Heirs: Episode 8
This is kind of a bipolar episode. Or, maybe it’s just an episode that makes me bipolar, which I’m fully willing to believe is the more accurate conclusion. In any case, things are good for a while when both boys start to step up with some moments of honesty and Eun-sang asserts herself in little ways as the budding romance takes on a new dynamic. But then the love triangle becomes a literal tug-of-war, only with a human girl instead of a rope, and then Show and I have words.
SONG OF THE DAY
Soran – “혹시 자리 비었나요? (Is This Seat Taken?)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Tan storms over to Eun-sang at work to confess that he likes her, and will be getting personally involved in all her business at school from now on. What, like you weren’t before?
She brushes it off like he’s got nothing better to do with his time, but he wants an answer from her, right now. She looks up at him, conflicted… and she’s saved by the bell when he gets a call from Dad.
He ignores it, and then a second later, Eun-sang gets a call from his mother. He barks at her not to answer, but she says while he might have the choice to ignore his parents’ calls, she doesn’t. “That’s the difference between you and me, and I think that’s my answer.”
He yanks her phone away and tells his mother to call back later because they’re having an important conversation, and hangs up. Pfft. And then he orders Eun-sang to like him back, which I guess is supposed to be swoony, but mostly sounds like he’s being a petulant child.
She’s finally had enough and starts to cry as she tells him to give back her phone, saying that it’s expensive to her, and she needs it to text with Mom and hear from her part-time employers.
And then suddenly mid-fight, Tan asks, “If I want to hold you right now, am I crazy?” He pulls her close for a hug.
Tan: “Don’t cry. And don’t say that you dislike me. Say that you’ll think about it. I’m asking you.” Well that’s certainly an improvement from the last version. Good job. Eun-sang lets herself cry on his shoulder for just a moment.
Once they get home, Madam Han greets Tan with a barrage of questions, and he gives the excuse that he went to go see Eun-sang to request that she keep her mouth shut about him hitting someone at school today. Madam Han’s ridiculous first question: “Is he richer than us?”
Tan is the one to point out that her question should be whom and not how much he’s worth, and trudges off to see the chairman for his impending lecture. Madam Han tries to pry the information out of Eun-sang, who keeps her mouth shut per their cover story. Madam Han adds the petty gripe that Eun-sang shouldn’t be seen with Tan outside of this house, because What would people think? Blerg.
Chairman Dad already knows about the incident and asks Tan why he hit Young-do at school. Tan just points out the absurdity of his sudden interest in his life when he’s done far worse, but back then Dad was always too busy to care.
Dad says that he has to be busy for the company to go ’round, and Tan notes sardonically that due to Dad’s astounding work ethic, he and hyung will be bequeathed more of Dad’s inheritance than his interest. Snap.
Dad’s final warning is to keep from complicating his mother’s job at school, to which Tan says pointedly that his mother is Dad’s mistress. My, my, did someone have his Sassy Wheaties today?
He comes out to find Eun-sang on her way out from speaking to his mother, and she asks with a long sigh for him to leave her alone in this house. He follows her anyway like a yappy puppy, insisting on apologizing for his mother or doing something to cheer her up.
Eun-sang doesn’t want to be caught daring to speak to the young master in the house, and asks him to leave again, but he points out that it’s his house. She decides she’ll go then, and he says pretty much anywhere you go in his house, it’s his house.
And then he adds, “Do you know how glad I am that you’re in my house?” It doesn’t work to get her to stay, and he sighs as she heads to her room. He plops down on his bed and stares at a book of poems called Almost As If We’re Living Together.
Eun-sang decides to set her alarm for even earlier the next morning, determined to avoid going to school together. She notices a post online (lol, he still hasn’t logged out as her, lying liar) of the book cover in his hand, with “living” changed to “sleeping.” It makes her smile.
