The Golden Spoon: Episodes 3-4
Our newly rich protagonist quickly adjusts to his new lifestyle, though he encounters a few hiccups along the way. More people may be onto him than he expects, including someone who’s all too familiar with how the golden spoon works.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
We resume in the middle of the rifle confrontation, and Seung-cheon actually shoots — but it’s a blank. Jang-gun ends up in the hospital not for a gunshot wound, but because he broke his arm when he cowered away so hard he fell to the floor. Neither he nor his father can do anything against Seung-cheon, who exposes Jang-gun’s bullying and his father’s illegal possession of firearms.
After the whole ordeal, Tae-yong’s still trembling from the residual fear, and Seung-cheon offers him a ride home. Wary, Tae-yong asks why Seung-cheon helped him, to which Seung-cheon answers that he felt sorry Tae-yong got hit in his place. Of course, Tae-yong doesn’t understand what he means, and Seung-cheon waves it off by saying that he’s repaid his debt.
Seung-cheon’s certainly trying, but it isn’t easy working from the shadows. Having had his generosity rejected before, he can’t do anything to outright help his family as “Tae-yong” — not even when he witnesses his father debasing himself to wipe the landlord’s shoe with his sleeve.
Faced with the poverty he managed to escape from, Seung-cheon sneers that he made the right choice to switch parents, but it sounds more like he’s trying to convince himself and his conscience.
Seung-cheon’s birthday rolls around, and with it comes lavish gifts and a resplendent garden party for the young master. Interestingly, Seung-cheon shares the same birthday as Tae-yong — this can’t just be a coincidence…
Instead of her fiancé’s party, Joo-hee heads to “Seung-cheon’s” house instead. She surprises Tae-yong with a birthday gift, and he cutely asks for help with his homework, hee.
Then a cockroach suddenly scurries out from under the bookshelf, and Joo-hee yelps for Tae-yong to kill it — except Tae-yong’s even more scared than she is, HAHAHA. They both shove the other in front to deal with the cockroach, which ends with them losing their balance and falling to the floor together.
Tae-yong stares dazedly down at Joo-hee, she blinks dazedly back up at him, and all the while I’m yelling at my screen because they’re on the very same floor as the cockroach. Which eventually gets squashed under a book that Joo-hee throws at it, but y’know, that certainly took a while.
Back at Seung-cheon’s party, he’s busy trying not to blow his cover. He barely scrapes by thanks to the handy list of attendees on his phone, but a new crisis strikes when Stepmom reminds him that it’s time to perform the piano piece he always plays every year.
Then Tae-yong suddenly swoops in to save the day, heading straight for the piano as if that’s his rightful place and playing the piece without a hitch. Afterwards, he tells Seung-cheon that this is his birthday present, as repayment for the incident with Jang-gun.
Tae-yong’s piano recital leaves several people baffled; Stepmom can’t wrap her head around why “Seung-cheon” plays exactly like “Tae-yong,” and Yeo-jin seems to notice something amiss. Meanwhile, Seung-cheon realizes that post-swap, their habits and talents still remain their own.
Joo-hee doesn’t have a birthday gift for Seung-cheon (since this party was thrown on her father’s dime, LOL), but she does have something to give him. Earlier, she passed by the peddler grandma, who gave her a letter to pass to “Tae-yong.”
Seung-cheon reads it, and it sends him searching for Tae-yong in a panic. Turns out the grandma forgot to tell him one very important rule — if either person meets their birth parents on their birthday, they’ll return to their original places. In his rush to find Tae-yong, Seung-cheon doesn’t notice that the envelope has fallen out of his pocket and onto the ground.
In an extremely close shave, Tae-yong and CEO Hwang cross paths, but their gazes don’t meet. Luckily for him, Seung-cheon manages to block CEO Hwang from entering the same lift as Tae-yong, by enveloping him in a very sudden and very awkward hug. LOL, CEO Hwang’s expression is priceless.
While waiting for Seung-cheon, Moon-ki has a chance encounter with Seung-cheon’s noona SEUNG-AH (Seung-yoo). She’s in the midst of an argument with the landlord and his minions for taking a peek through the window while she was showering, and she’s about two seconds away from beating them all up. LOL, Moon-ki tries to stop her, but he ends up getting a punch to the face instead. He seems taken by Seung-ah’s fighting skills, which is cute.
Seung-cheon catches wind of this, and he deals with the situation by getting Moon-ki to beat up the landlord and his gang, all while he munches on his chips and enjoys the show. (Honestly, same — Moon-ki can really fight!) That successfully intimidates the landlord into apologizing to Seung-cheon’s family and promising to never harass them for rent again, complete with a fruit basket and a finger heart.
After her part time job, Joo-hee finds herself stalked by a strange man on her way home. Seung-cheon notices and saves her in the nick of time, and Joo-hee confesses that the man was the father of her dead middle school friend Na-ra, who had to transfer schools after she got caught stealing Joo-hee’s watch.
Since the watch was a keepsake from her late mother, Joo-hee couldn’t bring herself to forgive Na-ra and stop her forced transfer. Then Na-ra suddenly died of acute leukemia, and her father blamed Joo-hee for his daughter’s death.
Gently patting her head, Seung-cheon reassures Joo-hee that it wasn’t her fault, then muses that he understands her a little more now. He thinks she likes “Seung-cheon” out of sympathy, like she felt towards Na-ra, but she disagrees — she likes Seung-cheon just because he’s him.
The next morning, Seung-cheon finds the missing envelope slotted neatly in his textbook. Then he gets a text message: “I think I know. You… aren’t Hwang Tae-yong, right?”
Seung-cheon’s shocked reaction is a dead giveaway, but no one in class is particularly suspicious, though the show attempts to fake us out with a charged moment between him and Tae-yong.
Eventually, Jang-gun admits to pulling a prank and sending the same message to everyone with his mom’s phone. Except that isn’t all there is to it, and we see that Yeo-jin was instructing him all along; the mass messaging was simply to divert attention. She’s definitely on to Seung-cheon, though it seems she wants to toy with him first, especially since she was also the informant that filmed the video of our spoon boys dangling off the bridge.
However, the reverse is true as well. Joo-hee’s backstory sparked suspicion in Seung-cheon, and he quickly realizes that Yeo-jin might originally have been Na-ra. It would explain her hatred of Na-ra’s abusive father, and Na-ra’s sudden illness.
Yeo-jin manages to deflect Seung-cheon’s suspicion, but we see that he’s right — Yeo-jin is the one who found his letter. She tucks it away in her safe, alongside her own golden spoon.
Sick of her father’s violent ways, a young Na-ra had used the spoon to swap places with Yeo-jin in an act of desperation. Chillingly, present-day Yeo-jin doesn’t seem the least bit remorseful about her actions.
Bit by bit, the secret of the golden spoon is beginning to surface; an offhand mention from Jang-gun has Tae-yong realizing that he (or rather, “Seung-cheon”) used to own a golden spoon. Since it’s no longer with him, he heads to “Tae-yong’s” house to find it.
Not only does he raise Stepmom’s suspicions due to his similarities to “Tae-yong,” but he also discovers the golden spoon in his secret drawer, alongside several sketches of Joo-hee. LOL, he gets annoyed at Seung-cheon for drawing Joo-hee, when he actually drew them himself pre-swap.
Seung-cheon arrives home just in time to snatch the golden spoon out of Tae-yong’s hand, angrily insisting that it belongs to him. His overreaction crosses the line, and Tae-yong leaves.
On his way out, Tae-yong crosses paths with CEO Hwang, and just his mere presence is enough to instill fear into the poor boy. CEO Hwang repeats his usual routine of squeezing Tae-yong’s shoulder hard — ugh, he knows, doesn’t he? The familiar action triggers an instinctive panic reaction that has Tae-yong hyperventilating and running away. His mind may not remember, but his body does.
It escalates into a full-blown panic attack that has him calling Dad for help, and Tae-yong can barely breathe by the time Dad finds him collapsed on a bridge. Dad cradles Tae-yong tenderly in his arms, helping him through his panic attack until he calms down.
Interestingly, Dad mentions that he used to struggle with panic attacks too, adding another shared trait apart from their artistic talents. Given that CEO Hwang once asked how many meals Seung-cheon ate at their house, I wouldn’t be surprised if he also used a golden spoon to swap lives with Dad. CEO Hwang and Seung-cheon do seem more alike, as do Dad and Tae-yong.
Tae-yong finds out about Seung-cheon buying a house for his family, and he mistakenly jumps to the conclusion that it’s a bribe in exchange for him giving up on Joo-hee. He confronts Seung-cheon about it, who’s so exasperated that instead of clarifying the situation, he takes a low blow at Tae-yong’s poverty.
Seung-cheon asserts that they live in a world where people would even abandon their parents for money, but Tae-yong scoffs at that. Changing his parents in order to become rich? Not in a million years. Declaring that he loves his parents more than anything in the world, Tae-yong claims that he’d rather stay poor.
Hard-pressed for money and determined to support his family, Dad ends up taking a construction job. However, it turns out to be part of a forced demolition project — it’s less construction, more fighting against desperate protesters.
Unsurprisingly, the riots land Dad in the hospital with severe injuries. Seung-cheon’s present when Tae-yong gets a call from the hospital, which means Seung-cheon races there before anyone else. Upon seeing his dad lying on a hospital cot, panic and despair get the better of Seung-cheon, and he cries out for his dad — only for the curtain to draw back and reveal CEO Hwang on the other side.
Ooh, is the cat out of the bag? Though it seems like CEO Hwang already knows, given his choice to strike “Tae-yong” from his will, and his deliberate statement that he doesn’t place much importance on blood ties. It may have been a test of Seung-cheon’s worth, since he started to change his mind after Seung-cheon demonstrated his business acuity. CEO Hwang may have caught on to the switch, and if he has, he’s certainly not too torn up about it.
CEO Hwang isn’t the only person Seung-cheon has to worry about, though. People are starting to grow suspicious, because no matter how much research Seung-cheon does, there are some things that just aren’t on the record. Discrepancies like asking for blanks to scare Jang-gun despite Tae-yong’s gun trauma, or drinking caffeine when Tae-yong doesn’t — there’s only so much he can explain away before it becomes too dubious to believe.
I’m not sure how I feel about the love triangle — sure, the individual pairings are cute, but I’m not really a fan of love triangle dynamics in general. Plus, it feels like they’re all communicating on different levels.
The way Seung-cheon and Tae-yong clash over Joo-hee feels more like a battle of egos, especially with the way they talk about her like winning her over is akin to asserting dominance. I guess it’s not surprising given that they’re immature high school kids, but I also can’t wait for Joo-hee to speak her mind and put the boys in their place.
Seung-cheon’s emotions seem to come from a place of wistful jealousy and indignation — such as his frustration with Dad for only finding work after the swap, Tae-yong being the newfound recipient of Joo-hee’s feelings, or his family spending happy moments together with a son that’s not him. All of the things that Tae-yong is enjoying now feel like they ought to be his. Except this situation is of Seung-cheon’s own making, since he voluntarily swapped himself out of that position.
Even in his newfound affluence, Seung-cheon clearly still struggles with low self-worth. He’s constantly self-deprecating, like when he tells Joo-hee that there isn’t all that much to “Seung-cheon.” He’s just being frank about what he thinks of himself, but he doesn’t realize that by looking down on himself and belittling “Seung-cheon,” it’s only further alienating Joo-hee from himself now that he’s “Tae-yong.”
Admittedly, I’m still confused by Tae-yong — how much does he remember? Most times it seems like his unconscious habits and muscle memory kicking in, but it makes his personality inconsistent in an intriguing way. One moment he’s all sweet smiles and innocent naivete with his family, and another moment he’s all suave arrogance once he’s back in his familiar wealthy environment.
I don’t doubt that Tae-yong would want to stay with the parents who genuinely love him; that scene where he told Mom he didn’t need a birthday present, since he was simply grateful to have her, was so heartwarming. I personally think that Tae-yong’s bright personality is his real one, and that his haughtiness stems from a mix of privilege and defense mechanisms, but then again I could be wrong.
It’s refreshing how the drama moves along at a snappy pace, since I expected the Yeo-jin and Na-ra mystery to drag on for much longer than it did. Though there’s more trouble on the horizon for Seung-cheon, unfortunately; Stepmom’s younger brother SEO JOON-TAE (Jang Ryul) is back from the States.
Although he acts like a doting uncle in front of everyone, he aggressively chokes and threatens Seung-cheon once they get a private moment. Yikes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the cause of Tae-yong’s gun trauma, and while I’m not exactly excited to find out (I am so going to cry), I’m definitely looking forward to more reveals next week.
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