Heirs: Episode 14
Now it’s time for the girls to duke it out, because why let the boys have all the fun? Rachel starts poking around and generally being smarter than we’d all like her to be, and begins her reign of terror. You know she’s scary when Young-do is trying to reason with her. Yeah, think on that. But just when you expect it to be more of the same, Eun-sang shows that she’s not as toothless as she seems.
There are mixed reports that Heirs is considering an extension, to which I say: Please omg no no no no no no no. It’s likely something that SBS is promoting now that the show has reached 20% ratings, but producers have been pretty clear about it being a 20-episode project. Some reports say it’ll end on 20 as planned, while others say it’s still undecided. It’s likelier the show won’t extend, but anyway, just a warning that there’s a chance it will.
SONG OF THE DAY
Choi Jin-hyuk – “돌아보지 마 (Don’t Look Back)” for The Heirs OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Tan arrives outside the broadcasting station at school to find Eun-sang pinned against the wall by Young-do, as he tells her that he’ll be messing with everyone but her, including himself.
Tan screams through the window and then just starts kicking at the door until it busts open, and goes crazy, grabbing the nearest chair to swing at Young-do. Eun-sang has enough presence of mind to get in between them, and hugs Tan, crying for him to stop. He calms down and ushers her outside so he can talk to Young-do privately. Uh, is that such a good idea?
Tan reminds him that he’s a dead man if he touches Eun-sang, and Young-do finally spells out his convoluted plan: Tan lets go of Eun-sang, and only then will he stop terrorizing them all.
Tan sighs that he’s tired of this fight, and asks how far he’s going to take it. Young-do has no plans to quit, ever, and explains that he lost his last opportunity to see his mother because he was fighting with Tan. “I want to kill myself every time I see you! How can I stop this fight now?” Are you scared it’ll be meaningless if you don’t see it through?
Tan tells him to stop being a child, and says he’ll bring himself down just to bring down others—he always has. Tan: “How can you not change at all?” Young-do: “And you? Are you happy that you’ve changed on your own?”
Young-do calls Tan’s bigger fight a senseless one (You’re one to talk. Please don’t bring sense into this, for your own sake.) and that he’ll end up kneeling in front of his father anyway. Tan says it does matter, and that if he has to kneel, he’ll kneel, but he’ll get back up again.
He tells Young-do to stay here all he wants, while he moves on to fight the big fight. I’d care more if this weren’t the seventy-billionth time you guys were having this conversation, but good for you.
Rachel comes by to ask Young-do what his deal is and why he’s always fighting with Tan. Young-do points out that she’s always fighting with Tan and hanging on even though he’s made it clear from the start that he didn’t have feelings for her. Young-do says she knows she’s in the wrong but hanging on anyway, and he’s doing the same.
Eun-sang asks Tan the same thing, and he jokes that it’s because of their love triangle. Well, you’re not wrong. Tan: “I’m in the middle of regretting, and Young-do is in the middle of hating himself.”
Eun-sang: “I think you and Choi Young-do are the ones dating.” If only. It would solve so many of our problems. She smiles to see he’s wearing his uniform again because she cleaned it herself, and when he starts to complain about the lack of care, she orders him to take it off.
He immediately jumps on the innuendo: “Right here? You want me to take it all off?” I love that she covers her eyes and then peeks anyway. Ha.
Bo-na and Chan-young are still on the outs, and this time when Chan-young passes her by without a word, Bo-na calls out to him. When he still doesn’t answer, she plops to the ground and cry-acts in her adorable, terrible way that she broke her leg. He smiles to himself, but keeps walking ahead, and she pouts.
Ye-sol comes up to Eun-sang in the hall and timidly asks if she’ll bring her the script she left at Myung-soo’s workshop, since she’s scared to step foot in there. She’s surprised that Eun-sang so readily agrees to help, and meekly apologizes for being so terrible before.
Eun-sang heads to the workshop to find Young-do sitting there glumly, and when he gets up to leave, she hands him a band-aid for his bruised lip. He turns it down and trudges out without a word.