She gets to school at the crack of dawn, but to her utter surprise, Tan is sitting on a bench waiting for her to arrive. He says he meant what he said yesterday about meddling in her business from now on, and pretends not to have heard the part where she told him not to do that. He’s satisfied for now to have seen her arrive, and pats her on the head before walking away.
Manager Yoon comes by Won’s hotel room in the morning to say that he has a breakfast invitation from Young-do’s dad, and though Won bristles that they’re hardly friends, Manager Yoon thinks it might be a good idea to take him up on the offer.
Won finds out at the office that there are complications with their latest hotel construction because of Zeus and offshore investor strings being pulled behind their backs, and decides to play hard-to-get with breakfast for now.
Madam Han struggles to get out of bed with a wine hangover, and Mom starts to write a snappy comeback (for her to stop drinking so damn much), only to realize mid-sentence that she maybe ought to rethink it.
Madam Han catches her trying to scratch out what she wrote and chases her around the room, leading to a bizarre slow-motion feather pillow fight, because why not. I’d swear these two moms couldn’t live without each other, not that they’d admit it.
Tan waits for Eun-sang in the hall outside the broadcast club, having heard that she’s meeting Hyo-shin to find out whether or not she made the cut. He offers to lobby for her since he’s friends with Hyo-shin. When she asks what kind of lobbying he’d do, he opens his jacket and suggests coyly that he can offer up his body. Ha.
Bo-na steps out from the room after having done her lunch broadcast, and Chan-young walks up with a drink, posing as a fan. Tan rolls his eyes at them, but Eun-sang sees Chan-young as her escape.
Tan sticks his arm out to block her path thinking he’s all smooth, but she just ducks right under it and runs off with Chan-young, leaving both Bo-na and Tan fuming impotently.
Bo-na turns her attention to Tan and asks if he’s camped out here because he still has feelings for her, and Tan laughs, playing into her delusion with a characteristic, “Do I?”
She sighs that she knew it, and declares that she’s very happy with Chan-young. He reminds her that she used to like him very much, and she chafes at the “very,” muttering that he obviously has good taste and all, but she’s taken.
He’s too amused now to turn back, and declares that he still likes her. (How is anyone going to take you seriously when you do this for fun?) Bo-na cries with utter sincerity that he needs to forget her and move on. Hahahahahaha.
Eun-sang tells Chan-young that she doesn’t know how her nouveau riche story went this far, but plans to out herself. He surprises her with the advice to just keep it under wraps for as long as possible and just graduate quietly, and adds that the bullying victim Joon-young is transferring today.
Eun-sang watches Joon-young’s sad march toward the school gates, regretting that she didn’t even get to say thank you. Bo-na’s friends walks up to introduce themselves to Eun-sang, and note Joon-young’s departure with the wish that he take all the charity cases with him.
Eun-sang ignores another call from Don’t Pick Up, which Young-do sees plainly because he’s breathing down her neck as he calls. Can we put a bell around your neck or something? Sheesh.
He gets faux-offended and pouty at his number being saved as Don’t Pick Up, and demands to see how she saved Tan’s name in her phone. She changes his to Young-do to get him off her back for now, and he tells her that her name is up on the announcement board.
She runs up worried that it’s for something bad, but finds the official notice for her acceptance into the broadcasting club. But the more curious thing is underneath: Eun-sang finds the note she left for Tan back in California. Wow he actually found that thing?
She asks him about it, and though he plays dumb, we see in flashback that he found it after all, peeking out under the massive pile-up of flyers. He complains that she wouldn’t return a simple request for a phone call, but bothered to write that note, and she asks why he wanted her to call.
He sighs that it took her this long to ask. He wanted to know where she was and when she was leaving, and “If you can’t not go. Don’t go. Stay with me. I miss you.” He asks if she’s still thinking about it—his confession, her answer—and she deflects and heads (in the wrong direction, ha) to class.
Watching the whole time is Rachel and a bemused Hyo-shin, who finds all this entertaining and playfully offers to hit Tan for her. She asks about the herbal supplements he’s taking, and he makes yet another joke about what studying for college entrance exams does to make you age rapidly.
