29 November 2013

HEIRS: EPISODE 15 & 16 REVIEW

KOREAN DRAMA REVIEW: THE HEIRS


Oh man this show is so much fun. 
The cuteness overload we get from the Eun-sang / Tan / Young-do threesome is impossibly charming and quite hilarious too! Basically we get one light episode, filled with funny sweet moments and an adorable Young-do and then one heavier episode where things really start to come to a head in regards to the whole family drama.


 Episode 15:
Tan is a proactive decision maker this week in regards to his future.  He isn't planning on just sitting idle whilst his dad pulls all the strings for him (if only Won was as smart). He is still an utter romantic bleeding heart though despite this new found strength which I just adore about him, his hope that no matter what hurtful things Won says, his brother will still one day love him just breaks my heart. Even the way he is so forgiving of Young-do shows that really all Tan wants is for everyone to get along.
Which is a pretty damn cool thing to want really.
He sees everyone's games and manipulative machinations and doesn't understand the point. He really  truly can't understand why everyone can't just get along.
What a guy! I kind of love him.


We start again with Tan and Eun-sang's rather romantic forehead kiss, all lit up as the centre of attention like some kind of prom king and queen. Furious and totally foiled, Rachel runs off and finds Hyo Shin to plant a big wet one on him in front of the class. I think she is tying to ruin Tan's friendship with Hyo Shin by causing trouble between the two boys, but she really is sadly unaware of her own significance as neither really care at all. Hyo Shin does use the opportunity to try and make his tutor love jealous though, and when she turns up to see him and Rachel kissing he stares at her really awkwardly with one eyeball whilst locking lips with Rachel, which is totally not obvious or embarrassing at all.... I think he and Rachel are actually going to get together right? Weird.
Hyo Shin it turns out, never did his big exam, a fact his parents seem oddly creepily okay with as they play happy understanding parents, but the noose just gets tighter when his dad says he can just go to law school next year...
And Hyo Shin cracks a little further.

Meanwhile Eun-sang and Tan are having a grand old time, basically acting like loved up happy teenagers, which is a nice development because that is exactly what they are. I am loving the cuteness and the bantering we get with this pair because it reminds you why they are together in the face of all this trauma. They really genuinely like eachother and both are happier and more content with their difficult lives when spending time together.


This cuteness also extends to Young-do who, excepting one single moment where he tries to remind Eun-sang that he isn't her friend to just chat with about Kim Tan and that he isn't on Tan's side, he spends most of the episode doing exactly that; being Eun-sang's friend and helping Tan. Which was kind of fantastic.
My favourite scene would most definitely have been the coffee shop study session where Eun-sang is getting up both boys for somehow all ending up on the same team for their school project. It is absolutely hilarious the way she parks them down with juices to watch a movie (she doesn't think they are capable of reading the book) but they spend the entire time just staring at her instead. Both of them.
It was hysterical to see her shooting eye daggers at them when they both jump up to protect her from a sassy customer and the whole scene gave us a fantastical introduction to these three as tentative slightly uncomfortable friends rather than raging enemies. And I liked it! Hardcore!
One thing I liked about Young-do in this episode was that you can really see that he and Tan are close friends at the heart of it. They understand eachother and would work so well as allies if they would allow it. And when it comes down to it, Young-do does come rushing to Tan's rescue when he most needs it, and I don't think it was because of Eun-sang either. Helping Tan rebel against his father only helps Tan step closer to Eun-sang, so I think when Young-do helps him he does it for Tan alone. He makes a big deal about a favour being owed but I think really he just likes Tan. It is as simple as that.

Some totally random notes:
 - Why does Tan have to wear such awful stuff? That blue fuzzy turtle neck sweater thing was really disturbing, though it did look like a pretty comfortable and warm woolly hug for Eun-sang. I could barely see either of them for all the fuzzy wool that was floating around in that scene.
 - Can you imagine how crap it would be to be employed as one of these silly self-important highschool kid's chauffeurs? You would have to wait around for hours outside random girl's houses as your employer pines over them, and then follow them sneakily (in a huge car!) as the girl walks slowly around the streets doing nothing, or even get up at dawn to wait around and take said random girl to school. I don't get it...all these boys can drive, so why don't they just drive their own cars around? Surely that is cooler...?
 - I hate Tan's father. I want to punch him in the face.
 - That is all!

And then we come to the Noble Sacrifice.


