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Recap: The Heirs Episode 1


Our hero writes. He sits back, drinks coffee, stares into the sunset, and writes. This is no Gu Jun Pyo.

It seemed like it would never come, but here we are. The Heirs starts tonight. I am sitting here filled with trepidation and excitement. This drama might be the biggest sensation this year (for all the right or wrong reasons), or it might be the biggest flop, but it is definitely the prettiest drama. So much pretty.

I haven’t recapped long at all, but looking at the past three dramas I completed (cough, or didn’t), I have only covered fantasy-sageuk dramas. In addition, the drama I was crazy about before this blog was Secret Garden. This isn’t a conscious decision; I just like my dramas epic and/or with lives at stake. That doesn’t mean I don’t like regular everyday dramas. They make up the bulk of my favorites; I just don’t write about them as much. As a matter of fact, what I like most about fantasy-sageuks is the exploration of everyday human emotions in the midst of a fantastical world.

The Heirs will be my first “normal”drama , and what a one at that. Filled with some of the hottest names in the industry, pretty boys and girls, and sounding like the quintessential Cinderella story. I’ve giggled and whined, complained and squealed every time there was new information about this drama because while I like pretty, it doesn’t feed my brain nor make up for the lack of sleep I so dearly love. So with fingers-crossed, I am looking forward to this drama and recapping it, and being part of a community of fans. Welcome, old readers and new readers.

The order will go like this (cough, anyone recognize this line?). I am no Softy so I can’t post updates while the drama is airing. I will be trying to capture as much as possible while I am watching the episode.  When the episode is over, I will go back to my notes, fix them up a bit and update part by part on each recap post while waiting for the torrents. If you can leave a link here, that would be great. When the full episode is available, I will fill in more blanks and screencaps, and continue to update. Finally, I will leave my comments.


There is one scene I am anticipating already, and it is the scene in the almond orchard between Tan and Eun Sang. I’ve already written a fake scene recap of that previously, and while the latest previews are telling me that I’ve gotten the details wrong, I still understood the spirit.

Have you ever had the sensation of looking at someone for the first time and ever so quickly the past and future seem to fuse ? Does that not mean something ? That we felt so much, so deeply, before even speaking?

This is a quote I found somewhere very long ago which told me it was from Charles Dicken’s Nicholas Nickleby, but I actually can’t verify that. Regardless, it was a quote that immediately struck a chord in me. Not that I have experienced that kind of moment myself, but because so many Korean dramas seem predicated on those few seconds, especially melodramas and rom-coms.

I was reading the character description of Kim Tan’s character on the official website, which initially made him sound like a Gu Jun Pyo rehash. But as I continued reading, Kim Tan is definitely a different character, which I hope Lee Min Ho portrays, due to his relationship with his half-brother Kim Won which is mixture of respect, competition, love, and loneliness. As much as I am looking forward to the romance, I am anticipating the bromance more.

Because there is clown car of characters in this drama….

Character Index

Kim Tan Kim Tan

Cha Eun Sang Cha Eun Sang

Choi Young Do Choi Young Do

Kim Won Kim Won, Kim Tan’s half-brother, President of Jeguk Group

Lee Bo Na Lee Bo Na

Yoo Ra Hael Yoo Ra Hael (Rachael Yoo)

Yoon Chan Young Yoon Chan Young

Lee Hyo Shin Lee Hyo Shin

Jo Myung Soo Jo Myung Soo

Kang Ye Seul Kang Ye Seul

Jun Hyun Joo Jun Hyun Joo

Han Ki AeHan Ki Ae -Kim Tan’s birth mom

Kim Nam Yoon Kim Nam Yoon- Kim Tan and Kim Won’s father, Jeguk Group CEO

Park Hee Nam Park Hee Nam- Cha Eun Sang’s mom

Yoon Jae  Ho Yoon Jae Ho- Yoon Chan Young’s dad, Chief Secretary in Jeguk Group

Jung Ji Sook Jung Ji Sook- Kim Nam Yoon’s second wife, birth mom to neither Tan or Won.

Lee Esther Esther Lee- Yoo Ra Hael’s mom, RS International CEO

Choi Dong Wook Choi Dong Wook- Choi Young Do’s dad, Zeus Hotel CEO


Episode 1


It’s sunny California, and Kim Tan (and his obvious body double) is having fun surfing. We can tell his blond-haired friend Jay like two thing in life: parties and girls.

Kim Tan’s voiceover: The day I left to go study abroad, hyung’s goodbye was short, simple, and honest.

Won says to little Tan, “Studying? English? Don’t try hard. Just play. Don’t worry. Don’t think. Rich people just eat and play. They don’t dream. And don’t come back.


Tan’s voiceover: “I realized at that moment, that I wasn’t here to study. I was exiled. Hyung was taking back in advance the things I will take away in the future.”

Jay asks Tan, “You don’t blame them? Your brother you hates you, your mom who gave birth to you, or your father who never takes your side?

Tan answers inside his head, “I am too lazy to resent someone.”


Young Do bounces a ball off a wall to bully another student. “What are you going to do, friend, during vacation. I’m going to miss you after seeing you everyday. You’re not going to miss me? You’re so cold to me.” He hit the kid with the ball this time.

Young Do smiles when the kid yells out in pain. So does his groupies. “I’m sorry. Are you hurt?”

Sidekick A says sarcastically, “Young Do, you’re aim is terrible. If someone saw, they would think we are bullying him?”

Young Do’s face immediately turns hard. “Really? Do you want to stand there then?” When the Sidekick B tries to stop Young Do, Young Do threatens him. A scurries off to the wall. “I’ll stand here. I’ll stand here for you. Throw.”

Young Do grins. “I never said I was going to throw. It should be fair among friends.” Young Do calls over the bullied student. “Friend. It’s your turn.”


“You get beat up regardless of whether you throw or not. It’s really a question of whether you will you get beat up by a strong guy or a slighter less stronger guy. But the bigger problem is that your life will always be like this. Why? Because we will grow up to be your employer. Hurry, choose.”

The bullied kid trembles in anger at Young Do’s words and throw the ball at the mirror. Young Do laughs. “So you’re the type to keep your pride even though you are poor? Just take care of your body. Health is the most important thing. I’ve got to run away, I’m so scared. See you when school starts!”

Young Do leaves, and the sidekicks beat up the poor kid.


Young Do is checking out his newly custom order motorcycle. Dealer is telling him how great the parts are, and Young Do asks, “Are you bragging with my money?”

Eun Sang comes through the shop door to deliver a pizza. A young employer there keeps hitting on her, but Eun Sang is too busy and too poor to respond to idiocy. All she wants is the pizza money and to leave. She starts to call the police, but the guy stops her. She gets her money and goes. Young Do takes notice.

Delivering pizza is not Eun Sang’s only job. She also works at a cafe.

On her way to clean a table, she notices Chan Young studying. He has been there about thirty minutes without ordering anything, and Eun Sang tells him her boss is not selling dirt here. Meaning he’s not running a charity.

Chan Young smiles and says he will leave when Bo Na gets here. Before Eun Sang can finish complaining about how the two always have their date here, Chan Young hands her an umbrella. It’s going to rain around the time she gets off work. Eun Sang sheepishly takes the umbrella.

“If you give this to me, what about your girlfriend?”

Chan Young takes his jacket and covers his head. “My Bo Na is always a heroine inside a movie.”

Eun Sang is grossed out by the sweet. Chan Young tells her to get a boyfriend, but she reminds him that hours spent with no pay is an extravagance to her.”

Chan Young gives her a worried look. “How many part time jobs do you have?” Eun Sang answers, “What can I do? The only heaven I’m permitted to is ‘Part-time Heaven.'” (Note: Part-Time Heaven is an actual website which lists part time jobs in Korea.)

Bo Na shows up with her shrill voice, jealous that her boyfriend is looking at Eun Sang with such soft and worried eyes. Eun Sang sighs and Bo Na throws her a dirty look. Chan Young lights up to see Bo Na. He makes room for her. He’s quite the gentleman and sweety. I’m going to love him.

Bo Na reminds Eun Sang that she told her to not flirt with her boyfriend. Eun Sang retorts, “You think I’m that pretty.” Bo Na replies, “I never said you were pretty!”

Eun Sang, who is used to dealing with Bo Na, simply says, “Right. But you’re pretty. So stop bothering this poor part-timer.”

Bo Na is peeved and want to leave with Chan Young. “You’re leaving tomorrow, and I don’t want to waste time with her.” Eun Sang doesn’t know what Bo Na is saying about Chan Young leaving. “Are you going somewhere?” Chan Young answers vaguely, “I’m just going somewhere for a bit,” and Bo Na blocks him from saying more. She wants to know something about Chan Young that Eun Sang doesn’t know.

On their way out, Bo Na stops to point out that Chan Young is not wearing the colors that she told him to wear for the festival. He points to shoes he is wearing, but Bo Na points out, “That’s dark red, not red!”

Eun Sang sighs as she watches them walk off. “Those wasteful kids.”


Bo Na and Chan Young are walking together, and she is complaining about Eun Sang. She hates that Eun Sang is always so confident in front of her when she has nothing, and that she knows about Chan Young’s childhood.

Chan Young finds this adorable, and reassures Bo Na that he and Eun Sang are just friends. They’ve been friends half his life.

Bo Na finds that hard to believe. “How can two young people of the opposite side be just friends?!!!”

It is night now, and Eun Sang is on her way home from work. She is talking on her phone, complaining to her sister via answer machine about Bo Na: how she is so suspicious, how she has a chauffeur, and how she never seems to have suffered her entire life.

Eun Suk (Eun Sang’s older sister) is fighting with her boyfriend. He’s cheating on her, but she really can’t do anything since she is living in his home. Ugh, he slaps her.

Eun Sang asks through the machine, “Are you even checking these? Please call. Are you doing well in school? Still you’re lucky, going to school in the U.S. Call. I miss you.”

Eun Sang hangs up, and it starts to rain. The umbrella Chan Young gave her won’t open though. Eun Sang runs under a shop awning, and she notices the dream catcher hanging in the window. It gives a little sparkle, and at that moment, her umbrella opens. A sign of good things to come?


Chan Young and his dad, Yoon Jae Ho, are cooking dinner together. They joke around, saying Chan Young being home instead of out with his girlfriend ruins dad’s night of fun.

Chan Young gently scolds his dad for cutting the carrot to go in the curry too large. It should be smaller than the potato pieces. Jae Ho asks for his reasoning, and Chan Young eloquently responds, and I fall in love with Chan Young more because he is cute with his father too.

Jae Ho wants his son to say that in English, but Chan Young can’t. That is why is going to the U.S. to study abroad for language. But he couldn’t tell Eun Sang that he is going when she is working so hard.

Chan Young asks his dad about Eun Sang’s mom. How is she doing? Jae Ho tells him, “She’s the core of the power of the Empire group since she has the lady of house in the palm of her hand.”

Chan Young: “Really?”

Eun Sang’s mom, or Park Hee Nam, is at the Kim’s mansion working as a maid. She is called over by the second lady of the house, who is Kim Tan’s mom but not his father’s wife. A mistress. She is warned by the other maid that the “Little ma’am” is on edge because her son in the U.S. won’t pick up the phone. Eun Sang’s mom smiles good-naturedly.

Kim Tan’s mom, or Han Ki Ae, is frustrated her son won’t answer her and vents it to Hee Nam. Hee Nam is used to this, it seems, and just quietly and simply takes it all in stride.

The other maid comes it to announce that the president, or Kim Won, has come home, and Ki Ae is immediately worried. What about this wine she is drinking? She is about to gulp it down when the maid informs her that Won went straight to his room. Ki Ae spits out the wine into her glass. “Why do you always say the important things last? Are you doing this on purpose? So I can get caught? Am I not even allowed a good dinner with wine?”

Hee Nam suddenly takes away the wine glass away from Ki Ae who was about to drink it again. She dumps the wine into the soup and hide the glass underneath her apron.

Won comes in, with his good-looking but hard face. Ki Ae asks him if he ate. He answers without saying hello that he had a late lunch. She starts to worry after him, but Won cuts her off, addressing the maids. Who cleaned his room today? The other maid did. Won asks for it to be cleaned again, and for water to be brought to his study room. He leaves the room without so much a second look at Ki Ae.

Ki Ae order Hee Nam to bring the a new bottle of the same wine and a new glass to her room. Hee Nam writes in her notepad, “You should eat more.”

Ki Ae answers, “If one eats after being ignored like that, that makes her a mistress. Usually ladies of the house can’t eat a grain of rice after something like this.” Ki Ae smiles and oh so gracefully orders Hee Nam to throw away all of the food.

Hee Nam things to herself, “Whether you can eat or not, a mistress is a mistress. A mistress who can eat is better than a mistress who can drink.”

Hee Nam is setting her family’s dinner table with the food from the Kim mansion. Eun Sang is giving her mother a look, and Hee Nam signs to her that the lady gave it to them. Eun Sang retorts, “If the lady gave it, do I have to just eat it quietly? Am I a food dump?”

Hee Nam signs, “What’s wrong with that? There is nothing more important than eating. Besides, when will be able to eat like this in our circumstances.”

This hits Eun Sang where it hurts. “Is it my fault we are in this situation? You just eat it.” Eun Sang gets up and goes to her room.

In the bedroom, Eun Sang pretends to flip through a book, but she mutter out loud while looking at a picture of her sister, “That witch. Living well by herself.”

Hee Nam comes in, and to appease her daughter, promises to not bring home food again. She also wants Eun Sang to go to the bank personally, because she doesn’t trust internet banking, to send money to her sister in the U.S. Eun Sang looks at the account book. Mom is planning to send all $8000 to her sister!

Hee Nam explains that Eun Suk is getting married.


Esther notifies her daughter, Ra Hael, that she is remarrying. Ra Hael can’t believe it. It hasn’t been that long since she divorced dad, but Esther thinks it has been long enough. She wants her daughter to change and wear lower heels. They are meeting her new dad for dinner, and he is not tall. Ra Hael demands to know this person who is not tall, but is famous enough for a new report to go out about this remarriage.

Eun Sang is also asking about her soon-to-be brother-in-law. Most importantly, is he going to send an airplane ticket for them to come to the wedding? Hee Nam chides her daughter, in sign language, for thinking they can go there. Eun Sang, looks around, embarrassed, and reminds her mom to use her phone when they are outside. Mom obliges and types out that Eun Suk will have picked a good husband since she is someone who is going to college in the U.S. And if they go, they will only be a flaw, defect.

Eun Sang demands to know why they would be a flaw. What’s wrong with them? Hee Nam says Eun Suk described him as a nice and diligent guy. What more can they want?

Eun Sung struggles with tears. “Why can’t we want more? Since sis ran away, I’ve…..” Eun Sang can’t finish what she is about to say while staring at her mother.

Eun Sang turns away and says, “I’m going to wedding. I’m going to give the money personally to here.” Eun Sang leaves, but Hee Nam can’t call after her.

Lo and behold, Esther’s fiancé is Young Do’s dad, Choi Dong Wook, CEO of Zeus Hotel. Young Do and Ra Hael sit across from each other, obviously not pleased with each other or this situation. Young Do smirks and snorts at his father and Esther’s conversation about their past relationship failures being fate to lead them to this. So does Ra Hael. They see the BS.

Since Ra Hael is younger by a few months than Young Do, Dong Wook and Esther tell their kids to treat each other like dongsaeng and oppa.

Young Do says, sarcasm and disdain dripping from his voice, “Of course. She is just my style.”

He gets up to leave, but his dad stops him. By slapping him. In front of his future stepmom and stepsis. Well, hello there, typical kdrama dad!

Young Do glowers. Now he can’t really stay, since he has just been humiliated. “Have a good dinner. Between family.”

Dong Wook apologizes to Ra Hael, and she gets up, saying she will hear it directly from Young Do.

Dong Wook remarks that Ra Hael is a lot like Esther. Esther snaps back, “Young Do is a lot like your ex-wife.” Dong Wook responds, “Don’t ever speak of her again in front of me.” Esther replies nonchalantly, “Was she prettier than me?” Dong Wook laughs, “This is why I like you.” My skin is crawling with these two.

Ra Hael calls out to Young Do, who is about to get on his motorcycle, “Hey brother!”

Young Do wonders why she has come out to stop him. Ra Hael corrects him, “I came out to lose you. So I don’t have to stay for that awful dinner.”

Before Young Do can leave, Ra Hael says, “You know I’m engaged to Kim Tan, right?” Young Do’s face gets even darker, if that is possible.

Ra Hael continues, “If we become siblings, you and Tan become brother-in-laws. You’re not the only who hate this marriage. But it seems you dread it more than I do. I’m just reminding you.”

Young Do clarifies, “I never said I didn’t like this marriage. You know what marriage means for people like us. It’s a merger and acquisition. What do you think will end up with the share that your mom has in the Empire group. So try to break this engagement if you can. Don’t needlessly become Choi Ra Hael from Yoo Ra Hael.”

Young Do drives away, and Ra Hael stands there, looking worried.


Eun Sang is at another part-time job, this time washing dishes. She can force back her tears at the never ending stream of dirty plates.

At the end of the job, the owner gives Eun Sang her pay. He asks if she going to go on vacation during her school break. Eun Sang tells him that she is going to the U.S. And never coming back.

“My sister marrying means she is going to stay in the U.S. Which means I will have to live my life with mom washing dishes. I resent the fact that my life seems to have been predestined to poverty.”

The owner asks how an eighteen-year-old can already think like that. Eun Sang replies, “That’s why I am going to the U.S. I’ve been thinking about this since I was eight.

Back home after going to the bank, Eun Sang tells her mom she’s exchanged currencies (instead of sending the money). She tells Hee Nam to not worry; there should be at least one member of the family at the wedding. Hee Nam silently nods.

Eun Sang puts away some new notebooks she has prepared for her mom. She also digs through an old one and sees that it if full of apologies and “ma’am” and struggles to learn English to work in a hoity-toity chaebol household. Eun Sang silently sobs, but stops herself to turn back to look at her mom. Hee Nam is making a powder of mixed grains and beans. (It’s really good, added with a bit of sugar, for a drink.)

On one of the fresh notebooks, Eun Sang write, “I’m sorry, mom.”

In the bedroom, Eun Sang packs away her mom’s used notebook in her suitcase. She promises silently, “I will come back to take you after I’ve succeed. Just wait a bit.”

Esther wonders if Ra Hael is immigrating, with all that she is packing. She also, once again, dictates what her daughter should be wearing. Ra Hael just throws in both shoes and also packs a framed picture of her and Tan in her suitcase.

Esther complains about Ra Hael going to Tan. Why can’t she make him come here? Ra Hael says he will come if she send him her mother’s wedding invitation. Ha!

Esther says she doesn’t care to convince her daughter about this marriage. Ra Hael retorts, “You just don’t have the reasoning to persuade me.”

Esther threatens her daughter. “If you want, you can break away from the family registry.” Ra Hael responds, “You’re threatening me with my inheritance?” Esther: “Because it is the most effective and always works.”

Ra Hael wants to know why Choi Young Do’s dad. Esther knows about Choi Dong Wook tendency for physical violence, right! Or, is she really in love with him?

Esther bristles at that. Love?! “Yoo Ra Hael!”

Ra Hael asks, “Don’t you feel guilty saying that name since you are trying to make me Choi Ra Hael?” Esther shakes her daughter off and tells her to say hi to her future son-in-law for her.

With mom gone, Ra Hael shakes in frustration. She picks up her phone to call Tan.


Tan’s voiceover with scenes of his gorgeous house.

“The first thought I had in this California, where I had been chased off too, is ‘I can eat all the almonds I want.’ And befitting a exiled bastard, I thought for a moment, ‘Should I rebel?’ But like my brother’s advice, I just ate and played. And thanks to this, I have cops who know my face, my school pays attention to me, and my mother in Seoul cries everyday.”

We see Tan writing in his diary, and also that he has pictures of him with his brother, and with his mother on his nightstand. No pictures of dad, though.

Jay comes in with Tan’s phone. Tan sees the call is from Ra Hael, and he ignores it.

Let me translate Tan’s Engrish. “I already know who’s calling. It’s my fiance. She’s either about to get on the plane, or could be on the plane, or already here. It’s our engagement anniversary soon.”

Jay, with his horrible over-acting, says “You look like none of that is a good thing.”

Tan put on a cap. “No, I always look this good.” Pfft, Tan, I love you and your Engrish. It’s okay, baby, it’s okay.

Tan finishes off with this trademark line, “I’m too lazy to celebrate.” Seriously, who coached Lee Min Ho on his accent?

Tan and Jay are off to surf. Woohoo!

Eun Sang has arrived at LAX. She looks around, a bit overwhelmed, but talks herself up. She once placed 13th in the whole school!

Outside at the sidewalk of LAX, Ra Hael is on the phone, probably talking to her mom, and lying that Tan is here to pick her up. Eun Sang overhears this, but the man that is putting away Ra Hael’s suitcase is definitely not “more handsome than before, taller, and tanned.”

RH notices Eun Sang eavesdropping while she says to Esther, “Tan is saying that I got prettier too.” She sees Eun Sang smile at that. 

Ra Hael stops Eun Sang. “You just laughed at me, right? Why did you laugh?” Eun Sang grimaces, and rolls her 13th place brain. She answers in Japanese, “What is it? I’m Japanese.”

Ra Hael answers in better Japanese, “If you wanted to pretend to be Japanese, you shouldn’t have turned around when I called out, ‘excuse me.'”

Eun Sang apologizes, in Japanese, and tries to leave, but Ra Hael won’t let this go.

Eun Sang explains that she wasn’t laughing at her. She just was feeling a sense of camaraderie, because she wasn’t the only one not receiving a welcome here. This jabs at Ra Hael.

Tan paddles while his body double surfs. He looks like Lee Min Ho but not enough.

Eun Sang is at the beach too, and looks at all the well-endowed ladies. She peek underneath her own shirt. “Is it because we eat different things?”


Then the scene we’ve all been waiting for since we saw Lee Min Ho zipped all the way up in that body suit. Lee Min Ho not zipped all the way up in that body suit. Eun Sang sees him and his lady friend and thinks to herself, there are a lot of lucky people in this world.

Translating Engrish to English: Tan won’t be partying tonight because he has to do some thinking.

Eun Sang has arrived at the address her sister is supposed to be living in, but a strange woman answers the door. There is English and Korean flying between the two until Eun Suk’s boyfriend comes to the door and recognizes (or guesses?) it’s Eun Sang.

Inside the boyfriend’s house, Eun Sang learns that her sister lied about everything. Her boyfriend, her school, her life in the U.S. Eun Sang demands to know where the crazy witch is.

Tan is writing at the beach diner. Guh, I hope there are more scene of Lee Min Ho writing. Eun Suk, or Stella comes over with coffee and asks what he writes everyday. Tan tells her it’s homework. An essay.

Stella comments, “You don’t look like you would do homework.”

Tan: “That’s why I do it. It’s a type of rebellion.”

Stella asks, “Against who? Your teacher?” Tan doesn’t answer but just thanks her for the coffee.

Tan writes, “When I am writing an essay, I think that I am thinking. The thinking that my brother told me not to do.”


Greek god, I mean, Kim Won is in a meeting at the Jeguk Group building. The new premium mall is not making money, and the guy presenting is suggesting that they advertise more. The mall’s target demographic- the top 10% of society- is not easy to approach. Someone else suggest that they should broaden their target to families, to which Won shots down with “Then we should have gone for a theme park.”

Won wants to know who got the report about the loss in profits, beside the guy in the gray suit. Yoon Jae Ho, who has been quietly doodling away all this time, speaks up. The CEO got the report too.

Won: “So the CEO who is at home knew about my incompetency a week before, but I didn’t know about it when I come to work everyday.”

Won asks Secretary Yoon, “Can’t my incompetency be known only to me or at least only inside the office.”

Yoon smiles as he replies, “If I had delivered the report, than the CEO would have been sitting here right now.”

Won looks around, “It seems like he is sitting here. How many eyes and ears of the CEO are sitting here in this room?”

Yoon Jae Ho says, “The CEO said to be good to your supervisor rather than the landowner.”

Won glares at Secretary Yoon. He lists all the positions below him and asks Jae Ho until which position he thinks is the level of supervisor.

Jae Ho answers, looking straight at Won, “What do you do think as the landowner?” Man’s got balls. Won is scary, and with Choi Jin Hyuk’s voice…Hide me.


Tan is looking out from the diner, and he sees Eun Sang starting into the building with her suitcase in hand. He notices her eyes following Stella, and both he and Eun Sang see that Stella isn’t really treated like a lady.

Tan turns back to Eun Sang and see her eyes are filled with tears. He takes a sip of his iced coffee. His face is a mixture of curiosity and interest, but it isn’t sympathy yet. Yet, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Stella comes over to pour Tan more coffee and notices where he is looking. Her younger sister, staring at her with tears streaming down her face, trembling in anger and disappointment.

Stella rushes out, and Eun Sang turns away. She doesn’t like that fact that her sister caught her crying. Eun Suk asks Eun Sang, “Why are you here? What about mom?”

Eun Sang can’t believe her sister’s audacity. How can she even ask about mom?

Eun Suk looks slightly embarrassed. She tells her sister she should have called. Eun Sang retorts, “If I did, would you have shown me something different?”

Eun Sang yells at her sister for the lies, but all Eun Suk is thinking about is the money. She grabs Eun Sang’s suitcase and starts digging through it for the money.

Eun Sang can’t believe her eyes. “I wanted to live off you a bit after abandoning mom, but I am getting punished for that now. ”

Eun Suk can’t hear what her sister is saying, looking for the money. Eun Sang sees her mother’s notepad fall out of the suitcase, which prompts her to grab Eun Suk.

“Life really sucks. You were my dream. My last hope. I settled to a life that assigns people to those who have and those who don’t and decided to I will just go to a junior college. Why? Because mom and I have to eat until you return.”

Eun Suk is the most selfish person in the world as she just casually says, “I’m sorry. Just this once.” Eun Suk continues to dig and finds the money. Eun Sang tries to stop her, who runs off. Eun Sang can’t keep chasing her because all her belongings are still in the floor. Eun Sang wails, “Unnie, let me go with you!”

Tan looks at her with a flicker of sympathy.

Jay and his loud voice return and Tan motions for him to be quiet. You and me, brother, you and me. Jay sees Eun Sang and the bag of powder. He mistakes it for drugs, and before Tan can snap out of it, Jay has stolen the powder from Eun Sang.

Jay runs into a volleyball net and falls on his back, despite nothing in his head to pull him down. In the ensuing struggle with Eun Sang, the bag rips open, and Jay licks it up. Jay starts to choke, having an allergic reaction. Tan runs over and tells Eun Sang to call 911, but Eun Sang does not have a cellphone.

Tan and Eun Sang are at the hospital, and it seems Jay will be okay. Eun Sang explains it was powdered grains and beans, and Tan sharply replies that he knows. Eun Sang and Tan bicker, of course, because Tan is annoyed and Eun Sang can’t believe he is blaming her for this. Note, Eun Sang speaks in jondaemal, and he speaks in banmal.

Tan has left to fill out form, and a cop walks over to  Eun Sang. The powder is in an evidence bag. Be right back, laughing my butt off.

Outside the hospital, Eun Sang tries to explain to the cop that the powder is not drugs. Still, the cop replies, they are going to have to test it. The cop wants her ID, and to know she is not here illegally. This goes over Eun Sang’s head, but thankfully, our surfer boy shows up.

“It’s okay, baby!”


Tan is lying that Eun Sang is his girlfriend until he sees the cops face. Uh oh, these two have run into each other before. Tan doesn’t have a good reputation here, and the cop knows it. Things just got more complicated. Eun Sang’s passport is taken until the results are back.

Eun Sang is questioning Tan about the situation when he notices that she is speaking banmal, or informally, to him. Eun Sang asks, “Doesn’t everyone in America speak banmal, anyway?” And besides, she saw Jay’s birthdate on the medical chart, and since he is Jay’s friend, and she is the same age as Jay, he must be the same age as her too. Tan clears his throat.

He wants to know where she is staying so he can contact her since she doesn’t have a phone. Eun Sang asks to borrow his hand…, no, cellphone. She will pay him for the time. She’s going to call her sister.

Tan doesn’t think she will answer the call, and Eun Sang realizes he saw everything. She asks him to drive her home on his way home; she’ll pay!

Tan wonders why she keeps trying to solve everything with money. “Do you have a lot of money?”

Eun Sang softly answers, “I’m afraid you might just leave. Please, I am asking you a favor.”

Tan drives Eun Sang back to her sister’s place. She tells him she will call him three times a day; pick up if the passport has been returned, or don’t pick up if there is passport yet.” She thanks him for the ride, and it pricks him just a little that he is being such so sharp with her.

He doesn’t drive away immediately and watches Eun Sang knocking at the empty, dark house. He gets out of the car. “It seems like no one is home.”

Eun Sang tries to keep a brave face. “She’ll come.”

Tan reminds her of how dangerous the streets can be in the U.S. and that her sister ran away after stealing money from her.

Eun Sang looks away, “She’ll come.” I don’t think she believes it, really.

Tan drives away after saying, “Fine. Then just wait.”

Eun Sang sits on the stairway when a group of guys walk past, hitting on her. Fortunately, they aren’t really dangerous, but Eun Sang is scared now and starts to walk away.

At the moment, we hear the sound of engines roaring and Tan drives right up next to Eun Sang. “Do you want to go to my house?”



Preview for episode 2

Eun Sang: Are you a drug dealer?

Tan: Do you still have two kidneys?

Won: I don’t have a mother in this house.

Ki Ae: Say ahjumma to ahjumma, the ahjumma who raised you.

Eun Sang: Then, goodbye.

Tan: Where you are going to go? Then, just stay!

Young Do: Just break up and date Myung Soo.

Bo Na: Are you crazy?

Myung Soo: Why do have to react so strongly? You!!! ….I don’t hate you.

Ki Ae: I need to know too, since they are going to be my son’s in-laws.

Jung Ji Sook: What a fool. As long as I am here, you will be my husband’s live in girlfriend until he dies.

Eun Sang: Who are you?

Ra Hael: The house owner’s fiance.

Eun Sang: I had a situation and stayed over one night.

Ra Hael: You slept here?

Tan: Are you crying?

Eun Sang: What kind of life has no surprise?

Bo Na: Can you not be interested in me?

Young Do: I can’t stop myself. You’re so pretty.

Eun Sang: Here’s the money for the stay.

Tan: What is this?

Eun Sang: It’s a dream catcher. They say only pretty dreams come through that hole.

Tan: How about pretty ladies?


Wooh! I am breathing a sigh of relief. Not bad, not bad at all. The opening credits had me worried because it seemed so bland and cliche, but I was hooked immediately by the dark and shadowed scene between young Won and Tan- Won so tall and charismatic and Tan so young and feeble. And then to see older Tan, calm, mature, and seemingly at peace. His last line in the voice over hit a chord in me, the sloth chord: “I am too lazy to resent someone.”

I was expecting a lot more shouting and energy from this Kim Eun Sook drama, but I love how things are a bit slower, more subdued, and quiet. There is time to breathe, time to let things sink in, time to read between the lines.

Wealth and money isn’t pushed into our face like the way it was in Boys Over Flowers, thank goodness. That was interesting five(?) years ago, but now it would have been overdone. We know these kids are rich, not because of what they have, wear, and where they live, but how they live, how to speak, and how they interact with other people. Of course they are a few gratuitous shots, but I like how our hero starts off exiled in a place where his money and background mean just a little less.

Young Do is an interesting character, acted with layers and subtlety by Kim Woo Bin. I want to know more about him, this person who both seems to resent and enjoy his status, and thinks he has the whole world figured out. He knows his wealth gives him incredible power, with everyone eager to suck up to him and afraid to step on his toes. What kind of change will Eun Sang bring to him, someone whose live is ruled by money, but has nothing to lose because she has none?

Chan Young and his dad occupy an interesting space between worlds; they are rich but not wealthy. They move between Jeguk group and Eun Sang’s world with ease and intelligence, and I look forward to seeing what kind of cracks and bridges they create between the two worlds.

Tan’s mom lives inside the house of her son’s father as a mistress with her son’s half-brother and her son’s father’s second wife. She is the “little ma’am” who wants to be more than that, but doesn’t seem smart enough. So with that, Eun Sang’s mom has the advantage, because although she is a housemaid, she looks after the “little ma’am” with intelligence and kindness.

Kim Won. He cuts me with his eyes and cold, sharp voice. But he comes in the form of Choi Jin Hyuk so I will continue to look and listen.

I am surprised the Eun Sang seems so embarrassed by her mom’s disability when she gets angry that her mom called them a flaw. How can she be angry at her sister and mother when she herself can’t take any pride in herself and her family?

I thought Young Do and Ra Hael were going to be friends, but I guess not, especially with the hint that Young Do hates Tan for whatever reason. Ra Hael and Young Do are very similar to each other with their parents being who they are and both growing up haughty and privileged.

When Tan gazes at Eun Sang crying in front of her ransacked suitcase, I wished Lee Min Ho expressed a bit more there. Like the moment when Won heard Jae Ho talk about the landowner and supervisors. Like the moment when Joo Won heard Ra Im say she is not the little mermaid because she doesn’t love him. Still, I liked that scene a lot because it shows Tan’s slow movement from being an observer of the world to an active agent. He started off watching her like he was reading a fictional book and ended with that sliver of empathy that defines us as human.