Bo-na comes by soon after, looking for Ye-sol’s script, and Eun-sang smiles to see that she cares about her friend after all. And when she steps out, Young-do is outside waiting for her, and sticks out his hand to ask for the band-aid.
Eun-sang calls Chan-young to tell him about Bo-na thinking of her friend, and he admits that he had a hard time keeping himself from turning around when she was being so cute today with her fake injury. Eun-sang tells him to let it go before he loses Bo-na to someone else.
Madam Han comes into the kitchen to find Mom writing a list of things that the new housekeeper ought to do, and freaks out that Mom’s jumping the gun on leaving. I love that she takes it so personally like she’s being dumped.
But they’re interrupted when Rachel makes a surprise visit to see Madam Han, acting the part of the sweet fiancée. She says she has no intention of breaking her engagement to Tan, and calls her “mother” respectfully, which shocks Madam Han.
The thing Rachel really wants to know is why she posed as Eun-sang’s mother at the PTA meeting, and Madam Han just says the two moms are friends, which is why Tan is nice to Eun-sang at all.
Rachel seems to buy the explanation for the time being, except on her way out of the house, she sees Eun-sang’s school uniform hanging on the clothesline, with her nametag in the pocket. Argh.
Eun-sang panics when she finds her uniform gone, and marches over to Rachel first thing in the morning to demand her stuff back. Rachel says it’s in the trash, and watches spitefully as Eun-sang digs her way through the school trash to find the uniform her mother bought her.
She finally finds it, and Rachel confronts her about everything—being the housekeeper’s daughter, living under one roof with Tan, and playing the nouveau riche at school. She acts like it’s a personal affront to her that Eun-sang is poor, and orders her to clean up the trash with the skills she learned from her mother.
At that, Eun-sang slaps Rachel across the face, and when Rachel raises a hand to retaliate, she blocks her hand defiantly. I’m sorry—Fesity Eun-sang, where have you been all this time? Suddenly you can fight your own battles? Okay, I won’t dwell on it. I’m just happy you’re here.
Eun-sang growls at her that nobody insults her mother, and bites back, “Is that what your mother taught you?” Rachel fumes and tells her that she’ll do whatever it takes to make her transfer out of this school, including telling the whole world about Tan’s birth secret.
Rachel says that Young-do might not want to share the secret, but she has no such qualms, and will make them both pay if she can’t have Tan. Eun-sang realizes she’s cornered if she wants to protect Tan, and says through gritted teeth that she’ll think about transferring.
Suddenly Tan shows up, having overheard, and orders Eun-sang to walk away so he can talk to Rachel alone. Ugh, I seriously hate you when you bark orders at her.
Tan basically tells Rachel he’d have hit her already if she weren’t a girl, and that he thought he could salvage a friendship with her, but he’s fine letting that go now.
He’s mad at Eun-sang for treating him like he doesn’t matter in the equation, and she counters that he’s got it bad enough with his family. He points out that his whole life has been that way, and none of this is her fault. Eun-sang: “It isn’t yours either, Kim Tan.”
He asks if she wants to just run away together, but Eun-sang knows they can’t abandon their mothers a second time.
Tan and Young-do get punished for fighting, and this time Director Jung puts her foot down and tells Young-do to bring his father and Tan to bring his hyung. Eep.
Hyun-joo gets tasked with their counseling session where they have to write down their wrongs, and when they each insist it was the other’s fault, she tells them to fill the pages with what the other guy did wrong then.
They both sit in silence for a while, each thinking about all the things the other guy did to him. But in the end they both end up thinking about that last day that Young-do’s mother asked Tan to bring him to her. And they each think to themselves:
Tan: “I should’ve brought you there no matter what, if I knew it’d be the last chance.” Young-do: “I should’ve followed you till the end, if I knew it’d be the last chance.” Hyun-joo comes back to see blank pages, and asks if they did nothing wrong to each other, why are they fighting?
