The episode open where the last one left off with Do Jun and Mason Oh in their newly bought office building. The scene kind of looks ominous, you expect that these two would be the villains and not the heroes of our story plotting in such a dark-lit place. Do Jun tells Mason that his ultimate dream is to buy Soonyang, but right now acquiring Hando Steel would be his stepping-stone towards this greater goal. Mason looks unconvinced as Do Jun hands him a box of donuts telling him that this was his “Welcome back to Korea” present. Mason chuckles at the small gift. PLOT TWIST! Do Jun does a Pro-Gamer move telling him “Well Akshually that donut shop down there that I franchise from New York to Korea is my true gift to you” much to Mason’s shock. Mason tells him that to be a good investor you need two things: 1) Know the market and 2) Know the players. By bribing him, Do Jun definitely got the second reason on lock. They look on into the night after clanking their donuts like a glass of soju. Honestly, I shipped these two UWU!!
Somewhere probably Soonyang HQ, Korea: Young-Ki orders his minion to investigate this Oh Se-Hyun (Mason’s true name) fellah and what his deal is in order to outplay him. The next scene seemingly shows Young-Ki minion snapping some candid photos of Se-Hyun and Do Jun coming out of a motel – erm I mean building.
Our next scene opens on a racing competition, where one of the racers have been sponsored by Soonyang. This seems to be an VIP exclusive race since the stand is empty except for Yang-Cheol, flanked by some of his family members and close associates. There are members of the media also, but they are on the sidelines covering this exclusive race.
CEO Yang-Cheol is in high spirit as his second son (Dong-Ki or as I Iike to call him Donkey) kiss his grown man ass, crooning at the fact that their race- car – the “Athene” car model – have taken the lead. Young-Ki takes the opportunity to relay his father the bad news. Due to Power Share – the company founded by Se-Hyun – entering the bidding war for Hando Steel, Young-Ki might have to spend more money to acquire the company than intended. Yang-Cheol tells his eldest son to “handle the situation” (no not in a stabby way) and that the responsibility to acquiring Hando Steel is on him as Do Jun looks on.
Catching the Donkey disease, Yang-Cheol eldest daughter Hwa-Young starts crooning how this race and the launch party for their new car afterwards will garner big headlines with the media. She goes for the “underdog” angle, telling her father how the headlines will be “Black Sheep Soonyang Athene wins the race” or “Soonyang Car the worst in its class comes back and finish first with style”. Let’s just say Yang-Cheol is not happy with this “underdog” mentality that his daughter is spewing much to her obliviousness.
PLOT TWIST. She’s doing this on purpose to spoil the mood. As Yang-Cheol’s entourage escort him out from the race field, Hwa-Young follows her dad and scream that he should give her some spotlight and help her husband (Chang-Je) win a seat at National Assembly (Korea’s Congress). She complains how he loves his racing team and racing stadium more than his only daughter even though both assets are operating at a loss. Angrily walking away, Yang-Cheol warns his daughter against getting too greedy and that she should be happy with her position in the Jin family.
Hwa-Young is clearly upset that her father views her as the garnish while he views her brothers as the entrée. Chang-Je does his best to console his wife telling Hwa-Young how clever she is. Bruh, he’s looking like a fucking simp right now. Chang-Je, more like Virgin-Je. At least it seemingly works as she resolve to show her father what she is capable of.
Yang-Cheol entourage now camp in the Box Office as their continue watching the race. Unfortunately for them, Daeyoung (another conglomerate) sponsored racer have now taken the lead. Yang-Cheol is a bit piss that one of Soonyang greatest competitor is now winning, it doesn’t help matters when CEO Yeong-Il enters the box office where the Soonyang gang is located to gloat about his racer. Through Do-Jun exposition, we get some tidbits that Daeyoung conglomerate is neck and neck with Soonyang and the two of them are the biggest driving force in the Korean economy.
