Reborn rich Episode 1 recap
We open with Yoon Hyun Woo (Song Joong Ki) sitting in a foreign bank, signing for a $600 million dollars deposit into his account. Why?
Flashback to 1 week earlier…..
The current chairman of Soonyang group (who we will learn is Jin Young Ki (played by Yoon Je Moon) is sentenced to 3 years in prison with 5 years probation for a bunch of classic corporate crimes: embezzlement, manipulation of stocks, etc. We see that this is not enough for Prosecutor Seo Min Young (Shin Hyun Bin), who goes on a mini-spiel about the rich and their abilities to get with almost anything with just a slap on the wrist.
At a Soonyang banquet for the unveiling of late chairman Jin Yang Cheol’s bust, we see that Hyun Woo is Senior manager of the Future Assets Management Department of Soonyang Group. Through the questions asked by the bumbling new team member, Shin Kyung Min (cameo by Got7’s Jin Young), we learned that Hyun Woo has been working at Soonyang for 5+ years as one of the chairman’s most trusted employee. However, just as the party was about to start, vice-chairman Jin Sung Joon (Kim Nam Hee), son of the current chairman and thus the heir of the Soonyang group, stormed into his father’s office and announced he’s renouncing his inheritance because he discovers what happened during the “accident” that day. OOOOH. After some typical Asian household back and forth between the “overbearing” father and the son, the chairman has a heart attack??? Well that’s pretty dramatic. Sung Joon runs out of there scared as shit, and Hyun Woo came running in cuz he went looking for them when they didn’t show up at the beginning of the party. Anyways, long story short, the chairman is hospitalized in critical conditions.
Anyways, after a meeting of some big wigs at the company that I don’t recognize, it was decided that vice-chairman Sung Jun should make the “special announcement” in his father’s stead. His wife, Mo Hyun Min(Park Ji Hyun), called Yoon in to order him to find the vice chairman wherever he is and bring him back before the ceremony ends or he’s fired. LOL how does she not know where her husband is? You can tell this marriage is full of love. Hyun Woo though agrees to do it, because his 3 rules are: 1) never reject orders made by the chairman’s family, 2) never ask questions, and 3) never make judgements of his own (soooo basically, you’re like an obedient dog to the family. Nice fam). Anyways, Yoon heads out, and finds Sung Joon having some unhinged rage fit in his family’s mansion LMAO. After some talking which involves Sung Joon pouring tea over Hyun Woo’s head, Sung Joon went back to announce his succession of Soonyang and his wish to turn Soonyang into a morally good company. LOL, good luck with that.
We then get a quick backstory of Hyun Woo as it is his mother’s death anniversary. Tensions are palpable between his father and him at the ceremony, despite his brother Hyun Min best attempt to ease the tension. After a brooding shower (IS THIS SCENE REALLY NECESSARY SMH), we cut to a scene of Prosecutor Min Young seizing documents and records from several of Soonyang’s subsidiaries, which she believed were set up so Soonyang can dodge the inheritance taxes for Sung Joon’s succession of Soonyang. Unfortunately for her, Hyun Woo and Sung Joon already predicted this, and had everything replaced already so she found nothing incriminating.
We get introduced to two new characters, Jin Yoon Ki (Kim Young Jae), the 4th Jin sibling of the Soonyang’s corp (aka the younger brother of chairman Jin Young Ki), and his wife Lee Hae In (Jung Hye Young). Hye Young storms in as the family is brooding at the hospital, and demands, to know what happened at that “accident” years ago which apparently involved her son. Is this the same accident that Sung Joon was talking about earlier hmmm? Anyways, she offered her ownership of 3% shares of Soonyang as the payment for the info.
Hyun Woo goes through the old documents that he moved earlier and discovers a paper company overseas named Soonyang Micro that someone is using to embezzle large amounts of money from the company. Spicy. He took these documents to Soonyang’s lawyer, Mr. Kim, but he shredded the documents and threatened Hyun Woo to stay silent. SO BRO’S IN ON THIS LOL OFC. Hyun Woo though, has already taken pics of the document and took them to Sung Joon, who fire Mr. Kim and order Hyun Woo to go overseas to retrieve the $600 million dollars slush fund. HMMMM, is Sung Joon aacctually a good guy?????
So we cut to our opening scene again at some Turkish bank, with Hyun Woo successfully retrieving the $600 million dollars. Meanwhile, one of the big wigs of the company (who we later learn is Jin Hwa Young (Kim Shin Rok), the 3rd Jin sibling and younger sister of the chairman Jin Young Ki) apparently had a bug somewhere in Sung Joon’s office and leaked the info that Soonyang has a slush fund to Prosecutor Min Young, hoping to get Sung Joon arrested. At that same time, Jin Ye Jun (Jo Hye Joo), (YES I KNOW, THERE’S TOO MANY OF THEM), the daughter of the 2nd Jin sibling Jin Dong Ki, had apparently rehired Attorney Kim under her wings, and asked Sung Joon to give the $600 million slush fund to her.
ANYWAYS, meanwhile in Turkey, Hyun Woo hires a taxi, exxceeppppttt it was some sketch taxi, that drives him to literally the middle of some sketch af alley, where he is ambushed and eventually captured. Then he got taken to some random seaport, and found…….Shin Kyung Min waiting for him. OMG, THAT BUMBLING HOOBAE WAS ALL AN ACT???? DAMNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN. Anyways, upon Hyun Woo screaming WHYYYYYY???? Kyung Min calmly answers that he is simply following Hyun Woo’s advice about never refusing orders and not asking questions. LMAO, LE TASTE OF HIS OWN MEDICINE. Hyun Woo then is shot in the head and thrown over the shore, deader than a rock.
RIP. End of series wow.
Hyun Woo somehow woke up in the body of Jin Do Jun, aka the 2nd son of the Jin Yoon Ki, aka the person that something happened to in the “accident” that this episode brought up several times, aka the youngest grandchild of the Jin’s family. In 1987 no less.
Explanation of Soonyang’s family tree (yes, it was confusing af for a while):
We left off last episode with Hyun Woo waking up in the body of Jin Do Joon, the youngest grandchild of the Jin family, in 1987 Korea. So yeah, kindaaa a bit too much for him to handle at first LOL. So a quick reset here since the same characters from the previous episode now have slightly different job titles:
Chairman/Head of company: now is Jin Yang Cheol (the grandfather/the founder of Soonyang. Bro is still alive in 1987 so ofc he’s the chairman)
Vice chairman: Jin Young Ki (aka the chairman in the timeline where Hyun Woo die)
Also, Hyun Woo is now Jin Do Joon, the song of Jin Yoon Ki, so I’ll be referring to him as that and not Hyun Woo anymore.
Anyways, apparently today is some sort of celebration because it is chairman Jin Yang Cheol’s 60th birthday and he also received some medal from the president. Also, today is apparently the first time in like 10 years Jin Yoon Ki and his family visited his father ever since he basically eloped with his wife Jung Hye Young. The matriarch of the Jin family (aka Jin Yoon Ki’s mother), welcomes him and his family warmly, but the chairman refuses to acknowledge his son LOL. Do Joon starts to get his bearings and recall the info he knows about the Jin family, but funnily enough the only person’s info he can’t recall is well…himself. OF COURSE. OTHERWISE IT’S TOO EASY DO JOON. He finds that things are happening EXACTLY like the events that happened in the past of his first life, like how Jin Sung Joon broke his grandfather’s vase and was scolded.
ALSO HYUN WOO’S MOTHER IS STILL ALIVE IN 1987 WHOOOHOOO.
