FULL DEPRESSION AHEAD! Finally, we have entered an interesting arc in the drama. I want to give props to this drama; they really are not taking this one slow at all. This week episode is all about the country coping with 1997 Asian Financial Crisis as well as attempting to implement the market reforms that was pushed onto them by the IMF as a condition to receiving debt relief package.
Our main hero Do Jun, who has lived through this era before in his past life as Hyun-Woo, is prepared even though no one in the country expected this crisis. Apparently, that New York trip was hundred-fold in its purpose. One of those many purposes was Do Jun moving his Korean won assets (that he won from a bet with his Grandfather all the way back in episode 2) and convert it to $$$ which is in perfectly fine shape.
Se-Hyun is a bit suspicious of Do Jun, how was a 20-year-old student able to expect a big crisis when economist and even the Blue House didn’t? Do Jun then pull out a can of “Hindsight is 20/20 son!” which clears Se-Hyun doubts. Se-Hyun and Do Jun sign the Miracle Investment Partnership Contract which makes Se-Hyun the CEO while Do Jun the COO and Rachel as just a secretary of sorts. To celebrate being an investment firm that has its asset largely unaffected by the crisis, Do Jun sets his sights on acquiring Ahjin Motors, one of the top car manufacturers (#2 behind Daeyoung) that is about to go bankrupt due to an inability to pay its labor cost. Those very same laborers that are protesting about possible layoffs. In the crowd, we see Do Jun ex-Father (Hyun-Woo’s dad) with a defeated look. Oh and by the way, Se-Hyun is not much of a fan with this idea. Why would you want to buy out a company and take on its mountain of debt obligations?
The next scene we see a speech by Kim Young-Sam (president after Roh Tae-Woo) giving a speech about Korea as a nation needing to save every penny it can to whether this crisis and pay back the IMF Loan. Kim Young-Sam orders a meeting with conglomerate leaders. These same leaders are not super enthusiastic about the prospect of being reformed
Ah yes our two most beloved old men. They wouldn’t be themselves if they didn’t trade barbs with one another.
Yeong-Il: My love. Will Soonyang Motors be alright? My heart is breaking with stress because even Ahjin failed. How can a comparatively small car manufacture like you survive? WITH ALL DUE RESPECT OF COURSE
Yang-Cheol: Oh Yeong-Il. My heart is breaking for Daeyoung instead. Oh you guys are #1 why didn’t you guys go Global to bring in USD instead of power-tripping in Wons? Shall my humble company show you how to go global? UwU
Yeong-Il: Speaking of which didn’t you know that your second son worked with Daeyoung to try and buy out Hando?? If I was you, my love I would disown that vile back-stabbing snek!
The breakfast meeting doesn’t go quite so smoothly for Yang-Cheol. Currently, we do not know what was discussed during the breakfast meeting, and neither does Donkey who peppers his father with questions immediately at Soonyang HQ. Yang-Cheol is understandably pissed, and instead of answering his snek of a son question, he declares that he will buy Ahjin Motors. Donkey and Young-Ki are both shocked and tries to reason with their father. Donkey especially. “Daddy don’t you know the interest on their debts are at 30%???”. Yang-Cheol screams that they need to make this move to save Soonyang Motors. It is not Ahjin that’s the bomb, it’s Soonyang Motors who was the worst performing car manufacturer in Korea last fiscal year and are now at risk of being restructure by the government! They need to secure market share to prove in order to prove to the government their (and Soonyang’s leadership) worth to survive from being axed and given to another conglomerate.
At Miracle, Se-Hyun has come around to the idea of acquiring Ahjin Motors. Just one problem, now that Soonyang have expressed the same interest, could they – a new investment fund – get it? Do Jun tells Se-Hyun that there is no way Soonyang would be able to get Ahjin Motors.
Back to Soonyang HQ where Yang-Cheol once again, is not pleased. This time though he isn’t pleased with his first son Young-Ki. Hando Steel, THAT VIXEN, had completely drained Soonyang’s dry. Soonyang had to maxed out their bank loan capacity in order to acquire that piece of work.
Young-Ki apologizes to his father but also blames Donkey that it was his fault that Soonyang was drained this much. If only he hadn’t work with Daeyoung to drive up the buying price. Donkey immediately jumps on the defensive, but Yang-Cheol will hear none of it! Frustrated of his two son shenanigans, Yang-Cheol declares that Lawyer Lee was now his son instead!
At the Airport arrival terminal, Seong-Jun (Young-Ki’s only son and Yang-Cheol’s oldest grandson) has arrived home after his study abroad. His ride is nowhere to be found (how dare they!) as he his greeted by Mo Hyun-Min (if you guys remember from episode 1, Hyun-Woo had said that this character was Seong-Jun wife. I guess back in ’97 they have not married yet)- who an heiress to is Hyunsung Daily, one of the nation’s biggest newspapers. Live everybody else, they ain’t doing so hot either.
Her family had set her up to meet Seong-Jun at the airport by basically having their newspaper truck block Seong-Jun’s ride from getting to the airport in time.
Seong-Jun is not interested in this marriage setup talk. Deeming it unfun cause Hyun-Min is showing all her cards and basically seemingly begging him to take her into Soonyang to save her father’s ailing company.
PLOT TWIST! Hyun-Min is like bitch you think I’m thirsty for your old ass? Seong-Jun is like well NOW YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION RAWR! Yes ladies, it is that ez. We men are simple creatures.