Yeong-Il playfully throws jabs at Yang-Cheol. When the topic turns from racing to acquiring Hando Steel though, Yeong-Il ask Yang-Cheol if he really wants to challenge Daeyoung in the motor field. Yang-Cheol tells Yeong-Il that if his company was really the top of the field maybe he should acquire Hando Steel. Oh wait, Daeyoung can’t because of their high-liquidity risk (not enough short-term cash on hand to meet debt obligation like interest)! The two old men sit down to watch the race as Young-Ki is ushered out of the room by his minion telling him that their racer’s car is leaking fuel. The pit team on the ground radios to the racer that he must stop to get the car checked. Appearing out of nowhere, Young-Ki takes the walky-talk from the pit team and angrily tells the racer that he shouldn’t even think about stopping. He should finish the race or else he and everyone else on the team will be FIRE! Peeing a little in his pants after that harsh command, the Soonyang’s racer attempts to overtake Daeyoung’s racer. Bad move because within a span of a few minutes the car burst into flames. Yang-Cheol watching from above is less than please as the other cars now leave the burning Soonyang’s car in the dust.
Taking the opportunity in the misfortune of Soonyang, Yeong-Il tells Yang-Cheol that his company car will never be better than a Daeyoung model. Why? Simply because at Daeyoung company there are five Yeong-Il, pointing as his family, while at Soonyang there is only one Yang-Cheol. BANG BANG, Yang-Cheol is left speechless as the Daeyoung crew exit the box office. As if right on cue, Young-Ki returns to the box office and tells his father that he has “taken care of it”. By “taken care of it” he means that he has made sure the media won’t report on this incident. His father is less than pleased by his eldest response and proceed to slap him, calling him pathetic as he storms out the room.
Yang-Cheol is so angry that by the time of the Athene launch party later that night, he isn’t present and can’t be found. Young-Ki is about to tell the press that the chairman would not be here due to “personal reasons” and to commence the launch party when Do Jun jumps in and stop his uncle. Do Jun argues saying “personal reasons” will give the media amble fire (couple with the car burning situation from earlier) to spin their own tale. Do Jun volunteers to go find the chairman so that the event can begin.
As Do Jun drives into the sunset to find the chairman, he reminisces his past life when he was Hyun-Woo working as a common employee at Soonyang Motors. On that day after working in the factory, Hyun-Woo picks up a free edition of Yang-Cheol’s autobiography (published in 2000) where the chairman had revealed – for the first time ever – where he would go to chill out. That place reveals itself to be a storage house containing the chairman’s delivery truck, the same one he uses to drive when he wasn’t the chairman of Soonyang but was just an ordinary laborer named Yang-Cheol. Do Jun cannot seem to find his grandfather here either and he’s about to leave disappointed when he hears some commotion in the storage unit right next to the deliver truck. Opening the door, Do Jun finds his grandfather hard at work on a luxury car.
His grandfather is surprised to see Do Jun since nobody knew of this place. Instead of questioning Do Jun, Yang-Cheol rants at Do-Jun instead telling him to scram and that his grandson must think cars were just a hobby to him like everybody else. Instead of scramming, Do Jun takes his grandfather’s flashlight in order to help him with the car work. While holding the light, Do Jun – remembering from his Hyun-Woo days – tells his grandfather that “no” he did not think cars were a hobby to Yang-Cheol, and that Soonyang Motors was the engine, the driving force, behind Soonyang Group. Do Jun then give relay his knowledge of Soonyang to his grandfather on how it has started when Yang-Cheol purchase two trucks and a rice mill to deliver rice. It went from delivering rice to ordinary goods. It went from a man and two trucks to Soonyang Transportation Inc. When Soonyang Transport gradually became more profitable, Yang-Cheol was able to expand his business into oil, machinery etc creating the Soonyang Group. Unfortunately, when Park Chung Hee (Korea’s infamous president/dictator) took over, Yang-Cheol was forced to give up the rights to Soonyang Transport over to the military.
Do Jun then ends with his hypothesis on why Yang-Cheol does not support Chang-Je (Hwa-Young’s husband) political career. Due to his experience, politics should be kept at an arm’s length. Do Jun then tells his grandfather that due to knowing this common knowledge, he deduces that his grandfather must have been visiting the storage house storing the old delivery truck. Yeah, you TOTALLY DEDUCE that, I guess hindsight is 20/20. I must also put here that this is literally what happen to Samsung Transport which was the first company of Samsung Group. As you can see, Soonyang is the analogy to Samsung.
This gets Yang-Cheol to agree to go to the Athene’s launch party where he gives a speech denouncing his haters. The same haters that tell him that Soonyang should stick to what they are good: Heavy machinery and electronics. Yang-Cheol declares to the haters that he is doing what Soonyang is good at, a car is just a big piece of heavy machinery fill with electronics. He ends the speech declaring that Soonyang Motors is the engine of Soonyang Group. As the room burst into applause, Yang-Cheol shoots his youngest grandson a warm look.
Dong-Ki (Donkey) and Do Jun leaves the launch party together. Dong-Ki (Donkey) muses to his nephew at how chad Yang-Cheol looks back at the launch party. It would be a shame if the chairman loses Hando Steel to, I don’t know Power Share? Do Jun replies to his uncle that losing Hando to a nobody like Power Share would be much better than losing it to the Daeyoung. As Do Jun exits, it is revealed that the person who took the photos was one of Dong-Ki (Donkey) minions and not Young-Ki. That’s why Dong-Ki knows that Do Jun is involved – intimately – with Power Shares somehow.
THE BIDDING WAR HAS STARTED. Unlike an auction, this drama wastes no time going around the small fry figures. We find Daeyoung in the lead with $600 million bid. While Do Jun and Power Shares are unfazed, Young-Ki and the Soonyang crew are a bit suspicious. How did Daeyoung have that kind of money?? Apparently, they are working together with some new consortium called LNK to come up with the funds. Young-Ki orders Lawyer Lee to investigate into this LNK consortium that seemingly came out of nowhere!
Hwa-Young is implied to be the mastermind behind LNK Consortium. I guess she sees buying Hando Steel is her way to stick the middle finger up her brothers’ ass and prove to her father that she’s da real one. At Soonyang, Young-Ki’s (YK) minion report to him that suspiciously Soonyang Department Store (the subsidiary that Hwa-Young is the CEO of) had sold off some of their assets not too long ago. This is questionable as YK’s minion explains that the department store has good cash flow, why would they need cash right now??? Young-Ki, although kinda incompetent, is not stupid to be unable to put 2 and 2 together. He orders YK minion to give CEO Jin Hwa-Young a call. BALI!!!
YK minion have not even left the room for a single second as another minion comes in to report that Power Shares are now in the lead with a bid of $650 million. It doesn’t look good for Soonyang for they need to bid at least $700 million to win and they only have $580 million cash on hand.
Back at Jeongsimjae (Soonyang’s Family residence), Lawyer Lee gives the photos to Grandpa that shows Do Jun and Power Shares’ CEO Se-Hyun (Mason) exiting a building at about the same time. Although Lawyer Lee tries to play down the photographic evidence (“Bro this isn’t conclusive proof that they are fucking”) Grandpa ask Lawyer Lee where Power Shares is based and where did Do Jun’s family went recently on their trip. When Lawyer Lee replies to both with New York, Grandpa rhetorically ask whether two coincidence that overlaps can be consider a coincidence at all?
Back at SNU, our female lead Min Yeong is being told by a receptionist that she was the recipient of a alumni scholarship for her father – a current prosecutor with the government – was a student here. She is about to sign to receive the award when Do Jun makes his appearance to return a binder that he was photocopying from back to the receptionist.
Do Jun heads out of the school where he is picked up by his grandfather. Min Yeong trails close behind seemingly want to tell him something but is just a little too late.