Now realizing that this second life is an opportunity for him, Do Joon sets out to put his knowledge of past events to use. In 1987, for the first time in decades, a presidential election was held, and so thus the question for the Jin family is: which candidate do they want to throw their money (bribe) behind? Everyone thinks it has to be either Kim Young-Sam or Kim Dae-Jung, as either one of them will be nominated from their party for single candidacy. Armed with the basic knowledge of Korean history, Do Joon “predicts” that they will failed to agree to single candidacy (think of it like the Republican or Democratic party of the US failing to nominate a single candidate and instead have multiple candidates run in the final election) and thus basically splitting their voter base, giving the win to Roh Tae Woo. Naturally, after laughing at him at first, everyone in the family freaks out after he’s proven correct, and his grandfather finally wants to talk to him (after basically rejecting his requests to talk the entire time because “I don’t have a 4th son so who tf is this grandchild” LMAO). Anyways, Do Joon gives some BS about greed and stuff to explain how he knows no agreement would happen between Kim Young-Sam and Kim Dae-Jung for single candidacy. However, his grandfather then gives him another quiz to see if he’s really an extraordinary kid or he just got “lucky”: How can Soonyang semiconductor’s business survive in the global scene when it’s a small fish being squeezed by the two biggest fish: the Japanese semiconductor industry and the American semiconductor industry? It’s a question Yang Cheol himself is pondering as everyone around him is urging for him to give up on the semiconductor business, but he himself knows it’s the key of the future. Do Joon is stumped, and is sent home to think.
That night (or several nights later idk time is hard) Do Joon manages to think of the answer. He calls the family’s mansion to phone in his answer, excepttttt…..grandpa is on a business trip to Baghdad. Cool cool, just wait till he comes back right? Except his flight back is the notorious flight CAL 828 (obviously a reference to the real-life KAL 858 flight that exploded), which, as Do Joon recalls, will explode shortly after taking flight. OH SHIT.
Because of his great love for his grandpa, because impressing his grandpa is a quick way into the Jin family, Do Joon must find a way to stop his grandpa’s entourage from getting onto that plane. His solution? He manages to leave a message for his grandfather about how some semiconductor company in Korea is being sold with the deadline literally that day and if Soonyang were to acquire that company, they can consolidate and grow their own fledgling semiconductor business. Yes, that’s right, ladies and gentlemen. His answer to chairman Jin Yang Cheol’s question is literally grow your semiconductor business so that it can survive being crushed by the bigger businesses. WOW! WHAT A GENIUS ANSWER! Anyways, apparently this is the freaking correct answer because Jin Yang Cheol was simply looking for excuses to be not give up on his semiconductor business SMH. For this basic af answer Do Joon win a reward from Jin Yang Cheol, and he uses his pro real estate knowledge to ask for land in Bundang. Back then, apparently that land was cheap as dirt since it was just literally nothingness so his grandfather has no problems giving him 160,000 m2 of it . Do Joon also asks his grandfather for an additional reward: for his family to be accepted back into the Jin Family, in exchange for a future acceptance to the Law School of Seoul National University (aka the #1 university in the land, aka the place that rich people are killing each other to get into (HAI THERE SKY CASTLE)).
FLASH FORWARD to 1997…..
Do Joon is now all grown up WOAH! And since this is a drama, of course he is accepted into Law School at Seoul National University. And of course it isn’t just any acceptance, but accepted as top of his class. And of course, he has jaw-dropping good looks. He’s rich, smart, and handsome LMAO. Yo God, where is my package deal????
Remember all that land Do Joon has in Bundang? Well, in 1997, the area skyrocket in prices due to development and housing projects, so now Do Joon has a cool $24 billion won in his bank account after his grandfather helps him sell his land. His aunt and uncle are miffed at his good fortunes, though notably, Jin Young Ki doesn’t seem too bothered by it unlike his siblings. Hmmmm, semi-good guy or someone who hides it really well?
Anyways, we now get a little sneak peek into how Do Joon’s family (his current one) has been doing. His older brother, Jin Hyung Joon (Kang Gi Dong), is now a wannabe Seo Taiji LMAO (I can’t with the get-up). His father seems pretty successful, with a swanky shiny office now. Or maybeee not lmao, as the money for this office came from Do Joon insisting his father invests in….”Home Alone” for the holidays despite his father’s doubts LOL.
Also of note is Do Joon and Min Young (yeah remember that name from episode 1?)’s first meeting in this timeline. She’s apparently a huge Seo Taiji fangirl, and is currently brawling her eyes out over the group retiring. Thus, her first appearance in front of him here is a far cry from her dark brooding appearance that he remembers from his past life. Before he can get a word in however, she runs away from his creepy ass staring at her B Y E.