Bo-na sits in the broadcast booth chatting with Eun-sang, and asks if she’s telling Chan-young about how much she’s repenting. Hyo-shin comes by and sneakily puts her on air, and Bo-na gets broadcast all over the school, telling Eun-sang that she can’t breathe because Chan-young is her air and she feels like she’s in outer space right now. Hee.
It does the trick and gets Chan-young to come looking for her, but this time it’s Bo-na who’s running away because she’s mortified.
Hyo-shin finally runs into Hyun-joo for the first time at school, and she asks him to congratulate her on her new job. His face falls and he tells her he can’t really be that happy about his first love getting one step further. Aw.
Myung-soo asks Young-do how his first love is going, and Young-do asks if Eun-sang is really his first love. Myung-soo: “She is, if Tan isn’t.” Myung-soo asks what he’d do if he fell into the ocean with Eun-sang and there was only one life raft. Young-do chooses to die to save her, so that he’s forever in her heart and she can never be with Tan. Pfft. Myung-soo sighs that he always chooses the sad ending for himself.
Tan walks Eun-sang home and then sits in the hotel lobby waiting for Won, and Won even voluntarily sits down next to him for a brief moment. Tan muses that it’s pretty funny they’ve both left home, and asks hyung why he hates him so much.
Won doesn’t have an answer so much as, “What’s there to like?” and Tan says he’ll do better. Won shuts that idea down, thinking it’s more uncomfortable when he tries too hard.
At school, Bo-na runs around handing out invitations to her Back Together With Chan-young Party. Hahaha. You would have a party for that.
Young-do tells her that boys hate that stuff and it’s like advertising to the world that you’re a moron. Says the guy without a girlfriend. Just sayin’. She makes sure to invite Ye-sol, and they have a cute fight over who’s sorrier.
Hyo-shin gets dropped off for his college entrance exams, and why do I get the feeling he’s not even going to walk through those doors?
Tan spends the afternoon hanging out in his brother’s hotel room, and catches a glimpse of a list of employees. He calls Manager Yoon, perhaps to start discussing this stock war, but Manager Yoon is busier with the sudden announcement that Won has fired all the people on that list.
Chairman Dad gets the word and boils over with anger, while Won calmly asks Manager Yoon to make his choice: join his side or be the next person on that list.
Tan goes out to meet Eun-sang, which turns out to be a trap by Madam Han. It’s cute the way she grumbles that she needs hostages to get face time with her own son. She tells them about Rachel and warns them ineffectually to break up, and Tan hilariously informs her that she needs an envelope of money for a conversation like that.
He sweet-talks his mother like he always does, gets a winter coat out of the deal, and takes Eun-sang out for a date all without budging an inch.
They go for a walk and he whines that he wants to hold her hand, so when she offers it, he throws his arm around her instead. When she cuts the date short to go to work, he back-hugs her to hold her back, and then hugs her again, wrapping her in his coat for extra-warm snuggles.
She finds money tucked in his coat, and he jumps for joy and lets her go instantly, which she pouts at. I do like that the tables are flipped and he’s the money-obsessed one now.
He gets called to a meeting with Manager Yoon, who confirms that the battle has begun. And once Won is done fighting Chairman Dad, Tan will be next. Manager Yoon reminds him that this isn’t a war he can avoid—he was born into this responsibility, and there are sacrifices he’ll have to make.
Rachel tries to squeeze Bo-na for information about where Eun-sang works, and when that doesn’t pan out, she texts Young-do with the threat that she’s standing outside Eun-sang’s workplace right now.
He takes the bait and goes dashing off to rescue her, only what he actually does is lead Rachel right to Eun-sang’s café. He sticks around and gives her the warning that Rachel found out, and tells her to call him if anything happens.
She reminds him using his words that she’s got plenty of black knights on her side, and he notes that that’s likely the moment that he started to like her, when he said that the first time.
When she gets to work she’s told she has a catering order tonight, and on a hunch she calls Chan-young to ask where his party is tonight. She confirms that it’s the same address and guesses what Rachel is up to.
