actress who played with her weight for a long term project I suggest you to dig up Kim sun ah , she gained weight for Sam soon and lost it for scent of a woman.

      • 3.1.1 maakopla

        Does she have to gain so much weight? Why must they make “being fat” into comedy? I think obesity is not funny.

        • Duq

          Well as you see I was not saying being fat is hilarious. If the character is obese in the first episodes then yeah the actress would have to gain that much weight to act.
          To be honest I myself dislike dramas when a character is fat in the beginning and miraclously hot in the next episodes as if being fat equals not deserving love. But first, that was not what you were complaining about on your comment so i dont really see your reason in asking me such questions and distracting the main subject and second having seen this writer’s other works I choose to have confidence in her/him – that being fat has a significance for the character’s development, we have just seen the character for what? 3 minutes? It is too early to judge the writer’s choice to make her fat in the beginning. She is not just fat she has an eating disorder those two are separate things. An eating disorder points serious psychologic problems and is one’s way to cope with them. You might as well ask why eating then, writer could have found some other way to show it- like cutting herself or aphasia or shutting herself out but I doubt they would fit the character’s bright personality.
          Oh and one last thing, yes obesity is not funny and as a medical student and as a person who has experienced eating disorders herself I assure you that it is an illness both physicolagical and psychological.

          • maakopla

            I didn’t say that you would think obesity is funny, I just stated I don’t think it’s funny so I don’t see the reason why you are getting angry here… Also, it’s most likely that this girl will be a funny character based on the preview of the next episode.

            And I don’t like the fat suit because it’s fake. I think it’s cowardly from Koreans to use one. I can have this opinion if I want to, no?

            I also know they film the next episode a few days before airing, I also don’t like this because they might change the script according to the comments of netizens. And I know they are using the fat suit because of this reason, that they film the drama during a few weeks. But even if it was a movie which would be filmed during many many month they would most probably use the fat suit. I can imagine the shock of Koreans if any of the super thin actresses gained weight for a role.

    • 3.2 TS

      What is your experience in Korea that you would believe all relatives would abandon a child? It seems a bit harsh on Korean culture…

      • 3.2.1 maakopla

        “you would believe all relatives would abandon”

        I meant all relatives of one family, not in all families in SK. Should have expressed myself more clearly.

        My experience is that the culture is extremely superficial and cruel.

    • 3.3 Windsun33

      As in most of these dramas, the facts about the law and inheritance seem to be a bit…. loose. Out of curiousity I looked up the Korean inheritance laws, and while parts of it might seem a bit odd, they are not that much different from most countries, including the US.

      I think it is kind of like in most Korean dramas, killing someone even in dire self-defense is translated as “murder”, while in fact Korean law pretty much follows international law and is very similar to US laws. In other words, self defense of yourself or on behalf of others is usually an absolute defense of innocence. Yet in almost every K-drama where this comes up, the “perp” is out running from the cops etc. (again, Queen of Ambition is a great example of distortion – where she killed her evil stepfather who was trying to rape her and had apparently been doing so since she was 13).

    • 3.4 dtp_jnr

      1) For the case of the inheritance, anyone can inherit wealth as long as it is willed to them, the family can contest it in court but by law the person stated on the will inherits the wealth….

      2)I’m sure he had some spear change and can squat anywhere, they aren’t supposed to show every single detail, i’m very sure he can get by for some days on the street….

      3) The money is most likely still there but he may not know how to get there seeing that he was sleeping on their way there and it was a long time ago…..The money was not kept in their backyard you know…

      4)It’s impossible for them to gain weight for only 1 or 2 episodes cos as you may already know SK dramas are filmed realtime like hence there’s no way Hwang Jung Eum can gain all that weight an loose it in days or hours…..

      • 3.4.1 maakopla

        1) For the case of the inheritance, anyone can inherit wealth as long as it is willed to them, the family can contest it in court but by law the person stated on the will inherits the wealth….

        In Finland if a parent will all his/her money to someone else than their child, the child still gets 50% at all times.

        In case of only one parent dying the children and the other parent have legal right to continue living in their house.

        2)I’m sure he had some spear change and can squat anywhere, they aren’t supposed to show every single detail, i’m very sure he can get by for some days on the street….

        If he had he wouldn’t have been so hungry…

        3) The money is most likely still there but he may not know how to get there seeing that he was sleeping on their way there and it was a long time ago…..The money was not kept in their backyard you know…

        if he had some money like you stated he could have taken a taxi to this place. If his father said “This money is yours” he most probably told him where the place is.