Armed with his $24 billions won, Do Joon set out to try to invest it. His first move is to change all the money from won to US dollars. OOOH, trying to avoid the IMF crisis that’s coming, aren’t we? His second move? Accompanying his father to a New York film festival and convincing him to invest in this brand-new project with two unknown leads. How could this random movie called “Titanic” possibly succeed with such conditions smh? On the same trip, he meets Mason Oh/Oh Se Hyun (Park Hyuk Kwon), owner of a US-based investment firm called Power Shares. After demonstrating his “investment prowess” (by correctly predicting Deep Blue to beat Garry Kasparov in their famed 1997 rematch, the first time a computer beat a reigning world chess champion), Do Joon manages to convince Se Hyun to help him build an investment portfolio in the US so he can invest in US companies.
Back in Korea, Soonyang group is getting ready to try to buy Hando Steel, one of the top steel-producing companies in South Korea that is going under due to its massive debts. They have two problems though: 1) they don’t have enough money currently to cover the expected costs, and 2) Daeyang Group, a rival group, is also trying to buy Hando Steel. Chairman Jin Yang Cheol declares that not only will he NOT allowed Daeyang to acquire Hando, but he also won’t spend a penny more than $300 billions won to buy Hando Steel. How?? Well, that is the task he gives to his son/vice-chairman Jin Young Ki to figure out. LOL. Young Ki is also told by his father’s secretary/right hand man Lee Hyang Jae (Jeong Hee Tae) that this is a chance that Chairman Jin is giving his eldest son to prove his worth for inheriting the company.
Do Joon starts his first week in college, driven to school by a chauffeur that his grandfather sent. Smh so bougie. As soon as he walks into school, he was cornered by members of the so-called “Prestigious Club”, which is basically a group full of heirs to different conglomerates/chaebols in Korea. Full of arrogant af heirs, the group invites Do Joon to a “welcoming” dinner that he has to bring a +1 to. Do Joon leaves them with his number so he can chase after Min Young as he caught a glimpse of her walking in campus with her friends. OH SO SHE GOES TO THE SAME SCHOOL AS HIM? LMAO OF COURSE, HOW COULD I DOUBT KDRAMA’S FATE. He manages to get her to agree to a meal with him in exchange for the information of when Seo Taiji is going to come back (in 4 years, in the middle of 2000 LOL).
Turns out it isn’t a typical date that he’s taking her on, but rather she’s his +1 for the “Prestigious Club” meeting. HAHAHA. Meanwhile, the chauffeur that has been driving him around reports his activities to someone, though we don’t find out who. Anyways, Min Young isn’t happy that he brought her to such a privileged meeting, and tries to give him a high-and-mighty speech about how privileged he and his people are, and how she never had this privilege growing up. Except Do Joon turns it around on her, pointing out to her that because she’s the daughter of the Deputy Prosecutor of the Seoul District Public Prosecutors’ Office Special Unit, she was able to study without worries about financial or any other life troubles. She has multiple lawyers across generations in her families and has a healthy body and a smart mind. All these things, as Do Joon correctly points out, ARE privileges. Min Young leaves without being able to respond.
Back on the Hando Steel matter, a snag pops up in Soonyang’s acquisition attempt in the form of Power Shares, led by Se Hyun. Se Hyun bids $500 billion won for the acquisition of Hando Steel, stunning Young Ki, who wondered why a foreign investment company would invest so heavily into a failing Korean company. He orders to have Se Hyun investigated thoroughly. Yang Cheol is much smarter than his son, and realizes that this is NOT about acquiring Hando Steel, but rather about someone not wanting to let Soonyang acquire Hando Steel (“the chessboard owner” as he calls this person). Anyways, in some shadowy skyscraper in Korea, Se Hyun meets with this chess-board master. The camera pans around…and it is….DO JOON. LMAOO, OF COURSE. The episode ends as we realizes his ambition to take over Soonyang for his own.
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