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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

Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8 Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8

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.

Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8

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.

Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8

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.

Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8 Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8

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.

Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8 Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8

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.

Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8

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.

Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8 Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8

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.

Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8

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.

Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8

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.

Reborn Rich: Episodes 7-8

 
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I love this drama seriously and Harabagi is KILLING IT.. Like seriously the actor playing the grandpa has me watching the drama as much for him as SJK!!

I am still partially convinced that SJK is the true villain of this story because he is causing the chaos that will lead to his eventual demise. But, we shall see on that.

Honestly, the AUNT messed up BIG TIME when she screwed with JDJ 2nd mom.. I was like OMG he is going to DESTROY her for that stunt.. Its sad the grandpa cannot see how great his 4th son is, isnt it? I mean his 4th son ( JDJ dad) was the ONLY one to actually make it on his on without Dad's help. He is also the most normal of his children.
I am GLAD SOMEONE pointed out that JDJ is just like grandpa.. I was like Grandpa needs to look in the mirror because JDJ is literally a younger reflection of him.. JDJ is also the only one who loves SoonYoung as much as grandpa does. Ironically, I wonder if its going to be the grandma who puts the hit out of JDJ.. Its doubtful but I wouldnt rule her out.. its always the nice ones.

As for our female lead, OMG, the writing team is doing her so dirty... I mean she has ZERO storyline.. what is with that.. its totally unfair.. because I actually like her and think she would be good for JDJ.. Now my question is do you think JDJ is really smarter than everyone else? I mean he does have an unfair advantage of knowing the future and I must admit, Eldest grandson is not dumb.. he is actually very smart just not as good as JDJ.. as for his fiance, she is so annoying.. everyone likes her so much but she is greedy, ambitious, vain, controlling, and think she is smarter than everyone else.. basically a Korean Cersei Lannister... honestly, i cant wait to we get to the modern times because that is when I feel like the game will begin again.. so many theories bouncing around my head.. but one hope is that the real JDJ doesnt die and I really hope he embraces his 2nd family because they really love him and he has been with them for like 15-20 years so far... Cant wait till next week..

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I have always thought it was Grandma who put the hit on JDJ or Yoon Hyun-woo. Or both.

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I totally agree about how even if Do Jun had tried to win Chairman Jin's favor, it wouldn't have worked. The chairman was resolute that nothing except the birth order matter regarding inheriting the business.

Oh, I truly hate how people who are mistreated just try to be optimistic and go back for more mistreatment. When Hae In said she felt like she was finally starting to feel like maybe she was being included/accepted into the family, it just hurt my heart. And I don't even understand why she's being so looked down on; she was a successful actress. She made her own money and she had acclaim which is more than any of the 3 Soonyang heirs have done. Everything they're fighting over and feel entitled to are due to Chairman Jin.

The same way Chairman Jin was all "I have no 4th son", I wish Do Jun and his family would just cut ties with all the Soonyang folks including the mom. Ugh fake kindness, love, and compassion just feels a special kind of gross and painful to me. At least all the other women are upfront with their meanness.

I liked how Do Jun's family relate to each other. It's such a breath of fresh air after the toxicity of the Soonyang folks. To see people who actually care about each other's well being and support Do Jun unconditionally, it's enough to make me teary eyed haha

I thought Hyun Min was interested in Do Jun because she was attracted to his business savvy and intellect but she just wanted him as her big name puppet? Why? And then she marries a guy she isn't able to completely control. I don't understand anything haha

All I know is they're both as uninterested in each other at the start of their relationship as they are when Hyeon Woo is killed. Maybe there's even more bitterness and resentment but yeah, I don't know they could possibly be a "team" of any kind since it seems the only way to do that is for one of them to bend and neither is willing.

I did like the transition of her reaching for the thrown tiara only to end up holding hands with Seong Jun. I thought was nice.

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I think everything that Hyun-min had seen of Seung-jun so far led her to believe that he would be a great puppet. He was bad at lying, trying to impress her, didn't seem to have great schemes, so she probably thought he would work better on the puppet front. And I think she was attracted to Do-jun for those reasons you mentioned, and probably telling herself it would be an interesting partnership, but Do-jun doesn't want anyone messing with his plans in any way, so I'm sure any interference would be overstepping for him.

