All Korean drama fans should be used to birth secret tropes but this one is making my head spin. Who is a wife and who is a mom? And who thinks someone is their mother while another one is? How many women has Tan’s father married? Who is in whose registry and why did they have to go and make things so complicated? Argh!
The episode begins with Tan’s question: Does Eun Sang want to go home with him? If only he meant that in the fun way. She wonders if his place would be safer than standing by the side of the road with her luggage. Girlfriend, what do you think? On the other hand, there are some hot, charismatic serial killers out there. What’s a girl to do?
He can’t guarantee that it’s safer but it’s definitely nicer so she picks sleeping indoors over outdoors and hops into his car. Minutes later, she’s in awe walking through his mansion. At first, I thought it was the house from Secret Garden but I suppose it isn’t. Okay, so what’s his deal? Since he doesn’t live with his parents and has a bean-snorting friend, is he a drug dealer? Tan muses over it for a second then stands up. As he walks towards her, backing her into a corner (sexy!), he wonders why she’s stopping at drugs. Maybe he could be doing worse, like selling organs on the black market. Hmm… why do I think being a drug baron is more lucrative than human organ harvesting in the U.S.?
As she’s backed against a door – with only her bag between them – he tells her that her room is behind her and sets her free. While she sits there thinking of how wretched her sister is, she gets a hunger pang and realizes that she hasn’t eaten since she got off the plane. She sneaks into the kitchen and helps herself to expired, canned goods.
Tan – who’d seen her creep across his house – walks into the dark kitchen. He turns on the light and walks in. She immediately drops $5 for the meal and starts to scurry away but he tells her to clean up her mess. Then he stands very close so that we can sense their chemistry and asks her name. She apologizes for not thanking him earlier then he snarks that she’s got a really long name. He tells her that she need not thank him because this is compensation for his friend ruining her bean powder.
Kim Won and Chan Young’s dad walk together at work and talk about Young Do’s father’s invitation for the younger man to stay at his hotel during his American trip. Won quips that the man is already acting like a shareholder because he’s engaged to Rachel’s mom, stopping Chan Young’s dad in his tracks which obviously means he is or was in love with her.
Then we’re taken to Won’s home where his wheelchair-bound father is sitting with the evil mother from Secret Garden. The man makes some small talk and she tells him that acting nice won’t make her divorce him. Is this his first wife? Then we learn that she brought Tan’s mother into the home because their affair was embarrassing the family.
Outside, Tan’s mother is trying her best to eavesdrop and when Won shows up and catches her in the act, she reassures him that they weren’t talking about him. Before he can walk in, she knocks at the door to alert them of his presence then informs him that his mother is here at which he reminds her that he doesn’t have a mother in that house. Hmm… okay. Secret Garden mother is the second wife? Isn’t it funny that she’s supposedly his dad’s mistress but the only man we’ve seen her interact with so far is him?
Won walks in and we learn that the lady raised him for ten years before he went to America and despite not loving him (WTF?) she did her best. After she leaves, Won’s dad tells him that while in America, he must take Tan with him on their business meetings because apparently, Americans are all about family. That sounds about right. Americans just love seeing high school kids at important business meetings because nepotism rocks! And when Won rejects the idea, his father reminds him that the company isn’t his yet.
Outside, Tan’s mother drags Not Won’s mother to talk to her. She wants to know if she’s spoken to Rachel’s family yet. She’s curious because they are her in-laws. Not Won’s mother reminds her that Tan is her son. HUH? So the woman I thought was Tan’s mother isn’t but the Secret Garden mother is? Then Not Tan’s mother reminds Not Won’s mother that Tan wouldn’t be happy to learn that his mother is being mistreated like this. *Pulls hair out* Tan doesn’t know who his real mother is?
Then Not Won’s But Tan’s Secret mother tells Not Tan’s mother to remember her place because as long as she’s alive, she will never let her marry Tan’s old ass father.
Back in America, Tan brings Eun Sang a sandwich and jokes that it’s good for the kidneys while she thanks him by giving him her dream catcher which he promptly hangs up. Then we see that he’d given her half of his dinner. How cute. Then there’s this thing where Eun Sang places furniture against the door to protect herself right before she undresses in front of the transparent glass doors.
The next morning, after being awoken by the sunlight, Eun Sang steps by the pool and enjoys the beautiful scenery. Tan looks out, sees her and falls in love. The power of the right light, aye?
Shortly after, Eun Sang walks in as Tan prepares to go to school. She’s relieved that he’s a student and not a drug dealer and is curious to know if his school is like one of the American ones on TV. He asks which one: Hogwarts? I could have sworn that’s British but what do I know?
After some discussion, Eun Sang is in Tan’s convertible on their way to his school. The house, the car, the way the air feels as they drive along the coast… it’s like the fairy tale she’d always dreamed. In that case, just forget about your sister and get cracking – you know what to do to hook him for at least 18 years. I’m just saying….
Some time later, at the high school that looks like a college, Tan stares out of the window and watches Eun Sang waiting outside before hearing from his teacher that “Mother” is the most beautiful word (is this AP English?). He writes it down because it clearly ties in with his mommy issues. And because life isn’t complete without a Kardashian reference, Lamar Odom is a punch line in their class. Class continues and although we never get to hear what the saddest word is, I hope it’s not “Father.”
As Eun Sang waits outside, she looks at her mother’s notebook and thinks of her hardships. Class ends and even though the teacher instructs them to drop off their essays, Tan doesn’t because “it’s not for turning in.” I’m guessing he means “it’s not ready.” The teacher tells him that perhaps he would be able to find a new purpose if he turns it in sometime. Teacher, all you need to do is give him an ‘F’ and maybe he’ll turn in the next one.
Tan walks out of class but Eun Sang isn’t where he last saw her. Instead, she’s enviously watching some Korean-American students talking about partying. When Tan shows up, she thanks him for the ride but says that she’s off to find her sister because she can’t let her keep her mother’s hard earned money. She tries to do her Ms. Independent thing but Tan takes her. They get there and to their disappointment, Unnie has already gotten out of Dodge. After getting the cash, she quit her job and disappeared. Dang.
As they leave the restaurant, they run into Chris who’s also looking for her sister because she’d run off with his money. From the look of his place, it couldn’t have been much. There’s a confrontation and before Chris can hit Eun Sang, Tan blocks it and holds him down. Apparently, he’s a woman batterer. As he’s holding him in a grip a newborn can get out of, two of his friends show up. Now it’s time to RUN!!!! I think even “Chris” started laughing because this shit was too ridiculous. So they are running away from these two guys – one of whom looks like he’s carrying triplets – and I finally get it. This is payback for all the negative depictions of Koreans on American television.
Tan stops running because these obviously unfit men won’t catch them then his phone rings. It’s Rachel. Next, we see Rachel in a room calling someone in England. Well, I guess it’s England since the automated voice message for the unanswered call was said in a British accent.
She sits in sadness in the expensively furnished room then smiles when her phone rings. It turns into a frown because it’s her mom. She called to ask if she’d informed Tan of her upcoming marriage.
Next, we see her future boyfriend, Young Do, arrive at a hotel. He’s washing dishes and just as I’m about to think that perhaps he isn’t such a jerk after all, we learn that he’s been forced to do it as training for his future role as CEO. And when a manager tells him to stop screwing around and do his work well, he tells him to enjoy his job now because once he’s boss, he’ll be fired. Nice.
Someone runs over to tell the manager that the Attorney General has arrived.
Next, we finally see Kang Ha Neul! Yes, my body is ready! Finally, finally, I get to squeal! My baby, my bab… huh? He’s wearing a 1920’s professor’s suit with 1930’s circus performer hair. Pray tell, why? Anyway, his character, Lee Hyo Shin, is going through one of the most dreadful moments in life – the only kid at dinner with adults. It looks like a gathering for the different generations of men in his family. And to demonstrate how dreadful it really is, instead of just talking about the stock market so that he could daydream and pray for time to pass faster, they badger him about his upcoming exams and pressure him to work hard and become a legend at his high school. Poor kid.
Then Young Do shows up to kiss ass and refills their water glasses. He fills Hyo Shin’s to the brim, quipping that he looks thirsty. What’s going on between these two? Is love in the air?
Shortly after, Hyo Shin knocks at Young Do’s door asking to use his bathroom. He knows his room at the hotel? How many times has he been up there? Are they secret lovers? Dramagods, make them secret lovers. Please? No such luck. It turns out that Hyo Shin needs his bathroom so that he can puke in privacy. Family pressure-induced bulimia? My poor baby. Wear something else and come to mama.
As he leaves, Young Do reminds him that there’s a bathroom downstairs but Hyo Shin points out that he can’t let his father catch him puking. Does that mean he’s not worried about letting Young Do in on his little secret? Hyo Shin reminds him that he knows a few of his secrets as well. Is Hyo Shin the senior who knows where all the bodies are buried?