In the car, Grandpa and Do Jun strikes a conversation that is quickly derailed when the topic gets to Do Jun’s father, Yoon-Ki. When Do Jun asks Grandpa if he was still mad at his youngest for going against his wishes by entering the entertainment industry, Grandpa ominous retorts that he have never forgiven anyone that goes against him whether that be a family member or an offspring. Damn, really giving off Stalin vibes. The ride obviously ends in an awkward silence after that.
Well hey, at least Min Yeong is going to get that chance to tell Do Jun what she wanted to say before missing him. She apparently works as a receptionist in the building that Se-Hyun is currently residing in.
It’s just her luck that Do Jun is currently there right now. As Min Yeong put down the flower basket (AND THEY GO TO TOWN MAKING BABIES KYAAAAAAAA). Ahem, I mean as she puts down the flower basket, Min Yeong tells Do Jun that she rejected the Alumni scholarship. Even though she doesn’t get good grades and is not super rich by any means – working multiple part time to support her study – she isn’t some rich privilege chaebol who spends his time doing nothing, giving flowers, and throwing expensive birthday party for girls (in this case Rachel who if we remember is Se-Hyun’s business associate). As she goes on a rant about how Do Jun should never be so PRESUMPTOUS as to give her advice again (happen back in episode 3 at the rich kids’ party scene), Se-Hyun enters the room. Do Jun takes the opportunity to tell her that he too is working part-time, just like her.
That’s a face of somebody who have been completely played and now must LAY DOWN IN THE BED BEHIND HER TO GO TO TOWN KYAAAAAAA
Apparently, it is Se-Hyun birthday, and the flowers were a gift from Rachel to her boss. Do Jun uses the opportunity to tell Se-Hyun that the gift is un-imaginative (when asked by Se-Hyun on his thoughts of course. Not just out of the blue). You know it is ALMOST AS UNIMAGINATIVE as an exhoomption from a certain someone that it was Rachel’s birthday, and it was Do Jun gift to Rachel. Outplayed at every turn, Min Yeong angrily stomps out, but not before handing Do Jun an envelope and bowing to Se-Hyun, telling him that it was a meal pass from the hotel to celebrate his birthday. What kind of hotel gives you free meals when it is your birthday?? Is this a restaurant?
In the suite, Se-Hyun and Do Jun engage in a heated discussion about how they cannot afford to go higher. Se-Hyun tells him that at this rate, they are just gambling and even if it is Do Jun money, it is Se-Hyun career as an investor on the line. Se-Hyun angrily tells Do Jun that because he has never experience failure (being born into money), he is way too rash. Too rash for a season investor like him and calls the partnership off. Unfortunately, through a bug in the flower basket place by one of Soonyang’s men (who I will call Long-Hair Guy), Grandpa now knows conclusively that Do Jun is in cahoots with Power Shares. Grandpa rhetorically asks Lawyer Lee and Long Hair Guy if Do Jun is the master of the chessboard.
Se-Hyun steps outside for some fresh air. He is immediately intercepted by Long Hair Guy. Long Hair Guy asks if Se-Hyun would go meet with Chairman Yang-Cheol at Soonyang HQ to which Se-Hyun accepts.
Over some tea, Grandpa ask Se-Hyun point blank if he was in cahoots with Do Jun. Unlike a typical KDrama, Se-Hyun admits that while Power Shares Korea is – well now was – run by Do Jun money, the two have cleanly cut off their marriage. Se-Hyun also tells Grandpa that investing in Hando Steel was not Do Jun idea. Instead they have been investing in a small American startup that sells books online (guess, take a while guess what company THAT IS). Se-Hyun laughs incredously telling Grandpa that Do Jun invested because he thinks this small company will be worth billions upon billions of dollars someday. This rashness and unreasonable thinking, Se-Hyun explains, is the reason why Se-Hyun has decided to file for divorce from Do Jun. When Grandpa ask for explanation on the Hando Steel bid then, Se-Hyun explains it away that you know Wall Street is interested in the Northeast Asia Markets so he was just you know jumping in as any season investor would. Se-Hyun tells Grandpa that it isn’t unreasonable for him to be suspicious of his grandson standing in Soonyang’s way of acquiring Hando Steel. This grandson or son-on-son sabotage, say second son actively sabotaging the eldest achievements happen all the time in big conglomerate family! r/oddlyspecific moment
The meeting is briefly interrupted by Young-Ki. Grandpa presses Se-Hyun for the meaning behind his words. Se-Hyun tells Grandpa that he had receive news from his connections that LNK Consortium (the one in cahoots with Daeyoung to buy Hando) was started by someone from Soonyang.