Tan sees her and asks for a chat, and straight-up tells Rachel that he likes Eun-sang. She scoffs that he actually said the words, wondering if he wants permission, or for her to disappear.
She reminds him that unless he’s totally lost his mind, there’s no way he ends up happily ever after with a girl like Eun-sang, and he doesn’t disagree, but he’s also decided not to think anymore, and just do whatever he wants and deal with the consequences later.
Tan says he has enough mountains to climb without adding Rachel as one, and asks if they can’t go back. “We were friends once.”
Rachel grits her teeth and tells him he’s making the wrong choice, admitting in the end: “And if you thought I wouldn’t be hurt, you were wrong about that too.”
Manager Yoon checks in on Chairman Dad for another of his regular hospital check-ups, and continually eyes the mysterious envelope from the mystery person sitting on his nightstand. The chairman asks Manager Yoon about why he originally recommended Eun-sang’s mother as a housekeeper, and he recounts having met Eun-sang’s parents back when they used to run a pojangmacha and he was a regular.
He says that Eun-sang’s father was in the hospital for a long time before he passed away, and Mom is still steadily repaying that hospital debt. He asks now why the chairman sent Eun-sang to Jeguk High, thinking it an act of kindness.
Chairman Dad: “So that she hears it from at least a hundred mouths—the reason why she can’t be close to Tan.” Gah, I knew you were going to end up being nasty. Manager Yoon takes that barb to heart, so much so that when he runs into Rachel’s mom outside the high school, he tells her he was just reminded of why they broke up. He purposely answers a call from Hyun-joo just to raise her hackles.
Hyun-joo is busy downing an instant ramyun before her tutoring session, and Hyo-shin sees her on the street and tells her he’ll be late just to give her more time. That’s cute. At their lesson, he nags her not to eat badly and leans in so close he’s nearly kissing her, just to say he can smell her ramyun breath.
I love that he follows it up with: “You need to check my homework before we advance, right?” But the word for “advance” is the same for level of physical intimacy as it is for lesson plans. Everything he says to her is double-edged that way, but she’s found a way to pretend she doesn’t notice.
Young-do uses a judo match to request that the family portrait be cancelled (if he wins, of course), so Dad agrees and then proceeds to cheat his way to victory by choking his son to the mat, and then telling him that winning’s all that matters. Gee, what a sparkling example of humanity. I wonder why Young-do’s such an ass.
Though tellingly, the first thing he does after that blow to his ego is to show up unannounced at Eun-sang’s café. He catches her ignoring yet another of his calls and tells her he came, “because I was lonely.”
He says he dropped the lawsuit against Joon-young because he promised her he would, and then Tan shows up, which puts both boys on edge. Tan is annoyed enough that Young-do found Eun-sang here, but he’s surprised when Young-do names ALL of her part-time jobs, clearly having put all the pieces together on her real income bracket.
Young-do wonders how Tan knows so much about Eun-sang, and they go through a whole volley of witty retorts. Tan: “I’m always one step ahead of you.” Young-do: “Then you should watch your back.”
Tan laughs at the idea of using Eun-sang to get back at him, which just makes Young-do ask: “Are you two dating?” Tan: “Do we look good together? We look good together.” When he says it like a statement instead of a question, it gets under Young-do’s skin.
Tan warns him outright not to mess with Eun-sang, which has got to be a bad idea. He’s basically like, Challenge accepted, and tells Tan to take care of his knees. And just to drive daddy’s lesson home: “On my mat, there are no rules.”
Suddenly the ajusshi at the counter calls out to them to pick up their drinks, and says that Eun-sang already left and bought their smoothies. HA. Okay, that got a laugh out of me. This is what happens when you two are so busy waving your unmentionables around. The girl gets bored and goes home.
They come out with their twin smoothies for cold comfort, and Tan nearly busts a gut to see that Young-do got his bike towed for illegal tuning. He says this is what the law is for, not fake lawsuits. (Oh was Joon-young’s thing faked? I don’t even know if that’s better or worse.)
Won waits and waits for Hyun-joo to come home, and gets all possessive when he sees her arriving in someone else’s car. He storms up to peek inside the car, only to lock eyes with Manager Yoon, who’s dropping her off after consulting her about tutoring Chan-young.
They’re both flustered to recognize each other, and Hyun-joo worries that this means he’ll say something to Chairman Dad about them. Won is beyond caring at this point and tells her he’s moved out for good, so won’t she let him stay with her? From across the alley, someone snaps a photo of them.
Tan lingers in the kitchen, hoping to catch Eun-sang, and finally goes all the way to her door. He fidgets there for a while and still has his hand raised in the air to knock when she comes out.
At first Eun-sang jokes that his mother is coming, but then she really does come into the kitchen looking for Mom, so he pulls her into the dark pantry to hide. They’re pressed up against the shelf and once Madam Han passes, they feel each other’s presence keenly.
Tan doesn’t step away and leans in closer… and closer to kiss her… but sees that she’s practically wincing in anticipation and backs off. What the? What a tease.
They relocate to the wine cellar (she does her homework here to keep from waking Mom), and Tan goes into another jealous interrogation of why Young-do was there and what they talked about.
She says it was weird, but Young-do said he was lonely, and he really did seem lonely. Tan scoffs and asks how Young-do knows about every chicken, pizza, and juice place she works at, which she doesn’t know either. She doesn’t care though since she has no reason to be entangled with him.
But Tan sighs to realize it first: “You’re already entangled. I don’t think he’s messing with you for me to see anymore. He’s doing this because he wants to see you.”
At the same time, Young-do is asking himself the very same question, thinking about Eun-sang and then wondering why he keeps thinking about her.
He shows up to the family photo shoot the next day all dressed up, and Rachel berates herself for trusting him to break up the event. But just as the family gathers, one of Dad’s ex-girlfriends crashes the event.
She greets Young-do as if she hasn’t seen him since junior high, and he reminds her that he saw her in their elevator just last week. Ha. Okay, he’s terrible, but Dad is worse. Young-do makes a point of telling Dad that there are no rules and the only thing people will remember is that he won today.
Rachel has this awesome smirk on her face the whole time, and gives him credit for keeping up his end of the bargain. She asks what it is he wants, and he leans in close before telling her he wants Eun-sang’s customs form.
She wonders if there’s something really going on between them, and tells him that Tan confessed he likes Eun-sang. She half-jokingly wonders if he can’t do anything about that, and Young-do says she might not be able to give him what he wants in exchange. She tells him to succeed first before they talk about payment.
Tan gets the jump on Eun-sang at school, and she asks where he popped out from. Tan, hand to face: “A fairytale?” Pffft. She gets huffy about him following her here, but he pouts that she doesn’t let him talk to her at home (the phrase is “press words to you”).
She snaps, “Words aren’t the only thing you pressed!” She realizes her slip, but it’s too late. He grins like a fool, “Are we just openly talking about that now?” Hee. He complains that she still hasn’t bought him dinner, and she promises that she will once she gets her broadcasting scholarship.
She makes him wait five minutes before coming to lunch, but that gives Young-do the opportunity to grab her plate and escort her to his table, where he forces her to sit in Joon-young’s old seat. Yikes.
He says he just wants to eat with her, but he doesn’t make it a choice. Bo-na looks around for Chan-young or Tan, wondering why they aren’t around for a rescue. Or here’s a thought—why can’t she rescue herself?
She’s understandably afraid though, and asks Young-do what it means that she’s sitting here. He says it’s nothing special, since he just finds this seat comfortable. She tells him that she has nothing to with Tan if that’s his intent, but he says he’s got nothing to do with Tan either.
Tan walks in to find Young-do eating and Eun-sang quaking in fear across the table, unable to touch her food. He asks Young-do what he’s doing, and orders Eun-sang to get up, shouting at the top of his lungs, “I TOLD YOU TO GET UP!” Geeeezus, and you’re better how?
She finally gets up, at which Young-do darts up first to get in Tan’s face about his lack of manners. Tan says he made his date with her first and starts to lead her away by the wrist, when Young-do trips her to the ground. Dude, seriously?
Tan grabs his collar and tempers flare, and Eun-sang rushes to stop them, insisting she’s the one who fell. Young-do says (to either of them or both) his being nice lately must’ve lured them into a false sense of security. Well I wouldn’t call it security, but I did for one half-minute think you might have a feeling or two. Clearly I was insane.
Tan growls that he’s going to kill him, and Young-do claims his victory for making him kneel—just you know, making Eun-sang do it in his place. Eun-sang interrupts and pleads with Tan to take her out of here, so he finally lets go of Young-do’s shirt and leads her out.
Rachel watches all this and points out that he might’ve brought Eun-sang to her knees, but she left with her wrist in Tan’s hand. Young-do sighs that you have to give first before taking away, to make it really land. That’s… scary.
He adds a droll, “You trust oppa, right?” before snatching Eun-sang’s customs form out of her hand.
Outside, Eun-sang cries with her back to Tan, and he’s sweet about checking her for scrapes or bruises. But when Young-do calls her, he barks at her not to answer. She knows enough about Young-do now to know that avoiding his calls will make it worse, and picks up anyway.
Tan rails at her not to, and then rams her with a kiss to keep her from answering.
AUGH, this show. Was that supposed to be romantic? Because I thought the pantry moment was sweet (and obvious, sure) but totally wasted as an opportunity for a kiss, only to have it be followed up with THAT, which was the opposite of romantic, and annoyingly bossy. So you’re not going to kiss her when there are fluttery feelings, but you will when you’re trying to assert your dominance over the other guy? I get that the other guy is terrible, but that’s not an excuse. I don’t know, but I’ve had it up to *here* with these boys barking orders and yanking girls around by the wrist. How about she sits anywhere she damn well pleases at lunch, and you two can dance all you want by the salad bar?
I get that this intertwining conflict is supposed to make it like Tan is her knight in shining armor, but mostly I find myself agreeing with Eun-sang when she asks Tan to leave her alone. At this point, her life would be qualitatively better without him. Seriously. That lunch debacle tipped the scales for me. No boy is worth that crap. And though it’s understandable that Eun-sang is scared about being bullied, I find it extra annoying that for some reason in this universe, boys have to rescue her, as if it’s inconceivable that she’d stand up for herself. What happened to the girl who bought the boys a round of smoothies and left them to stroke their own egos without her? Sometimes I feel like she gets convenient lobotomies depending on what dynamic the boys are supposed to have, which is truly madly deeply lame. Can’t my heroine have a spine AND a boyfriend? Why’s it always gotta be one or the other?
There were moments in this episode when I saw a glimmer of hope, and—dare I say—was actually happy with where we were going, because Tan had confessed (politely), said he’d wait for her response (like a gentleman), and even Young-do showed some vulnerability (like a human) and a possible kernel of a heart muscle (fine, maybe it was just acid reflux). It was going well. And then there was shouting, and ordering around, and tripping, and using girls as pawns, and then I just kind of snapped. If Tan’s arc is that he’s supposed to have started in the same place as Young-do but end up a better man, I NEED HIM TO GET THERE FASTER. Because right now, he’s the same, just less diabolical and more apathetic. And fine, a little nicer, but dude, not enough by a long shot.
The thing is, when we’re not being violent teenage terrorists, I’m not that mad, and I even find Young-do to be layered and interesting. But the violent teenage terrorist thing is kind of like taking that nice layered cake you just decorated with a vulnerable confession and smooshing it with your designer shoes and doing a leprechaun dance on top of it. It’s ruined. And now I want you two to take your war elsewhere, and leave the poor frightened girl with a lobotomy out of it.