        4)It’s impossible for them to gain weight for only 1 or 2 episodes cos as you may already know SK dramas are filmed realtime like hence there’s no way Hwang Jung Eum can gain all that weight an loose it in days or hours…..

        If she can’t then why does she have to be a fat character? Probably she will lose all that weight later and become skinny and pretty. Does this have to happen? Can’t there be one drama about someone being fat and it being okay?

  4. KANGly

    mom was tried for killing dad, was found not guilty. when new evidence turned up, they tried her again for the same crime, this time found guilty. double jeopardy? one cannot be tried for the same crime twice, right? or don’t they follow that rule in SK?

    not nitpicking, just curious.

    • 4.1 Conny

      That was my thought as well, but then I thought.. wait a second. First trial would have been attempted murder, considering he was alive (although barely). Second trial then could have been for murder. Either way there were quite a few plot holes that made me question South Korean Law. (But then, I always shake my head when I watch a SK program and hear that there is a 10 year statute of limitation on murder… is that real or just something writers use for their plot lines?)

      • 4.1.1 Windsun33

        “…that there is a 10 year statute of limitation on murder…”

        Once again, the script writers are years behind or way off base. The old limitation was 15 years, but that was changed in 2007 to 25 years, and as of late 2012 most limitations have been removed for capital crimes and others. https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/06/117_113092.html

        Short answer is, do not get your legal advice from dramas.

        • Saturtledaisy

          Having a statute of limitation on murder (or other crimes) isn’t a completely impossible thing. I don’t know much about Korean law, but I know that a lot of countries have one. In my country, Belgium, for example, it’s 15 years which can be doubled to a max of 30 years. A lot of other European countries have a similar system.

          I personally don’t agree with this kind of legislation, but it’s not something impossible to accept and definitely not made up by drama-writers.

      • 4.1.2 IBELIS

        Article 13 of the South Korean constitution provides that no citizen shall be placed in double jeopardy.

        Double jeopardy is a procedural defense that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction. In common law countries, a defendant may enter a peremptory plea of autrefois acquit or autrefois convict (autrefois means “previously” in French), meaning the defendant has been acquitted or convicted of the same offence.[1]

        So I guess this means that her being charged a second time is only for dramatic effect.

        • Saturtledaisy

          In most countries, as far as I know ‘double jeopardy’ (or a similar rule about ruling twice for the same crime) is not applicable when it comes to appeals, which is not exactly the same as being tried twice for the same facts (= double jeopardy).

          When you ‘appeal’ your previous trial gets re-done, and the result (acquittal or conviction) might be different. The rules differ from country to country, but the basic idea behind it is mostly the same. By appealing you can change the final verdict. In Europe, the possibility of getting a re-trial is viewed as a basic human right.

          As for double jeopardy, I believe they mean you can’t be tried for the same facts twice, after you have gotten a final verdict on those facts. Your verdict is ‘final’ when you can not appeal anymore. (In Belgium, for example, this is when the limited period of time during which you can appeal has passed or when the convict has done his time in jail, paid his fines, etc.)

          ^this means ‘double jeopardy’ is not a problem in this case, and the re-trial (and the guilty verdict) is perfectly normal.

          ^this information may or may not be different from the law in your own country, or Korea for that matter, but I’ve encountered bits and pieces of different kinds of law during my studies, even laws of common law countries like the UK and the US, and the system is usually similar.

    • 4.2 Windsun33

      Even in the US, “it depends”. If new and different charges related to the same crime are filed, they can be tried again.

      In Korea, the prosecutors can appeal a “not guilty” ruling, and though rare, it could be retried by a higher court. There is a pretty good basic overview of how Korean law differs from US law here http://seoul.usembassy.gov/acs_legal.html

      • 4.2.1 Conny

        Interesting. Thanks for all of the info. Oh those drama writers… silly people rewriting SK law for their own purposes..lol

    • 4.3 KANGly

      thanks for all the answers! interesting.

    • 4.4 TS

      Yeah, me too, actually.


    I always love him Park Ji Bin im watching this drama because of him so hoping adults will give him character justice 🙂

  6. Selena

    Amnesia….what a cliche twist. I actually expect something better than amnesia. Watching these two episodes, I found out that I couldn’t hate Se Kwang. I see that basically he is a good person but his circumstance makes him commit a chain of evil doings. However, it would be interesting to see how they will continue the 15 years hiatus and meet again in different circumstances. Seeing the bond between Se Kwang and Kang Seok and seeing that they’re only victims of other person’s wrongdoing, I hope they can forgive each other and break the vicious circle.