Can we get more scenes of Tan just writing? I love it so much. Tan says he writes because it feels like he is thinking, and I can relate so much to that. Plus, there is something so sexy about a man who writes for the sake of writing.

It’s always a good sign when I can say, waiting for the next episode!

And please excuse typos and errors. I have to get up to go to work in an hour so I’m going to bed without proofreading….

160 Comments Post a comment
  1. FilChiNY #

    Hello everyone!
    I assume that most if not all of the followers in this thread are non Korean speakers or not as fluent. Otherwise, you would just be watching the series with the need fro translations.
    While Joonni is fluent in both English and Korean, doing live recaps has some challenges. It will not be translated verbatim since the sentence construction for both languages are different to begin with. The person translating, in this case Joonni, also has to take into consideration the meaning of the sentence and have to translate it in such a way as to how it is expressed in English. All these are done in seconds or less. then you also have to coordinate your mind and fingers to deliver the written words. IT IS NOT AN EASY TASK!
    SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO DO THIS! She could just sit back,, relax, watch and enjoy the show! BUT because she is such an AWESOME, KINDHEARTED PERSON, SHE IS DOING THIS FOR ALL OF YOU WHO DOESN’T KNOW HANGUL.
    I hope that people learn to appreciate her efforts and hard work. Just be grateful there is someone who does it live and as accurate as can be.

    October 9, 2013
  2. minozlove #

    Joonni, it is AMAZING to be back, so amazing, thank you, I mean I read first few lines of your recap and my mood is immediately at its right place. You did amazing job as always, wow, your thoughts I love, your analysis I love, your writing I love. Wow, wow, wow, we are in for a treat. Lots of love

    October 9, 2013
  3. lysander love #

    Great job! appreciate your efforts and kindness!

    October 9, 2013
  4. Loved this.:) what channel can i watch.?

    October 9, 2013
  5. apple box #

    Joonni, you are doing fine. You are not the problem. And I trust that you know better than doubt yourself.

    Softy, I tried to heed your valid request not to further grant attention to “it”. I finally came up with these thoughts – not a reply per se to the incident, as much as it is actually a message for Joonni.

    I agree with Softy’s advice to delete “that post”. A writer’s intent is crucial and is betrayed no less by the words employed. Using this test, “that post” miserably fails the good-intent test, and is thus, devoid of merit. So, I agree with Softy, off to the bin it should go.

    I respect, however, your position to let it remain. I admire your tolerance. I wish I were as tolerant. For tolerance is a badge of “higher” strength rather than weakness. And for writers like you, or those who pursue writing as an art form, or for artists all in all, TOLERANCE, while it comes with cost, is as much essential a tool as CURIOUSITY, in the path towards becoming…..

    If I may digress a bit, editors of print/broadcast media allow publication/printing of reader’s comments of similar nature, because readers pay, audience buy, and thus, deserve to be heard. This kind of responsibility does not bind free portals like that of “Scattered Joonni”. And so, yeah, to be candid, no prince or princess in the face of this earth has any right to claim self-entitlement as to dictate upon you, Joonni, how or what to write about.

    Taking it a bit further though – –
    Responsibility to the audience, however, reaches further than the buying public. This responsibility is likewise inherent in graphic/written works on the internet, through free blogs/publications, or the free social media networks. That is so because these portals, while free, or any other gratis/easily-accessed venue/medium of communication, are A MATTER of PUBLIC DOMAIN, a domain deserving of one’s competence, ethics and good faith. (for humanity to take care of its lot).

    Mindful of this, Joonni, let me assure you that through your dedication, output and overall blog, you have met this responsibility. More than that, I am happy to partake of the fruits of your labor.

    I wish I made this shorter. But I still have to try harder in the department of “being concise”.

    I think the last line of the first ep is the crown we all can claim so far, without the risk of becoming another self-entitled brats. Kim Tan’s hanging question sealed the promise of what could possibly be “another Sega”, if not more, in the heart of Kdrama fans.

    My answer to Kim Tan’s question? “Yes! In a heartbeat!”

    October 10, 2013
  6. athena #

    Joonni..its your blog and Softy’s too what you do best because I re visited your blog a few times in a I get my doses that continues making me happy the whole day…I really can’t stand anyone who love to give -ve comments…because I watched dramas for purely entertainment, if its good I watched repeatedly..that is why this drama going to be in my dvd collections…I have all dramas from PSH in my collection..even lots of k dramas addicts thinks she can’t act and no expressions…continue do it your way Joonni…Thanks again.

    October 10, 2013
  7. edna #

    hi to everyone! especially to Joonni and Softy! I really appreciate all your efforts. Very few people can do this, and i admire you for that. I’ve always been here and never left. I’m just a silent admirer but a big fan of LMH…i’ve been reading other blogs but i’d like to think my heart belongs here! Thanks a lot.

    October 10, 2013
  8. Dear Joonni and Softy

    Though I am unable to watch Heirs, I share you joy here at Scattered Joonni. Joonni, congratulations to you for your wonderful return to recapping. This must mean you are well! (happy…) Thanks for doing this for us. I have always enjoyed reading your writing. Had I had your talent, I would have done more translations for our friends. So great work, girl! Keep well and remember to rest. And Softy, well done on shunning mean thoughts and posts. Missing you both.