Episode 16:
So Tan finds out that Eun-sang has agreed to leave Tan and go overseas, and frankly he is rightfully pissed. Yes I know she has been threatened but I just don't get why she has to do what this old Chairman is telling her? Why is she forced to choose one of these two stupid options he is laying out for her? Am I missing something?
Yes I know he is scary and rich or whatever, but I still don't get why Eun-sang is being forced to do what he wants. It frustrates the absolute hell out of me that she truly seems to believe she is doing it for Tan's own good. She is not. She is scared and feeling threatened and that is it.


So Tan is quietly sitting in his room like a prisoner until Secretary Yoon turns up to let him know Eun-sang is off to study overseas. And Tan totally flips out, some of it good and some of it bad.
First he marches right into his stupid dad's office wearing his school uniform and reclaims his phone. He calls his pretend mum to come pick him up and because he is now a major shareholder the stupid woman comes running (though she does mention he now owes her favor...geez these people!). So Tan makes his first move, and he is no longer messing around. No one touches his Eun-sang!

But the problem is that underneath all his smooth decisive action, Tan is really badly hurt that Eun-sang would plan to go along with his dad's plan and not even bother to tell him about it. To him it shows that she doesn't trust him, she doesn't believe he can help her or look after her, which makes him feel inadequate. And I kind of agree with him in this case, I can understand why he is so furious. It makes him feel like he is all alone in their relationship, doing everything he can to make it work whilst the other person he is doing it for doesn't even believe in a shared future together. I think his words, 'Do you even like me?' pretty much sums up his feelings in this. And I felt pretty sorry for him in this scene. It was a betrayal of sorts in my opinion and Eun-sang failed her first real test.


But then Tan has to go get all massively possessive about her, stealing her passport so she can't leave and yelling at her to basically do everything he says. Sigh. Its not very romantic, but I also feel like Tan gets this way because he has no control over his life, because he feels like everything is slipping through his fingers, and also because he is a stupid teenage boy who has no real power. Personally getting yelled at is not really a turn on for me, but I try not to hold it against Tan, first because it would be harder to enjoy this fun drama if I did, and secondly because I don't think this possessive controlling side of Tan is really who he wants to be.  Obviously it is no excuse for his behavior, but I think if Tan hadn't been driven into this corner he wouldn't have lashed out. I think he wants to be better than that, but because he is still young and has no clue what he is doing he can't help himself. I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't see Tan continuing on this possessive controlling path forever, I can't see him for example turning out like Young-do's crazy dad when he gets older, I rather see this side of Tan dying down with age as he becomes milder and better at handling himself in stressful situations. I dunno, maybe that is just my way of explaining away some unsavory behavior but it is how I am reading this situation.

So that brings us to the kiss, which had a pretty aggressive beginning on Tan's side being at the climax of an argument filled with anger and frustration, and I am not even sure if Eun-sang is struggling at the beginning or just passionately going for it. I know she certainly gets into it before the end, and so she should. Her and Tan have been dancing around eachother for months and months now, surely any normal teenage girl would have been dying to share a passionate kiss with the boy she is crazy about. I guess I would have preferred a more romantic kiss not stemming from an argument/lecture, definitely still passionate and sexy but perhaps a little bit more loving and little less like proving a point.


I think Tan has a hard time this episode. For one thing he is a lot busier than usual which leaves Young-do to step up and fill his shoes with Eun-sang. I really liked that Tan trusts Young-do with this, despite his past behavior and I can really see these two guys patching things up and becoming close again. I liked the scene where Young-do plans on staying longer alone at the noodlebar where he once missed seeing his mum, and Tan just quietly tells him he shouldn't sit in that place alone. It is such obvious concern about Young-do not wallowing in those awful memories that even Young-do is taken aback, realising that perhaps Eun-sang isn't the only person who truly cares about him despite all the awful things he has done. Young-do is still someone that matters to Tan even after everything that has happened. He cares about him, another shock to Young-do as his world slightly shifts again. He is not as alone as he thinks himself to be.

Meanwhile Tan is off fighting his family in an attempt to protect Eun-sang. Everything he does stems from his need to keep her as part of his life, and it is so sad that he finally has to admit to himself just how truly stupid his family is. All this time he has been hanging onto the hope that at least Won would see reason, that maybe somewhere deep down his father does care for him as a son and not just as an investment to create discord with Won and further the company.
But finally Tan breaks.
He offers Won everything. And Won is such a fool that he can't even see that by being so incessantly cruel and distrustful he is creating the exact type of enemy that he has always been trying to avoid. And you can see it unexpectedly hurts him too when he sees his kind sweet brother suddenly shift into a stranger that hates him, that it was never quite what he wanted to do to Tan, that his mistakes are now becoming clearer to him. And about time! Won is such an idiot that a good wallop to the head emotionally is just what he needs to wake up from his stupid paranoid complex. All he does is spend his time driving away the people who truly unconditionally love him, and when he finally realises that he needs them, he needs their love and support to survive, it will be far too late.