Back in America, Tan is looking at his phone. To call or not to call the girl he doesn’t love? Eun Sang returns with an iced coffee and is happy that she gets to drink an americano because it means she won’t return to Korea with only unpleasant memories. Surely, not all your memories are unpleasant, Tan asks, fishing for a compliment but Eun Sang is distracted when she sees some tourists taking photos. An idea comes to mind so she borrows Tan’s phone and logs on to her social media account.
Tan looks over her shoulder and asks who she’s contacting – her boyfriend? He’s a boy who’s a friend. She can’t call him because he recently changed his number. Tan starts to act crazy jealous which is kind of cute but ridiculous because they just met.
On the cab ride home, Eun Sang anxiously waits for Chan Young’s response. Tan sarcastically says that they mustn’t be that close if he hasn’t responded yet but she explains that she’s known him for half of her life.
He immediately asks if they are dating, were dating or ever will date and Eun Sang tells him to mind his business. All she needs from him is to tell her when a response comes because Chan Young is her only hope.
He drops her off with the keys, saying that he needs to go back and pick up his car as they left it when they ran away. Uhm, I doubt they ran that far but even if they did, wouldn’t it have made more sense to pick up the car before returning home? But if that happened, he wouldn’t have gotten alone time with her bootleg Facebook account where he learns her name and through her status updates, gets to know her better.
I found this really cute. He also gets to know how close she and Chan Young really are. Now I want to a love triangle with these three. Then his face falls when she mentions that she hates how much her mom suffers and wishes that Empire Group goes bankrupt. Oh oh.
While sitting in the car, the cop shows up at the parking lot with Eun Sang’s passport, saying that there was a misunderstanding. Sure, this is realistic.
Jo Myung Soo (Park Hyung Sik) and Bratty Bo Na are in some basement. She’s upset because Chan Young, who’s already in America, hasn’t been returning her calls. He teases that perhaps he’s preoccupied with sexy American girls. Then Young Do walks in from work, envious that because Myung Soo is a poor student, he’s not expected to inherit his father’s law firm. I think it’s fair to say that while some people live in the past, Young Do lives in the future because his every third word is somehow related to his inheritance.
Young Do wonders what’s eating Brat Na and they bicker. When he teases that he’s interested in her because she’s pretty, Myung Soo’s head shoots up. Ugh. Here’s a guy with bad taste.
Brat Na picks up her phone and calls another guy with bad taste and this time, Chan Young answers. They flirt and we learn he’d turned off his social network service to concentrate on work. She tells him to enable it and check the message she sent him. He does, sees Eun Sang’s message and dials her number.
Back at Tan’s, Eun Sang is carrying her packed bag up the stairs when she sees Rachel walking down them. They both wonder who the other is and upon hearing that she’s his fiancee, Eun Sang explains that Tan had helped her out when she was in a bind. Rachel is unhappy to hear that she spent the night and after snatching Tan’s keys from her hand, pushes her suitcase down the stairs. Back up. Is this girl crazy? I think this is one of those moments where instinct should take over and Eun Sang would returned the favor and push the bitch down the stairs. But not today. Instead, Eun Sang runs down and looks at her now chipped suitcase. She tells the bitch that she’s only letting her off because of Tan’s kindness but Rachel couldn’t care less. Instead, she tells her to open her suitcase to check for stolen items. Eun Sang complies but since Rachel hasn’t yet reached her evil quota for the day, she empties out the suitcase then tells her to pick up her trash and get lost. No, Witch, you get lost. ARGH!
This is someone begging for her eyes to get scratched out but once again, instead of doing what’s right, Eun Sang just cries out of frustration.
Back in Korea, Bo Na paces around the basement, phone in hand. Then she speed talks about how it makes no sense that her boyfriend hasn’t called despite seeing her crying photo. Young Do advises her to send him a sexy one next time.
Then they tease each other with Young Do telling her to dump Chan Young and date Myung Soo, while Brat Na speed rejects him and speed tells the guys to date each other instead.
They keep bickering with Myung Soo mentioning that Rachel went to America to see Tan and Young Do having a reaction. Then Bo Na speed tells him never to mention Tan’s name in front of her again. I really don’t know how much more of Krystal’s “acting” I can take. Thank God for the fast forward button.
Tan returns home and demands to know what happened to Eun Sang. Rachel doesn’t appreciate that the first time he sees her in six months all he wants to do is talk about another woman. Rachel, why don’t you spend some of your inheritance on purchasing some pride? Tan placates her by telling her she’s pretty then goes back to his line of questioning. He isn’t quite glad to learn that Rachel had told Eun Sang of the status of their relationship but says that if she’d let her stay, he would have introduced them.