Agree about Do-jun's family! When he had that realization this week that these people are his family, it was one of my favorite moments. I know he's still felt very connected to his other family this whole time, but it seemed like he finally realized that that doesn't make this family a fake one, and that they really care about him and he about them.

I think Hae-in was looked down on because they didn't perceive her as being advantageous to Soonyang. Apart from her public image (which you could make an argument is quite valuable honestly) she wasn't bringing much in the way of connections. But I think it's just as likely that the Jin family was waiting for an excuse to ostracize Yoon-ki and this was a convenient reason. I felt so bad for her too.

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Agreed, this was definitely an excuse to ostracize Yoon ki

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Yep, I agreed that it's all easy excuse for the Jin family to ostracize Yoon-ki's family. I believe that a part of that was Chairman Jin not wanting to see the proof of his biggest mistake (and shame, probably) in life, especially after that pointed conversation with Grandma. A more optimistic part of me wanted to believe that it was partly a protection for his maknae son, since he could predict how vicious his other children could be if he received Yoon-ki with open arms (he was the one raising them, after all).

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Actresses have been looked down upon for as long as they existed. Less than a century ago, being an actress was almost synonym to working as a prostitute in Europe.

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I'm so enjoying this show.
DJ isn't getting everything his own way, I liked when his grandfather pulled the TV broadcasters away from the Digital City project and forced him to think on his feet. I also liked that it was his brother (again) who gave him the idea of the shopping channels. That guy is an undiscovered genius 😄.
My favourite scene has to be that of the after wedding dinner. It was fantastic. Grandfather throws a grenade into the middle of the family when they all thought it would be a coronation. I'm not sure who my favourite character is, grandfather or DJ.
Regarding HWs demise, I'm looking forward to that after what she did to DJs mum. And given he told her to sell the stocks, it leaves him squeaky clean.
It's starting to look to me that this is not DJs first reincarnation. I think he may have started out as DJ, was reincarnated into HW and then back to DJ when it didn't work. I think this was mentioned by another beanie last week, but I'll be more surprised if it isn't the case rather than if it is.

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Yeah, I think HW is really JDJ for some reason.. we shall see soon enough

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I felt the Aunt's mistreatment of Hae-in was sort of shoe-horned in. She's not done anything particularly evil so far after all. The show needed Do-jun to start taking over the businesses within Soonyang but also wanted to make it seem driven by righteous anger. Even if the Aunt had not mistreated Hae-in, Do-jun would still try taking over the business. She's the easiest target after all.

The FL still hasn't had much to do but it looks like that will change next week. I remember some early reports of the show had called Shin Hyun-bin's character Do-jun's fiancée so it'd be fun to see if Do-jun manages to change the Jin family's history that far.

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I don't see Hwa-young's mistreatment of Hae-in to be out of character. Maybe we haven't seen her do anything that petty or malicious on that scale, but everything about her screams pettiness. From the way she makes her husband carry her bag and piggyback her around when she's upset to the way she screams at the woman doing her nails when she gets slightly poked, she's definitely been showing us this part of her. And we've seen her be cutthroat when she teamed up with one of her brothers against the other, so for me that move seemed in keeping with her character.

I'm excited to see more FL too! I've liked her so far, but she's been off getting her qualifications, so now it seems like she's ready to join the action. I wonder if her wearing all black and doing everything to take down Soonyang in the first episode has something to do with the "accident" that Hae-in mentioned that involved her son. If Do-jun dies or disappears mysteriously after they are engaged, I can see her blaming his family (probably correctly) for that.

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Well, Hwa-young is not a nice person and her mistreatment of Hae-in was supposed to be a lesson to Do-joon to stay in his place.

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I love this week episode. The execution is so intense

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Chills. That knowing smile at the end had me calling back to Vincenzo, and not in a bad way. I know that some folks want more meat for SJK, but I’ll be honest, I would watch a whole show that was just him larking around outsmarting everyone and smirking while he did it.

The red wedding in Game of Thrones had nothing on that one. Eesh, what a way to show your displeasure with your grandson. I almost felt bad for Hyun-min. Almost. I think it’s been clear he loves Soonyang the best, of all his children, but it was still pretty jarring to hear him say it like that. I knew that Kim Nam-hee could be terrifying (see Mr. Sunshine), but we hadn’t really seen it in this show until this week. I don’t think he’s as calculating as his wife, but the way his face changes in an instant (and the way he practiced putting his smile back on as he left her dressing room) was something else.