That scene where he visits tutor girl is quite heartbreaking, because it makes me think about just how awful it would be for her to be in love with Won. There is nothing she can do to fall out of love with him, and he clearly does love her too, but he is unwilling to take the last step and have a real public relationship, he is too scared of losing what he has and doesn't understand that in the process of protecting his position, he will lose the one thing that matters most.
And I think that is why he is so utterly blown away by Tan's statement that absolutely everything Tan is doing is for Eun-sang, so they can be together in the future. The way Tan tells Won never to scoff and say he is doing it 'only' for a girl really affects Won, because in this case he is seeing something in his younger brother that he has never seen in himself, the future he could have fought for if he had been willing to put his tutor girl before all the other things in his life. But he didn't, so he is losing her.
 It is sad because the pain in his face when he confronted her was real, the idea that she would stick around to watch his failure so unbearable to him that he tried to send her far away. Just like Tan, Won isn't right in the way he deals with this woman he loves, but it does stem from a sense of self-loathing and lack of self belief. It doesn't make his actions better, but maybe I can try to understand him just a little.


Now Tan is doing everything he can to hold onto Eun-sang, he buys her an apartment in a very beautiful scene where he apologises for being bad at doing these things, for not knowing properly how to look after her. He promises seriously and quietly that he will get better at it and my heart just melts. He is once again trying so hard for Eun-sang, to keep her beside him and hold onto her, to provide her with the sort of life he believes she deserves, he is doing everything within his power for her, perhaps clumsily and awkwardly and sometimes roughly, but he really is trying to do the right thing.
But Eun-sang is planning to bow to his father. She is planning to leave. And even worse is the fact that she seems to think she is doing it for Tan himself.  Tan, who has put everything on the line for her, to be with her, is going to be left all alone.


I understand it is a lot of pressure for Eun-sang to think that Tan has broken away from his family and given up his future because of her, but she has to realise Tan was never happy before. In a sense he is doing all of this for Eun-sang, but really I think she has just given him the courage to do it all for himself. For the first time in his life he is acting the way he believes is right, he is trying to create a better future for himself that doesn't involve either exile or constant manipulation from his father, and what does Eun-sang do? She walks away and leaves him isolated and alone, believing he can't do anything right, he can't protect anyone, he is useless and a fool. He has finally accepted the fact that his brother doesn't love him, that his father only wants to use him. And then on top of everything else Eun-sang just walks away, essentially choosing his father over him. She lets him down.
And there is no one there to pick up the pieces as Tan breaks down alone in the empty apartment he tried to give her, a symbol of the uselessness of his love.























2 comments:

  1. Tan, Young Do and Eun Sang make such a geat trio. It is so much fun seeing thm intereacting with each other!
    In the beginning I didn't believe that Tan and Young Do could be friends again but I'm proven wrong, and I'm glad I am. They really do care for each other. I think that is because not onl they were true friends before but also because the reason of their "break-up" wasn't strong enough.
    Also I agree with what you said about Won. I also believe that he saw in Tan something that he can't, because he didn't choose it, to be. He sees what he should be doing, fighting not only for the woman he loves but for living a free life.
    As for Eun Sang, it did feel like he betrayed him. She had her reasons, and I can kind of understand them, but what counts it's the way Tan must be feeling. Exactly like we see him in this last scene-like he can't breathe. I can't imagine how he must be feeling having just lost the last thing in his life that gives him hope.. :(
    I found it very ironic (maybe only in my mind of course) when he showed her the apartment and we could see that bright sun, a sun like the one they could see in California, when they were just two young peple, living even for a short period of time freely. Ironic because we know what Eun Sang was planning to do..

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  2. I also really loved that scene in the apartment!! Everything looked so warm and beautiful, and Tan was so awkward when he is trying to give it to her and ny heart was totally breaking because it was obvious she wouldn't accept it. And you're so right that it was a thtowback momemt to how they were in America, with the sun streaming in and also Tan back in that same position where he just wants so desperately for her to stay and is holding on so desperately only for her to slip through his fingers. O my gosh so sad!!!!
    And yes I am loving the repairing of Tan and Young-do's friendship. I heard there is a possible time jump this coming week (I dunno if its true or not) but maybe if we catch up with them in the future they will be proper friends by then? But if Eun-sang really has disappeared, how can Tan ever forgive her for leaving him all alone like that? Sob...

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