She lets Tan know that she’s headed to the party, and then shows up to fulfill the catering order anyway, dressed in her apron and ready to confront all her classmates. Rachel smiles while all the other kids wonder what she’s doing here, and then when she’s about to say it, Tan storms in to stop her.
She insists she has to stay here until all the coffee is dispensed, so he overturns the table and says she’s done. Good grief. Was that really necessary?
He brings her downstairs and asks why she’s doing this when she knew exactly what she was getting into. Eun-sang says she came here ready to tell everyone the truth, because what she was really ashamed of wasn’t that she was poor—it was that she lived the lie that she was rich.
He asks why they can’t just take the easy road, and she argues that going straight ahead knowing she’ll get hurt is something she learned from him. She sticks to her plan and goes back to get more drinks so she can do it all over again.
By the time she gets back, Tan has come around, and he tells her that if she gets scared she can quit and run into his arms.
So she braces herself to face the crowd, including Young-do who arrives behind her. She tells the whole group that she works part-time jobs for the money because she’s not rich.
This time Tan even stops Chan-young from running to the rescue, and they sit back as the kids all scoff. They ask Tan if he knew, and he pretends to be fooled just like everyone else. It seems like a weird choice, until he walks up to her and reacts like he doesn’t care in the least, which is a pretty good way to play it.
And then the lights dim and they get a spotlight above them, which is so unnatural I stopped and laughed for a good minute. He tells Charity Case Eun-sang that it’s nice to meet her, and introduces himself as Bastard Child Kim Tan. Rachel reels, and Young-do leaves.
Tan tells her it’s time to join the party now, and puts his arms around her to untie her apron. He undoes her hair and ties a corsage to her wrist, and everyone just stands around still watching them, because that’s not awkward or anything.
And then he kisses her on the forehead sweetly.
It’s strange that Rachel and Young-do’s lives both revolve entirely around Tan—whether they get to have him or not, whether they come first in his life or not—and they basically spend all their energy fighting for the right to be relevant to Tan. It’s sad, really, that they value themselves so little… you know, except for the part where they’re both so mean and terrible that I feel no actual pity. But I guess it is fascinating in a dysfunctional way—they’re both clinging so desperately that they’d rather be Tan’s enemy than become irrelevant to him, and Young-do feels more hurt that Tan might grow up without him and decide their fight isn’t worth fighting anymore. And Rachel would rather be hated than inconsequential to Tan’s love life, even if she’s hurting Tan and herself just to keep one foot in his life. I’d pitch in for some group therapy, but I’m pretty sure you two could afford it.
At least Eun-sang coming clean about everything takes the power out of Rachel’s hands. And her hands are really not ones that should hold any power, over anything. Ever. I was scared that Eun-sang was going to be a noble idiot and transfer schools to keep Tan’s secret, because she’s exactly the kind of person who would do that, and I’m fairly certain she would’ve considered it seriously if he hadn’t overheard Rachel’s threats. I’m not always behind Eun-sang’s logic with everything, but I like that she decided to hell with ridicule and scorn from her peers—she’d rather take her life into her own hands than have the bitch on a power trip lord it over her. Now that, I can get behind.
What’s even better is that she doesn’t need Tan to rescue her or do anything at all except back off, and for the first time ever, she puts her foot down, and he listens and offers support in a—gasp—supportive way. Go figure. If you just let her stand up for herself, she’s all the stronger for it. It took way too long, but I’m glad she finally came around and realized that she’s only as scared and powerless as she decides to be.
The only thing I dislike about it is the fact that we had to live with Scaredy Eun-sang for the first, oh, two-thirds of the show, when Awesome Eun-sang was an option. I suppose I ought to thank Rachel for bringing it out of her, since she only seems capable of being feisty around her. Not that I trust this show to be consistent with keeping Feisty Eun-sang around. Let’s not go crazy with the expectations. Now that feelings, socioeconomic statuses, and birth secrets are all out in the open, let’s try moving forward, shall we? I’ll take baby steps over backpedaling any day of the week. Or yunno, just more of them: