Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8
This week is full of scheming, positioning, manipulation, and betrayal. All the while, tension is building under the Soonyang surface, just waiting to erupt in everyone’s faces.
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP
Do-joon reveals himself as the true owner of Miracle Investments, sending Chairman Jin into a screaming fit of rage. Do-joon doesn’t bat an eye before dropping the next bombshell: he plans to buy Soonyang Group with his own money.
Chairman Jin dangles the charges against Se-hyun (bribing the new mayor for the Sangam-dong project rights) over Do-joon’s head, but that’s doesn’t faze him, either. After all, he’s Chairman Jin’s grandson, so any investigation into said “bribe” will point straight back to Chairman Jin himself.
Chairman Jin knows he’s been beat, even more so when Chang-je leads an investigation into illegal land speculation within Soonyang. The guilty party is Sung-joon, but Young-ki takes the fall, knowing Sung-joon has more to lose from incurring Chairman Jin’s wrath. However, although Chairman Jin doesn’t let on until later, he isn’t fooled.
In fact, there’s a lot Chairman Jin isn’t sharing, and Lee Sung-min does a masterful job of showing us this powerful man’s more vulnerable side. Because both Do-joon and the chairman of Daeyoung Group have poked at Chairman Jin’s deepest insecurity: his lack of a worthy successor.
Deep down, he knows that handing the company down by birth order isn’t ideal for the future of Soonyang. But he also knows that breaking tradition by choosing a different successor will plunge the family into immediate civil war. Or, as he puts it: he knows he’s bound for hellfire in the afterlife, but he’s loath to force his children into hell on earth.
But that hellfire is coming a lot sooner than he’d hoped, because he has a fatal, inoperable malformation in his brain. Chairman Jin does what he can to keep his condition secret, even as the knowledge is eating him alive from the inside — and, along with it, the growing realization that only one grandson really lives up to his prowess, and it’s not Sung-joon.
Another interesting tidbit we learn this week is that Yoon-ki, Do-joon’s father, is Chairman Jin’s illegitimate son, and the family only took him in to save face. I’m guessing that also factored into his and Hae-in’s ostracization, though everyone insists otherwise.
Sung-joon, for his own part, marks Do-joon as his rival no matter how many times Do-joon says he doesn’t want to inherit Soonyang. Under Chairman Jin’s guidance, Sung-joon intimidates the broadcasters Do-joon is gathering to fill Sangam-dong’s Digital Media City so they back out. Then he persuades Chang-je to give him the project if Do-joon can’t replace the broadcasters in time.
That’s when Do-joon receives an offer from a surprising (to him) source: Hyun-min has pulled some strings and promises not just a valuable broadcasting station, but also her family’s newspaper headquarters. Of course, in return, she wants Do-joon as her husband and pawn.
Despite the tantalizing offer and the crackling chemistry between them, Do-joon turns her down flat. Moreover, he leaves the encounter wanting nothing more than to see Min-young again. Unfortunately, she’s quit her barista job to focus on her studies, and they narrowly miss meeting in the street.
Hyun-min wastes no time falling back on Plan B: Sung-joon, who’s more than happy to propose that very night. Perhaps she hopes to change Do-joon’s mind through jealousy, or perhaps she just doesn’t want to lose the chance of marrying into the Soonyang family — either way, there’s zero affection for Sung-joon involved in the decision.
Not that he has any for her, either. The two are all smiles at their wedding, but just before the ceremony Sung-joon gets her alone in the dressing room to reveal that he knows she actually likes Do-joon. He’s absolutely terrifying, gloating over the fact she can’t call off the wedding now without destroying her reputation and then plastering his smile back on and leaving her in angry tears.
At the family reception afterward, Chairman Jin stands up to announce his gift to the couple, which everyone expects to be shares in Soonyang. But Do-joon has gotten under Chairman Jin’s skin, and all he gives Sung-joon is a single warehouse. What’s more, whichever of his offspring can prove themselves most capable will inherit all of Soonyang. Goodbye birth order, hello familial chaos.
Sung-joon marches straight for Do-joon and hauls him out of his seat with murder in his eyes. Before he can follow through, Hyun-min pretends to faint. The distraction works, but leads to another angry confrontation between her and Sung-joon later.
When she slaps him, he vows to repay in worse kind next time, and I’m reminded of how quickly he turned his golf club on those fish tanks in Episode 1. If hell on earth is coming to the Soonyang family, it’s already arrived in this marriage.
Chairman Jin’s three eldest children are each given new responsibilities through which to try and prove themselves. Hwa-young decides to use hers to humiliate Do-joon’s mother Hae-in, so Do-joon does what he does best: uses his future knowledge to manipulate her into causing her own demise.
Since Hwa-young needs money, Do-joon (through Se-hyun) convinces her to invest in stocks that he knows will soar astronomically before crashing. But he also advises her to sell off long before the stock hits its peak. Hwa-young goes absolutely feral as she watches the stocks continue multiplying after she’s already sold hers off. FOMO wins over better judgment, and she scrapes every last cent from her business funds to invest again.
To reiterate what I said earlier — and echo what many of you have commented — Lee Sung-min is breathing so much life and humanity into the larger-than-life villain that is Sooyang’s Chairman Jin. Seeing him wrestle with what he knew was best for his business versus what he wanted for his family caught me off guard, and I felt every bit of his rising hopelessness.
But while Do-joon could have tried to win Chairman Jin’s favor and inherit Soonyang, I’m not so sure anymore that it would have worked. Overturning the birth-order succession was an act of desperation on Chairman Jin’s part, and what finally drove him to it was the combination of his time on earth running out, repeated defeats at Do-joon’s hand, and the realization that his only truly “worthy” successor has betrayed him.
So no matter how much Chairman Jin liked and respected Do-joon (pre-betrayal), I get the idea that nothing short of hitting that breaking point would have convinced him to throw the family to the wolves of their own making, so to speak. Whether Do-joon did it intentionally or not, this might just be the greatest, most personally devastating revenge he could have hoped to enact on Chairman Jin — and he’s nowhere near done.
Another thing I enjoyed this week was seeing Do-joon interact more with his new-timeline family. Their loving support contrasts directly with the rest of the family, and for the first time I got the sense that Do-joon considers them almost as much his real parents as his first ones were. It’ll be interesting to see if his revenge ends up hurting them, too, and what he’ll choose to do then.
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