Ep. 8 was the one where I finally realized what I was watching: The Count of Monte Cristo. Edmond Dantes doesn’t actually kill or ruin anyone in the main part of that story, he just goes around having conversations that he knows will be overheard, poking at peoples’ pride, loaning them dangerous books, and they slowly tear themselves apart through their own greed and ambition and pettiness. That’s exactly what’s happening here. He’s been on a clear offensive path, but as soon as the announcement about the succession happened, he just had to step back, whisper a few things in peoples’ ears (sometimes by proxy) and allow his family to be their worst selves.

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I really SJK performances in this 2 episode though. That calming respond to anyone who tried to made him on his knee but didn't... calm but has those fire inside of him got me.

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I appreciated the way the writer presented Jin Do-jun’s cleverness to us. It was unquestionably believable for me, to the point that if we had 5 different characters with similar set of advantages that Do-jun had (deep understanding about Soonyang inner people, knowledge of the world and Korean’s future up to 2022, tons of money and power to use as a chaebol’s youngest grandson), I’m pretty sure not everyone could combine those disparate things into a powerful tool for his own goal.

I love how unpredictable Do-jun was, how he always tried to approach the unexpected problems that came his way with out-of-the-box solutions. How he could take inspiration from literally everyone in his life. How he always used his future cheat sheet in different configurations or against different people. It kept things interesting instead of boringly repetitive as he hopped from one scheme to another.

Speaking of interesting, that announcement from Chairman Jin was a heck of a surprise. I didn’t see it coming. Given how stubborn he was (and the typical way he dealt with his various guilt), I never even imagined that he would change his own primogeniture rule. Not under any influence, not even because of his fatal illness. But apparently, Do-jun’s meddling was just life-changing enough for the Chairman to reawaken him of the reality and rethink his own decision.

Now the war is on!!
I dig the new skirmishes that would surely sprout after this hell of an announcement, because we will finally see everyone’s true face. This is going to be bloody, dangerous, and very very satisfying. What really sold this conflict to me, though, was how Chairman Jin was ultimately the one who created this Jin Do-jun monster that now wrecked havoc in everybody’s lives. Nothing is scarier than someone with nothing to lose, and we all know that Do-jun was the embodiment of that sentiment. With his family all settled down, he has a lot of room to plan elaborate, untraceable revenge schemes. And I freaking love the fact that everyone else outside of Chairman Jin was so ready to cast Do-jun under the simplified “too young to be threatening” tag. They were so stupidly arrogant and I’m here, having too much fun anticipating the disaster that would befall them in a few eps.

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Great analysis! This is one hell but delicious revenge drama. Ep 8 is the watershed and that wedding/coronation dinner is the scene of the year - the undercurrent, the scheming of each Jin sibling (except DJ’s father), the new bride, and DJ as both an audience and the master to piece this act together. So much to watch and yet still delineating - superb directing here!

Can’t wait for the new episodes. Kim Shin-rock’s aunt shines brightly in these two episodes - that sheer arrogance and sense of entitlement is a far cry from her role in Hellbound as a victim of domestic violence. What a great actress! I just love the super strong ensemble cast in this drama.

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I really enjoyed Episode 8. Maybe I’ve been watching too many cooking shows lately because the word that comes to mind is delicious. A delicious pot of revenge.
Lee Sung-min continues to shine, the man has few equals, but I think my favorite part this week was how Do-joon capitalized on Hwa-young’s greed and played her like a fiddle. Well played, Do-joon, well played.
🎻👏🏼👏🏼

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I am even more sure now that this is a how we got here. He crossed too many people. His father is actually the one I am most curious about. His mother is clearly looking for her child, but the father, randomly being illegitimate, also seems to know what happened to Do Jun. Also primogeniture is stupid, especially when you run a business, but I understand that is what Haraboji is used to. Pick the best man or woman for the job, not your child just because s/he is your child. As for Hwa young, she is insecure and greedy, which is a terrible combination. Instead of forging the way with her husband and becoming a huge political power. She is stuck trying to get her terrible father's attention. She deserves, as do all the siblings, and the father whatever terrible thing is coming for them in the way of Do Jun.