    • 6.1 Windsun33

      Yeah, I had planned on watching this series, but after just watching ep2, not so sure. The plot is so full of holes already, and then they toss in amnesia so early that you wonder what lame writer regurgitated all these cliches.

      • 6.1.1 tapioca pearl

        It’s better to toss in amnesia in the beginning than at the end. I don’t like the amnesia trope, but if it has to be done, I don’t mind that it’s for character development and not just for shock and writer’s block.

    • 6.2 Saturtledaisy

      Money turned Se Kwang evil, but was it really really necessary to screw Kang-seok over like that? I mean, poor kid. I think the trick with the will went a little overboard D: But maybe it was necessary to frame someone else for the murder? They could’ve just made it seem like a suicide or an accident or something instead…

      • 6.2.1 asianromance

        Well Kang-seok’s dad raised the son of the man he screwed over and that son (Se-Kwang) struck back with a vengeance and destroyed him. He’s afraid that if he shows anyone mercy, they’d come back to get him.

        I think framing the mom was his way of tying up loose ends. I’m guessing if someone suspected that the accident wasn’t an accident, they’d come sniffing for evidence. No one will question a death once the culprit is apprehended and convicted.

  7. Whatda10

    I am so excited to find out what happens. Money ruined Kang-seok life. Once he finds out who he is, will money right all the wrongs? Can’t wait till next week.

  8. z

    Wow, this is why I don’t do traditional melos. I feel like they picked the cutest kid they could find and then did all the most horrible things they could think of to him. I haven’t watched the previous work by this team so I don’t know how zany the hijinks are expected to get but they’d better be good to make up for all the depression I’m going through right now.

  9. Carole McDonnell

    Thanks for the recap.

    Whenever I watch bad guys I sit around hoping they don’t do the ultimate BAD THING which makes me give up all hope. So far, Se Kwang and Prosecutor Gwon are responsible for attempted murder, and Se Kwang had Mom institutionalized…and he stole MC’s inheritance. But technically, he hasn’t really committed murder so I’m still hoping I can like him and hope for reconciliation for both kinda-brothers.

    I’m wondering how much of his dad’s advice Kang Seok has incorporated. Amnesia and all, he must retain some sense of wanting justice and some intense distrust of his fellow men/women, and some distinction between hireling and true friend. I’m assuming he’s gonna be rich in the future episodes…but am just assuming that from the previews. I must be getting soft because I’m actually watching three dramas now with amnesiacs…and I’m not being as annoyed as I usually am about it. Not sure if he’s forgotten everything, though. Will he have incomprehensible flashes of faces that haunt his nights and days? Is he gonna be wary of Se Kwang and the Prosecutor when he’s with them?

    The little girl with braces and the pizza craving is so cute. When they’re that cute, I have no doubt she’ll be totally gorgeous when she grows up so I’m wondering if she’ll be like his sister or his true love. I didn’t see the teasers so I’m wondering.

    Wondering what the theme will be: Can one have true friends when one has money? Can even a stalwart person be corrupted? Will even our hero be tempted toward evil because of money? And I’m kinda hoping it sticks to its theme or at least doesn’t stray too far from it.

    Liking it a lot though. Especially long-suffering Mom. Of all k-dramas falsely-imprisoned/falsely-institutionalized folks, she’s the best.

  10. 10 Lilian

    I like Park Ji Bin and he did well here but I am hoping Kang Ji Hwan appears soon! =) I want the quirky him , like in Coffee House…

  11. 11 kay

    the Traitagon haha good one

  12. 12 Suzi Q

    Love the Mom ( Kim Sumi ) and daughter ( Seo Shin Ae ).So far, this drama is so dark. I hope the next couple of episodes are cute and funny with these two actors.

    Can Kang Seok have amnesia for 15 years without some part of his memories coming back?

  13. 13 NAllali

    wah! what a bunch of snakes!!! poor kid…

  14. 14 Tha

    I, on the other hand, love the childhood versions. Let’s me see if the adults counterparts can measure up.