    October 10, 2013
  9. Widia #

    First draft please please joonni… You’re doin great, babe 🙂

    October 10, 2013
  10. CallieP #

    I saw episode one last night. Softy, LMH’s English is not that bad. He had problems with some words, two I can remember offhand. Already and drugs. We all have our non American way of pronouncing words. I grew up speaking English but I still pronounce certain words sounding very different from the way an American says it. What about the south? I can understand what LMH said better than some Americans from the south, blacks and whites. Even in England, you can’t make out some of the accents, cockney, etc. I think he did well. I like hearing him speak English. I hope he practices more.

    October 10, 2013
  11. CallieP #

    I am still trying to figure out how Koreans rate their dramas. Softy and Joonni might know. I thought 2 weeks was pretty good but it failed at the ratings. I hear your voice started poorly but picked up the very next episode. What made them decide to watch it the next day? Gentleman’s dignity started strong and remained strong. With all the hype and no other viable dramas at that time slot, why did Heirs do so badly? 13th on one of them. I checked Medical Team and it did worse. Secrets did about the same as Heirs. Those were the three main competitors so who got the #1 slot? I thought Koreans would definitely check out the first episode by the famous writer and with all the hype they might be curious. I did not think it would be 30 or 40% as hoped by LMH or that was what was reported during the conference. I thought at least, it will be 15-19% at least for the first episode and if they decided they did not like it, would not go back the next day. Secrets started very badly the first few episodes but now it is picking up and about the same as Heirs. Can Joonni or Softy give their thoughts being Koreans and living there presently.

    October 10, 2013
  12. ananice #

    Dear Joonnie ,Softy
    Thank you very much for your great efforts to translate for us who don’t understand Hangul but are so drawn by the world of kdramas . I know that it took you a lot of efforts and time so I really appreciate it .
    PS:your english is extremely beautiful and your expressions and your thoughts ❤ ❤ wow I really like your style of writing and I'm not only flattering you!

    October 10, 2013
  13. WendyM #

    Joonni amazing live recaps~

    I am a bit late to come and say hi Joonni~
    As always your way to do recaps is amazing. Wow!

    I am not watching Heirs live but I will read your comments as I like so much your inside thoughts.

    I must admit seeing Lee Min-Ho and Choi Jin-Hyuk side by side in the Almond farm screen capture was good but seeing them and HEARing them in the long trailer made my heart skip a beat.Too much for a weak heart now that I developed a liking for spoken Korean in my ear .

    Glad to read the same Faith fans pouring here…(you all know who you are!)..thanks to you Joonni I’ve made some long-lasting friends to share the love for Korean dramas.

    October 10, 2013
  14. Finally found a place where I can watch from home. Yes, many beautiful people and visually pleasing. I’m late with thoughts for the new show. Memorable scenes for me:

    I like that it opened with LMH writing and contemplating at the cafe watching the sunset. Opens like a movie.

    I like the way PSH cried and get torn between her sister who was getting farther and farther away and her luggage, which practically contains nothing. Back and forth, back and forth…

    I don’t understand, with all that fuss about filming in Malibu, that’s all the LMH surfing and they’ve got?

    I guess it will still take time for me to warm up to this show. But I get to enjoy Joonni’s amazing recap! Lucky me…

    October 12, 2013
  15. callieP #

    One comment you made that the surfer was definitely not LMH. I think the shot of the surfer that was definitely not LMH was the other person surfing with LMH. There were three of them going out to sea so that was probably intended to be his friend and was not his body double. I doubt they would make such an obvious mistake because you could see the guy’s face.

    October 12, 2013
    • I’m in location…just wanted to clarify you CallieP. They put a stunt double in LMH surfing scene. Because I saw him @ Huntington Beach when we visited the shooting w/ Minoz. & Klove.

      October 12, 2013
  16. hanney #

    when i watched the first episode which is without eng sub…i keep thinking…why do i see park shin hye overshadowed lee minho in this drama…why i see a different lee minho here?not really liking the fact that lee minho is a bit stiff here…hmmm…why is he not relax?n stuff like that coming to my mind…but i coax myself…perhaps lee minho likes park shin hye after all HAHA…sorry for the wild guess..LOL…but coming here reading your recap really make watching this drama fun…i begin to understand our forever well loved hero more of him being exiled and everything …and our lovely heroine(always love the fact how well park shin hye acts)…thanks Jooni,you really make my day!!!am looking forward for more of your recap!anneyoung (-:

    October 13, 2013
    • Conjie008 #

      That’s funny..I saw that too!! But, I’m thinking maybe it calls out that certain charater out of him..”still speculating” or it’s just because their so close to that age..of finding someone to co-exist ??

      October 13, 2013
  17. hanney #

    CallieP; I also dont understand how Koreans rate their drama, I think The Heirs’ rate ought to be higher.

    thanks conjie008 for having the same view…can’t wait for ep 3 and so forth…i think future ep will show more chemistry of them…they’re both excellent stars afterall…

    and Joonni you’re doing great job here!n i like your style of writing, it’s entertaining…

    October 15, 2013
  18. which channel can i watch?and what time?

    October 17, 2013
  19. joonni #


    October 29, 2013
  20. joonni #

    another test comment

    October 29, 2013
  21. Yumi #

    Hi joonni, whats with the testing? And testing comment? Hehehe… Just take a rest for a while then tom is another big night with heirs family. Always stay safe and healthy joonni, God bless you more. Ti’ll tom, fighting!!!!!

    October 29, 2013
    • joonni #

      Heh, I was trying to see if I got a notification email about new comments because someone asked me about an issue.
      I’m tired but totally excited. See you tomorrow!

      October 29, 2013
  22. Dakshika #

    I really enjoy your recaps. You are doing an excellent job.

    November 27, 2013
  23. zhenghan #

    What’s the song when the drama just started for episode 1, the one in the first few sec of the show

    December 14, 2013
  24. That was Fucken gay shit. I would have slapped his fat ass with the box!

    June 1, 2015

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