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Honestly, I dont think its the dad at all.. that is why I also think HW is JDJ somehow.. remember the 1st episode when HW was with the family standing there and the dad touched his shoulder and smiled at him and was happy to see him and HW looked surprised. IDK what will happen but I think JDJ will survive his " accident" but his mind will be messed up OR he is playing the long game and is pretending he doesnt remember. I mean he worked at all levels of SoonYoung didnt he from distribution to every other part which will be invaluable in the future. Also, the way he engaged with HW family was weird too. IDK, I guess the test of this theory will be when the Eldest grandson goes to the distribution center... if he sees HW and the resemblance then I need re-work my theory..lol but if he doesnt see HW, I will feel its a safe bet that JDJ is somehow HW in the future... because If HW is a real person that looks like JDJ, I do have a THIRD theory that the person who kills HW in the future is JDJ .. I hope we will not end up with a SISYPHUS type storyline

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Oh I don't think it is the dad either. I am just curious about why he is so casual about his missing son. Sorry, that wasn't clear in my comment. It is just general curiosity about hanging out with people who may have harmed his son.

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I like everything about this drama except the forced love story, but I'm hoping that will payoff in the second half and Shin Hyun-bin will get something of substance to do.

The wedding dinner was great.

I had Sung-joon pegged as not entirely sane but kind of a lightweight after the first episode, but he's smarter and scarier than I thought.

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Kim Nam-hee is good in all the varied roles I’ve seen him. It’s obvious from Ep 1 that he is bordering psychotic. With what we’ve seen now, it makes total sense he’s turning into the mentally unstable guy that we saw at the beginning of this drama.

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There is nothing like weddings to bring out the family drama. Ep8 did a fantastic job in using the wedding to trigger the family explosion and war of inheritance.

So far in this show, the grandfather / Chairman (brilliantly portrayed by Lee Sungmin) has been the most dynamic and well-rounded character, in the sense that you see all of his contradictory sides. He's abusive, greedy, and cruel, but he is also pitiful and sad. The writing and acting makes you sympathize with him. Everyone else in the show, including the protagonist, has been fairly one dimensional in comparison.

So it's to my surprise that ep7 and 8 heralded the arrival of another well-rounded character, one I didn't expect - Mo Hyunmin. I was really impressed by Hyunmin's characterization and portrayal. I admired her ambition, cunning, and drive, and I felt awful for her because of her powerlessness (to a degree) in the face of an arranged marriage and societal expectations. Hyunmin tried to do the best with the hand of cards she was dealt with (attempted to find a husband that was most malleable), and when she came up short, she acknowledged reality and adjusted to it quickly.

I understood why HM became the person she was in ep1. When you're married into such a family, with a monster of a husband, and terrible in-laws, you either survive or die (spiritually). Park Jihyun is killing the role and if this continues, she's going to be a breakout star of the show.

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The only real kid for Chairman Jin is Soonyang. The others ones are just there for Soonyang. It's sad that their only value for their father is what they bring to the family business.

The aunt was stupid to attack directly Do-Joon. He proved that he was pretty good at this game.

Jin Sung-Joon and Mo Hyun-Min's relationship is pretty toxic. They both want to use the other and doesn't respect each other...

I wonder why they casted Song Joong-Ki for this role, he spent the most of his time to play a man in his 20's...

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Re: Song Joong-ki being casted in this role

Probably because while outwardly he appeared as a 20 something young man, inside he was really in his 40s, already living his life 2 times (as far as we know), and none of those lives are easy to navigate either. The production team would need someone with more gravitas and the mentality of a man in his 40s for that role. I guess it was much easier to cast someone older and used filter and all that to make him appear younger than to cast someone young who might not be able to show all that range.

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Honestly, I don't think his role was so complicated until the last episode maybe. If Kim Kang-Hoon, 13 years old, could do it, I don't see why an actor in his 20's couldn't...

If they don't let the chance to younger actors to get interesting roles, they won't be able to prove themselves neither.

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Great recap, @mistyisles, thank you!

I'm on the edge of my seat watching this. I have never been so riveted by corporate takeovers and share structures! Writers are doing a great job of giving us just enough information to understand what's going on, and then showing the personal, emotional impact of every financial attack and counter-attack.