  15. 15 Saturtledaisy

    So far, I’m actually really enjoying this drama~ I didn’t expect that, judging from the premise. I feel so bad for the mother – the real victim of basically any other character’s actions in this drama. Not to mention poor Kang-seok (Park Ji Bin’s doing an awesome job here!) But it’s left (the lawyer inside) me with a couple of questions~

    -Is it really legally possible to completely disinherit your children in Korea? Like, the moment you die they end up with nothing because that’s what’s written in your will? I don’t know much about inheritance law, but it seems really difficult to believe D: How can he just end up HOMELESS like that D:

    -I’m a little unclear (I think it got lost in translation when I watched) why they got an acquittal for the first trial. Is it because they lacked proof – the ‘guilt’ couldn’t be proven to be ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, because the father’s own medicine could have been the cause of death as well? Is that also why she got a guilty verdict the second time, because the autopsy revealed the tetrodoxin to be the true cause of death? (if so, what was the point of the tape?? Extra evidence, as in motive?)

    -Besides, they never proved that the wife was the one who put the tetrodoxin in the medicine, so am I supposed to believe (taken with a grain of salt) that they figure that’s ‘beyond reasonable doubt’? Because with the large amount of staff they have, who know about the medicine, that’s a lot of suspects. Not to mention that it would’ve been smarter to kill AFTER she had properly amended his will. I mean, what did she have to gain by killing him while the so-called recently-changed will (in which he gives everything to Bi-ryung) was still in effect? It kindof makes the motive thing moot. But idk, maybe they just figured she isn’t that smart.

    I’m not too sure I understood these points so well in the drama, and my understanding of Korean law is ridiculously limited (though I’ll be doing my research now~) so I was wondering if anyone could clear (any of) these questions up for me~

    • 15.1 asianromance

      I’m not sure if it’s legal or illegal to disinherit your kid, but I’m surprised that the Chairman didn’t make better provisions for Kang-seok or did the turncoat Lawyer remove Kang-seok from the will and I just missed it? Was the Chairman expecting Kang-seok to remember where the vault of money was and how to access it?

      • 15.1.1 IBELIS

        That was not the chairman’s will, but one they forged to take everything from the son.

  16. 16 Dongsaeng killer

    Thanks so much for the recap! Totally loving the show 🙂 Park Ji Bin is my new inappropriate ‘mine’ 🙂

  17. 17 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap! Episode 2 was certainly depressing! The ending made me want to cry out. It’s so unfair! Kang-seok losing his memories and then now his mom’s probably in a mental ward, wondering if her beloved son has abandoned her.

    How awful it is to not only be betrayed by a friend, but then have that friend basically put a bounty on your head. And then that horrible reporter and prosecutor. I hope they’ve wasted all their money and are lying in a ditch somewhere!

    All those mother-effers toasting each other on their ill-gotten money while Kang-seok was literally being hunted like an animal! =( And to think that Park Sang Min/Se-Kwang was the bestest brother, Sung-Mo, in Giant.

    Thank goodness for Jae-in and her mom. They are a hoot and I can’t wait to see them provide even more comic relief in episode 3.

  18. 18 whitethorns

    People with sharp minds are always dangerous. So traitagon better stay on their toes.

  19. 19 Dara

    Love , thanks!

  20. 20 pigtookie

    wow, good job with the role Park Ji Bin! watching him in this role reminds me of Lee Hyun Woo in Equator Man, just seeing a kid take on an actual role with a few good moments sprinkled in.

    But man, it sucks to be Kang Seok. Fleeing from one nightmare to the next, betrayed by 3 people at once. Poor guy, I thought Prosecutor Kwon was going to stick to making Se Kwang squirm. He’s in for a lot of pain later on from his conscience. I don’t mind this amnesia line at all. We got a clue about it last episode, when Hwang asked him about his previous self, but now that we see the full picture, I think psychologically it was painful to keep all those memories.

    I actually chuckled, 5 traitors gathered again? Gathered together by one misdeed and greed?

  21. 21 TS

    Why do I keep wanting to re-watch Runway Cop?

  22. 22 Solange

    coz its funny but stupid but Jihwang is a great comedic actor

  23. 23 Rolie Antonio

    Thank you Drama Beans for make it organized the story of the show. I like the way you arranged it and the format is really amazing.

  24. 24 rochinipark

    I was skipping through the childhood episodes as it was too dramatic for.But like Gummi said as soon as Kim SuMi showed up i knew this series heads to comedic territory at least for a bit.

    Those conniving adults, betraying a kid like this.Hope when Kang Seok/Cha Don remembers he will hilariously one up them.But Park SangMin i know is a dramatic actor,so i’ll wait and see how they handle the two different themes.

  25. 25 OFT

    Nice write up

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