Cut to Yeong-Il laughing evilly in his evil lair at Daeyoung drinking tea and musing that life is sure interesting!
The collaborator is revealed to be…… DONKEY THIS WHOLE TIME! PUH LOT TWIST
Back at Daeyoung HQ, Yeong-Il questions why Donkey is doing this to his family. Donkey reveals his motivation is due to his father’s belief in primogeniture. This isn’t Joseon Dynasty! Only the son with proven management abilities should be the successor? Isn’t that right? All for the good of Soonyang of course!
Lawyer Lee tells Grandpa that he will get Donkey back this instant! Grandpa tells him that it is not necessarily. Let Young-Ki fight this, either he succeeds and bring Hando to Soonyang, or lose to his younger brother. When Lawyer Lee ask if Grandpa is angry, Grandpa pretends like he is not, telling Lee that Donkey is just being a businessman. Yeah, sure good sir. This is the face of someone who have no regrets or disappointment at raising such bad sons.
Back in his war room, Young-Ki is told by his minions that they have maximize all their loans and they cannot go any higher, much less bid $700-$750 million! Young-Ki angrily shouts at them, saying that he is “Jin Young Ki” and he calls the shot and by golly if he has to sell his shares he will do it to win this bid! The war room is interrupted by the arrival of Hwa-Young who offers him $50 million. Of course this isn’t a no string attach, good sister helping her good older brother out. No no, Young-Ki must promise to throw his support behind BIL Simp-Je (Chang-Je) and his political career.
Soonyang has won the bidding war. Donkey has brought champagne to Jeongsimjae to congratulate his older brother on a tough win. His older brother is not pleased, as he tells Donkey that thanks to him, he acquired Hando at a very very expensive price. Oh, and by the way our dad? Yeah, he knows what you did last summer. Donkey face drops at his brothers’ words.
The dinner is very tense. Well for Donkey at least. Young-Ki tells his father that they should absorb Hando Steel employees so it would be good PR for them. Grandpa disagrees, saying that they already won the war, they shouldn’t spend anymore resources. Grandpa orders Young-Ki wife (Jung-Dae) to give him a second bowl of soup. You know for recognition of his fat W.
Young-Ki although usually emotionless, is quite touch at his father’s gesture as he eats his second serving of soup.
Somewhere, Korea. Do Jun and Se-Hyun are also having a celebratory drink. You really thought this marriage was going to end huh? IT’S ROCK SOLID MOFOS!
Se-Hyun is impressed at Do Jun foresight as he congratulates him and asks “how you do it?”. It’s called PSYCHOLOGY SON! As they drink Do Jun gives us insight of his masterplan. All along, he knew his driver was Donkey’s rat. Using that knowledge, Do Jun baited his uncle at the watch party to go to Daeyoung by saying that Daeyoung winning would inflict maximum pain on Grandpa. Although Do Jun and Se-Hyun would have gotten got by the flower basket, it was Min Yeong who told Do Jun of the bug by inscribing a message on the back of the “Free Meal” coupon.
That allow the duo to gaslight Grandpa that they had broken up, and that the real villain is that Donkey not your precious youngest grandson! NEVER! Se-Hyun congratulates Do Jun puppetry in knowing to exploit his second uncle’s greed and his first uncle’s insecurities. Se-Hyun tells Do Jun that the small online book company that he had invested in have finally gone live on NASDAQ and is making quite a killing.
Wow never heard of that one before. The episode ends with trouble as Grandpa and Do Jun watch the news. Banks are falling. Companies are closing doors. Families are starving. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you… The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis
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