This is actually a saeguk: Chairman Jin is the king, his sons are the princes fighting for the throne, and Do-joon is the clever strategist playing the long revenge game. (Count of Monte Christo, indeed!)

The actors are all killing it. I am absolutely in this to watch SJK "larking around outsmarting everyone and smirking while he did it." (great line, @jls943!) But everyone is compelling to watch. I'm loving how they're all managing to be sympathetic, rounded characters, and yet hateful enough that it's so enjoyable to watch Do-joon twisting the knife!

And Grandma! Oooh, love seeing your depths!

Favourite character is definitely Do-joon's brother, though: hope he's the one left standing at the end! (Gah: hope he survives somehow!)

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That family reception was intense. Chairman Jin stared right at Do-joon during his ending primogeniture announcement. This is much more exciting with Do-joon fighting the family out in the open than pulling the strings behind the scenes. With Chairman Jin's brain arteriovenous malformation, Do-joon's going to kill his own grandfather.

Hwa-young humiliating Do-joon's mother was a low move, but it just gives him more motivation to take down the whole family. He is going to bankrupt her and take her shares. Finally, someone brought up that Hwa-young and Chang-je have no children.

Aww at how Do-joon's parents support him. Hyung-joon is his muse with the home shopping channel. I wonder who Yoon-ki's mother is, and if Chairman Jin had an affair. But Grandma was so good to Do-joon as a child.

Song Joong-ki has more chemistry with Park Ji-hyun than Shin Hyun-been. I rolled my eyes when Min-young ran after Do-joon's car in front of the coffee shop. "Y'all can see each other at school."

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I love this drama.
Quick question. What happened to Jin Ye-joon (Jin Dong-ki's only child and the eldest granddaughter of the Sunyang family) in this timeline? I

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I also wonder about that (especially since she didn't even make an appearance on her cousin's wedding day). My guess is she is currently abroad to finish her education. Given her maneuver in 2022 timeline though, Do-jun better be careful with her arrival home.

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A belated analysis of sorts on Seo Min-young’s first half appearance.

Given that we haven’t seen any plot point in this drama told from her POV, the only possible way to get any insight on her character was basing it from Jin Do-jun’s POV. I have to admit that I always found Do-jun’s borderline obsession on her to be puzzling. Coming from his character who was always preoccupied with one scheme after another, his fixation felt out of place, especially considering the non-existent relationship between them (as far as we know) in the 2022 timeline. They were only passing acquaintances at best, so where did his persistent tendency to linger in her vicinity and that underlying sentimentality came from?

This is purely conjecture on my front because even halfway through, we knew far too little about this relationship. I kept thinking that this wasn’t the classic case of unacknowledged love or even crush on Do-jun’s part. Then I realized that Seo Min-yong has inadvertently occupied the position as the only person from Do-jun’s past with whom he had “good relationship” with.

Come to think of it, the majority of people that closely tied to Do-jun’s past life can only be grouped into 3 categories: his coworkers who wouldn’t have anything to do with him in this timeline given his new background, Soonyang people with whom he only built rotten relationships, and his birth family whom he couldn’t get in touch with as Jin Do-jun. And then there was Min-young. They might stood on opposite sides then because of their respective jobs, but he clearly admired her as someone good and they did have comparably decent interactions. In this new timeline where everything was upside-down and frighteningly unfamiliar for Do-jun, Min-young was the only person who brought with her a speck of familiarity, the barest sense of homecoming. From that POV, I could see Do-jun’s feelings for her as something both simpler and more complicated, and I appreciate that.

Obviously I look forward to her having a more active role to play in the second half (and given the glimpse from the preview, that seemed to be the case). But I don’t mind her taking a back seat in the beginning, as she tried to level up to stand as Soonyang’s equal. I love the idea of underestimated heroine, and I have a feeling that she would fill in that role perfectly. Soonyang wouldn’t know what hit them, and I’m here for all that chaos.

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Spot on: she’s the only spark in his former life.

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I chalk up SMY's "inclusion" in the show up to ep8 as poor writing. We try to twist ourselves into knots putting reason into shows, but more often than not, things don't make sense because of poor writing.

The writer needed to have SMY in as a lead, but didn't want to drop her in midway, so had to include her in the first half somehow. All that conjecture about why DJ might be fixated on her is a reach. He could've easily just not have been fixated on her.

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