Then she demands to know why he didn’t pick her up from the airport and he says it was too hot. All other questions get equally dismissive responses. She wants to know why they got engaged if he’s so uninterested in her. He says that if he’s going to refuse to marry her in the future, he should at least engaged first. What in the world?
At this point, a woman with at least a quarter of a shred of dignity would break things off but before we can hear what clingy thing she’ll say, the doorbell rings.
It’s Eun Sang who quickly turns around when she sees Kim Tan inside. He catches up with her, angry that she left without telling him. Uhm you think your evil bitchancée left her with options? She tells him that she came back for the policeman’s business card but before they can finish their conversation, Bitchancée pops around and tells her that she threw it in the trash while cleaning.
Eun Sang quickly rushes over and desperately rummages through it. The card isn’t there because Rachel hadn’t even seen it – she just said that to mess with her. Saying that she cleaned should have been a big hint.
Tan tells Rachel to stay out of it. She then walks back in and hears his phone beep. She reads a message from Chan Young that I’m sure she will delete.
In the meantime, our hero watches a crying Eun Sang going through the trash. He tells her that the card isn’t there and she laments that no matter where she is, her life sucks. Even though we can all see that he loves to watch her, couldn’t he have slipped in an “I have your passport” sometime in the last five minutes?
He finally does and hands it to her. Then a cab pulls up, he grabs Eun Sang and they behind a dumpster. Some people looking for the “son of a bitch” emerge and because America is the Wild West, another chase ensues.
For the second time that day, they run hand in hand but this time, find refugee in a movie theatre. They bicker a bit then Tan tells her that he’s going to rest while she enjoys the movie. She sits back and brushes her hair with the hand that she still hasn’t washed.
She doesn’t understand the dialogue so he translates it for her. So basically, they are the very annoying couple that just can shut their traps during a movie.
He’s translating then suddenly switches to talking about himself. He’s a man who met a woman called Cha Eun Sang and looking at her, he wonders, “Do I like her?”
I’m going to say yes.
I can see some Gossip Girl Season 1 comparisons… like Rachel and Young Do are like Chuck and Blair. Their parents’ marriage is like Lily and Bart Bass. It looks like Rachel’s mom and Chan Young’s dad have a history like Lily and Rufus. Rachel and Tan are like Blair and Nate early Season 1. The relationship between Chan Young and his dad is like Dan and Rufus. Tan and Young Do are frenemies like Serena and Blair. Tan is like Serena with her daddy issues who’d been exiled to boarding school while Eun Sang is Dan the “poor one” even though the real Dan is only poor to rich people. If Eun Sang is Dan then Chan Young is Vanessa, the childhood friend. So it’s like a jumbled up Gossip Girl. What I will say is that for all that is holy, if this is going to be Gossip Girl-esque, please restrict it to Season 1 pre-“I killed a man” because we don’t want dead people resurrecting, Young Do selling Rachel for a hotel and Not Won’s But Tan’s Secret Mother giving his father fake cancer.
As for the characters, I think Young Do feels trapped by his mapped out future and his jerkish behavior stems from that. I hope they delve into his character more and we get to see beneath the surface and relate to him because right now, since the actor isn’t physically my type, mean words keep popping into my head when I see him on screen. Heck, with my darling Choi Jin Hyuk… now, I’m getting obsessed with how tiny his nostrils are. Bottom line is, I’m looking forward to watching their characters develop so that I can start liking them. Not that they are entirely without merit because I enjoy Young Do with his friends.
Tan is a complete jerk to Rachel but they made her terrible so it wouldn’t knock points off him.
As for the ladies, it’s possible that I could like Rachel when the layers are peeled back but I think they’d need to turn Bo Na mute for me to ever like her.
I’m snarking at how America is depicted but it’s not a big deal.
As for the mama issue, I could have sworn the Secret Garden woman said she was childless. So does she just mean that Tan was her son figuratively?
All in all, this episode was more enjoyable than the previous one. I liked watching the relationship evolve between Eun Sang and Tan even if it’s moving rather quickly. But let’s face it: Tan is a very lonely guy so it’s no surprise that he’d easily fall for someone he feels a connection to.
There are far too many characters in this drama and it doesn’t help that the writer is making their relationships complicated and confusing but in time, we’ll figure it all out. I groaned when I first learned that it would be 20 episodes since 16 is my preferred length but I think we’re going to need all of them.
Does Heirs live up to the hype? Of course not. I don’t think any drama could especially one in the teen genre with rather stereotypical and ordinary characters. And the fact that we can make comparisons to previous works means it’s not that unique but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be satisfying. For that, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Till next time!