“Heard It Through The Grapevine” Week 13 – I’m Here, Empty-Handed

This drama is seriously driving me insane. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it, I find it one of the best things I’m watching right now! The problem for me is, not being a native Korean speaker, it’s very hard to follow and the translations are all over the place. Unfortunately, that means a lot of conversations or the meaning behind character actions get lost. Luckily, Soompi forum followers have @baduy, who has been patiently explaining some things to us but he can’t be expected to explain every tiny thing. And there is a LOT going on.

The Hans have decided Bom is the reason their little world is no longer working the way they expect and that removing her will solve the problem. Bom herself finally sees that no matter how well she does, she will never be accepted as part of the family and she’s no longer willing to put up with being treated as scum. Telling In-Sang to go home without her didn’t make us viewers happy but I always expect the OTP to break up somewhere along the line, in every drama. The past two weeks, things were VERY frustrating for me but I’ll do my best to try to explain what I think is happening. (LOL)

Bom has moved back in to the Seo family home with baby Jin-Young and is living with her parents, sister Noo-Ri and Uncle Chul-Sik. That’s 5 adults and one infant, all living under one roof – with one bathroom. *snort* Money is tight but I don’t think anyone goes hungry. Bom has taken a job working nights at the local convenience store and Mama Seo is working at a restaurant. The atmosphere is very different from the dark Han household, where people are constantly on edge and there is no warmth between family members. In fact, it always felt to me as if the Han family just tolerate one another. Any warmth given to the kids comes from the servants, certainly not from the Han parents.

When In-Sang decided to honor Bom’s wishes by giving her a divorce, he requested that his Father write the settlement giving Bom sole custody of baby Jin-Young with no child support or alimony. I think as viewers, we know the reasoning behind this: if she takes a dime from these people, the Han’s can use it against her later in court if they attempt to take custody of Jin-Young so (I think) it was smart of her to cut that idea off before it even began. But then Bom seems more aware of what type of monster she’s dealing with than In-Sang, he truly thought his Father would submit the document as written. Or maybe he was just giving his Father one last chance?

In-Sang seems to believe he’ll be able to get just enough from his inheritance so that he, Bom and their son can start over on their own. He knows most of his inheritance money is illegally gotten gains but there is the possibility that the money his Grandfather left was legal. But even that could be wrong, maybe Grandpa was also a crook. (LOL) At any rate, Tutor Park warns In-Sang that he’ll eventually have to choose between the money and Bom. If he chooses Bom, he’ll start from scratch with nothing, just like millions of other people.

I don’t think anyone was prepared for exactly how nasty both Attorney Han and his side-kick, Secretary Yang, got this week. Secretary Yang tells Secretary Min she visited Min’s brother in the hospital and got his signature on a settlement contract, accepting payment from HanSong to drop the case and she wired the money to his account. It’s absurd, considering the man is in a coma, he can’t speak or move. When Min confronts Attorney Han, we learn Secretary Yang was acting on his orders – he’s very much involved in this fraud.

The justice troops are quickly notified that Attorney Han is beginning his “clean up” and will likely bury all trails leading to paper companies soon so they need to move faster. My eyes cross when someone mentions paper companies, which is probably why I’m not a white-collar crime prosecutor. Jee-Hoon again tries to warn Jae-Won that if he needs to come clean about all his shady investment dealings but he’s not listening.

It’s bad news for the justice troops when they arrive at the hospital where Min’s brother is. Jee-Hoon can prove Min’s brother is incapable of signing anything but Min’s Mother is tired of all the lawsuits so she took her comatose son’s hand and signed the contract. Secretary Min excuses herself and cries in the bathroom after apologizing to Chul-Sik and Jee-Hoon. This is heartbreaking. *sniff* It’s revolting when the next thing we see is Mama Han blabbering about her lovely roses as she invites Young-Ra and Hyeon-Soo over for tea.

Young-Ra wants to play hard-to-get, enjoying the feeling that Queen Mama Han suddenly needs her or her daughter but Hyeon-Soo isn’t playing. In-Sang learns Hyeon-Soo has been called over to meet his Mom. He also learns Hyeon-Soo’s trust is tied to the embezzlement so it might be taken by the authorities and that Jae-Won’s little investment club is also a target.

Mama Han shows Hyeon-Soo the paintings she’s collected, telling Hyeon-Soo to not be afraid to voice her thoughts. Hyeon-Soo comes right out with it: she’s positive Mama Han isn’t her type of person. She doesn’t plan on allowing her Mom or Queen Mama Han to place her in between In-Sang and Bom any longer. Furthermore, the reason they don’t understand the love between the young couple is that they’ve never experienced it. Booyah.

Hyeon-Soo blasts Mama Han, she knows the Han’s didn’t marry for love and she has no intention of being forced into the same situation. AHAHA! The look on Mama Han’s face is priceless. On their way out, they run into In-Sang. Hyeon-Soo tells him not to worry, she’s not a puppet and she did it for Bom. Awwww, I really like this girl. How refreshing to encounter a female character who isn’t lying or playing evil, dirty tricks to win the guy.

Secretary Yang continues her attacks on those she considers the weakest links by contacting Papa Seo with an offer of money, she just needs his account information. Supposedly, the Han’s feel badly and are full of sorrow, she hopes he understands this offer. Pffftttt, she’s losing her touch, I don’t think anyone would believe the Han’s feel badly. But yea…dangling money is the usual modus operandi. Attorney Han is smugly secure that the money will be accepted.

Attorney Han does seem a bit unsettled when not only does the prize valedictorian, Jee-Hoon turn in his resignation but so does Attorney Yoo. It becomes clear to him that these people are all working on the lawsuit for Chul-Sik which involves uncovering the shady deals HanSong pulled when settling the original case between DaeSang and it’s workers. Embezzlement, tax evasion, fraud, bribery of officials, threatening witness’s and who knows what else.

Attorney Han seems to believe it’s all about money: the workers and everyone else involved don’t really want justice, they just want a cut of the slush funds but he’s wrong. I’ll concede some people would be more than willing to just accept a pay-off to keep their mouths shut but not everyone is like that. Mama Han is worse, she feels sorry for her husband that he’s having to deal with such “ignorant” people. Ugh, these two make me ill.

When Bom finally receives the divorce papers, she’s shocked to see an “addendum” attached. It reads if In-Sang is unhappy with the way she’s raising and educating Jin-Young, he has the right to follow legal process to resolve the issue and if the court’s decision changes who has custody, Bom will be compensated for all expenses up to that point. When In-Sang learns about it, the household servants have to hold him down to keep him from venting his rage on his Father.

In-Sang makes one last attempt, begging Bom into coming back home with him but she’s even more disappointed in him for accepting the decisions his parents make and vows to fight them in court. In-Sang visits Jae-Won’s little investment club but meets Jee-Hoon there. Jee-Hoon challenges him to try living on $2,000 a month. I think he could do it. Yes, it would be hard but it IS possible.

Ex-Prime Minister Baek is back this week, he shows up to warn Attorney Han that things could be getting out of hand (as if he doesn’t know that) and offers a suggestion: make the current PM a target (along with his son, Jae-Won) and recruit a new PM who can stop any investigation. Mama Han starts hearing things, like the baby mobile in the nursery so she demands Secretary Lee get rid of all the baby things. She’ll buy brand new ones when Jin-Young comes back. Ummm, you’re positive he’s coming back? Is the Queen Mama losing it?

Jee-Hoon tries one more time to get Jae-Won to spill information about his little investment club, Jae-Won lets slip it comes from Mama Han. OMO, has she been engaging in insider trading? ROFL! I hope she goes down with her hubby. Jae-Won still refuses to help, he’s terrified of what Attorney Han might do to him if he spills the beans. Jee-Hoon warns him he’s not safe since Attorney Han doesn’t like him anyway.

The justice troops get together in their new tiny office to discuss strategy, it appears someone (Mr. Hong) from the convalescence home Secretary Min’s brother is in messed up and leaked something inadvertently. (LOL) Jee-Hoon says Attorney Han is bound to make mistakes by trying to control everything, it’s a plus for their side. Secretary Yang tells Attorney Han she doesn’t think they have enough evidence to cause much damage but he’s angry they’re trying to defy him. How dare they?

He wants the info about the new PM leaked to Jae-Won, he’s positive Jae-Won will come to their side once he learns his Father is being replaced. It’s interesting to me that everyone has turned on Secretary Yang but I don’t feel sorry for her. In fact, I’m kinda hoping she ends up in jail too. Little sister Yi-Ji knows everything, even that her Father tried to pay off Min’s comatose brother! Min tells her to go study abroad, just to get the poor kid out of the way before the crap hits the fan.

In-Sang leaves a letter for Tutor Park, leaves his dark, gloomy house after one last walk through and ends up at the Han River. This time, he walks straight into the water and dunks himself. Is this some sort of official cleansing? He then goes to Bom’s house, telling her she told him to come. So he’s here, empty-handed. Awww! I love the way Bom immediately wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug.

Although he’s welcomed at the Seo household by everyone, they do sit him down with Bom to discuss the way “commoners” live (my word, they would never say such a thing). Things like cell-phones, transportation, electricity, clothing and even food are all things he’ll have to help provide for himself and his little family. Amazing with everything he’s been through, the kid still managed to get a job fairly quickly, although it was at the same convenience store as Bom. I really think they’ll be just fine but it remains to be seen what Attorney Han is up to. So the Seo household is once again full of life, laughter and warmth while the Han household is empty. BooHoo.

We did get some clues about what he’s doing. He’s replacing a top official with one who will bury the rumors or investigation into HanSong. He’s planning to have both Jee-Hoon and Attorney Yoo disbarred. He’s made attempted bribes and threats via Secretary Yang but none of them have worked with the possible exception of Jae-Won, who is being asked to disappear for a year. And he’s disowning his son but has only (so far) cut off his family credit card.

That leads me to believe he’s waiting to see the outcome of these cases but the thing that worries me the most is In-Sang did sign over power-of-attorney to his Father. That may be a good thing, in that it’s easily provable that any shenanigans with In-Sang’s inheritance is being done by Attorney Han and not In-Sang himself. Or it may be a bad thing since it gives him complete legal control over In-Sang. I’m not sure yet.

Attorney Han’s behavior tells me there are most definitely things he’s terrified will come out. The people around him aren’t behaving the way he expects, none of them are willing to be bribed and his usual threats aren’t working. I’m praying his arrogant ass is brought down along with his co-conspirator cronies because I seriously don’t know how much more I can stand of him. Or his wife. With only two episodes left, I’m hoping justice prevails.

I have to say again what an excellent job the entire cast is doing but I’m completely enamored with Yoo Joon Sang and plan to catch up on his other dramas and movies when I can. He has a new fangirl. *hee* Can’t wait for the finale!


  • Nik says:

    Madam Han’s expectation that Seo Bom would call her is interesting. I question whether Atty. Han knows about his wife’s, and mistress’, level of involvement with the investment club. For some reason, I don’t think he does because if he did he wouldn’t pursue Jae Won. Ultimately, I think her link to the club will be his undoing.

    • tessieroo says:

      According to our patient Soompi translator (@baduy) that line was mistranslated. It’s not Bom who Mama Han is expressing anger/disappointment over not calling her, it’s her son: In-Sang. Mama Han does not miss Bom at all, she hates her. She’s upset that her son left the house and is being dominated by “that beotch” (Bom) into not calling his Mother, which makes him a wimpy sissy in her eyes.
      And Attorney Han is actively going after the current PM, who is Jae-Won’s father but he did offer Jae-Won a deal: disappear for a year and he won’t go to jail. I guess that means (if Jae-Won takes that deal) he doesn’t care if his own father goes to jail? Someone warned So-Jung (the doctors wife) to not appear at the club for a while…who warned her? Mama Han? And if so, who warned Mama Han? I’m guessing Attorney Han is fully aware of his wife’s activities in this little investment club but since she’s most likely using her own money to play around with (left to her by her family), his only concern is any trail being led from Jae-Won back to his wife. That’s why he’s trying to get rid of Jae-Won for a while, so he can’t be forced to testify, which would expose his wife’s involvement.

  • houstontwin says:

    Thanks so much! As you mentioned, it hasn’t been easy to follow the subs. Your recap really helped me understand the narrative.

    • tessieroo says:

      The subs are completely different, on all 3 sites that are subbing! (LOL) It’s really making me crazy. There are so many little things I’ve missed or not completely understood, it’s VERY hard to follow and the subs make it more difficult when they’re all writing something different for the same scene. O___O I fear I’ve missed a lot of the little nuances that would make this more enjoyable.

  • Newbie says:

    Does anyone else feel Secretary Yang is the Oh Hye Won of Secret Love Affair in this show? Only without the cathartic change due to love? She’s just as clever and ruthless as OHW was.

    About the river scene. I don’t think In Sang wanted to clean himself, but he once again dangled with the quite melodramatic and not really serious thought about suidide.Then he slipped and woke up to hurry out of the cold wet.

  • Nik says:

    Thanks for the response. Most dramas I can fumble my way through without subtitles with my very basic Korean skills but not this one so it totally sucks that there’s no consistency between channels. I read baduy’s summations as well and find them extremely insightful. But for some reason, I can’t seem to shake the nagging suspicion that Madam Han is going to be a linchpin. I don’t put in past Atty. Han to sacrifice his wife to save his own hide. Though I will say that Atty. Han is really an interesting character that could make for a complete case study all on his own.

    I think the river scene signified a baptism of sorts for In Sang but again In Sang was meandering about his conversion. He wanted to decide on his own terms and take his time doing it. But I think his slip signified that change doesn’t happen when and how you want it. It comes when you least expect it and you have to deal with it regardless of your plans.

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