Hyun-Min walks away from the conversation after handing Seong-Jun photos that was taken of him in America that shows him doing questionable activities seemingly as a threat. And no, these questionable activities aren’t questionable enough cause the drama needs to keep this PG but we all get it.
Seong-Jun eventually gets his ride and arrives home at Jeongsimjae where everybody is excited to see him. Including this motherfucker
I am not going to lie when I watch this scene, I was like “what’s his angle?” and “what’s he plotting?”. I guess maybe he’s just genuinely glad to see his grandson.
After exchanging some pleasantries with his grandfather, Seong-Jun goes back to his room for some respite. He is met by his mom – holding a picture of Hyun-Min – who is not pleased with the match that Grandpa have set up for her son. His mom starts a commentary on this Hyun-Min character. “She’s not the type to cherish her husband!”, “She’s not the type to be respectful to her in-laws!!!”, “She’s hotter than me so no!”. Seong-Jun is amused by his mom commentary and dodges the question when she ask him if the family should find someone else more suitable. His mom promptly leaves for Seong-Jun to take a break and tosses the picture onto the bed. Once he is sure his mom has left, Seong-Jun immediately goes for the photos. He remarks that “hey when did Seoul get so fun”
I have never been surer of anything. My man fucking jack off to this fucking picture. He’s down so bad. Look at literally the next shot!
HE TAKES OFF HIS GLASSES AND EVERYTHING. HE’S DEFINITELY JACKING IT! My brothah, why are you so EZ??? Ahem Ahem
The next day Grandpa gets the news from Lawyer Lee that Miracle Investment has jumped into the war to acquire Ahjin Motors. Lawyer Lee also tells Grandpa that the man behind the firm is Se-Hyun. Grandpa seems puzzled at the fact that Se-Hyun would go for Ahjin Motors.
Cut to Rachel and Se-Hyun going directly to Ahjin’s manufacturing plant to discuss terms. We can see that Ahjin is not doing too hot just by the labor protest that is happening just outside.
The chairman of Ahjin is currently at the factory to deal with the situation. Se-Hyun lays to him straight by passing a manila colored folder.
At Do Jun’s family house, Mr. Ha (Ha In Seok who was revealed last episode to be a mole of Donkey) is ready to chauffer Do Jun safely to his destination. Do Jun isn’t stupid and reveals instantly that he knows Mr. Ha is a slime ball for Donkey.
Mr. Ha is utterly shaken and asked Do Jun what will happen to him. Do Jun tells Mr. Ha that it was his to decide and that Do Jun will comply with his choice no matter what. Basically telling Mr. Ha to choose who to serve. Do Jun takes the keys from Mr. Ha and sped off to his ex-home to grab a bite. The restaurant/home of Do Jun isn’t doing too hot due to the financial crisis. Do Jun ex-Mom catches him outside snooping on her restaurant, instead of going away like a normal person Do Jun asks for a meal which ex-Mom is all too happy to oblige.
The meal is interrupted by ex-Father who has brought flowers for his lovely wife. Instead of thanking him, she argues that he shouldn’t waste time and money on stupid shit and that the country he loves is going down and it’s time for him to find a new job. Ex-Father storms out after ranting about how he had been so wronged. He tried his best, work for so many years become one of the top technicians for Ahjin and yet now he can’t even afford to raise his kids or keep the restaurant open.
Back at Ahjin Motors, the terms are finally revealed to us audience. Miracle will guarantee the worker’s buyout for Ahjin (meaning they will pay the workers and settle with the Labor Union) while keeping the current chairman of Ahjin on the executive staff. The meeting ends with what is seemingly acceptance of a deal by both parties.
Do Jun next stop is at Soonyang. He finally gets to meet Hyun-Min on the elevator, she’s also on her way to be inspected by her future in-laws.
In the elevator ride Hyun-Min catches him staring at her. When she tells this youngest grandson of Yang-Cheol to cut it out, he does the pro K-Drama chad-but-really-dude-personal-space-please move.
UwU??? Not what we think though because he does this to rip off the price tag that is on her jacket.
Do Jun hands her the price tag and leaves. Hyun-Min is stunned by the events that just had transpired.
In the Lobby of Soonyang HQ, the wives of Soonyang is doing a PR move by donating their gold to the Korea’s gold drive. This event did happen in real life, and the voiceover tells us that due to the tremendous success of the gold drive, Korea was able to substantially pay back a portion of their IMF loan (not sure how much in real life it helped but it did indeed helped). It wouldn’t be a PR event if there was no totally unite friendly Soonyang family photo op afterwards!
What a lovely family filled with non-Doctors in Backstabbery! Do Jun is nearby and is happy that his mother is the one to give a brief speech to the reporters. At a coffee shop in that same HQ, the meeting of the patriarchs of Hyunsung Daily and Soonyang family is happening.
This is supposed to be the official “formal meeting” between Seong-Jun and Hyun-Min where they are introduced to one another. The meeting is cut short as Lawyer Lee tells of the latest Ahjin news to Grandpa. On his way out, Grandpa catches Do Jun and asks him whether he is working with Se-Hyun. Do Jun denies this allegation and tells Grandpa that no remember they split up a long time ago (Episode 4). Grandpa is like thank God you not with that clown because Miracle is proposing this employment buyout bullshiz, you’ll learn nothing useful from him. Do Jun ask Grandpa why he’s so against the employment buyout as an option so that a layoff wouldn’t happen. Besides, isn’t one of Soonyang commandments “righteous management”? Grandpa tells Do Jun that a layoff will show these lazy striking employees who the real master is. Wow blaming the laborers as a corporate owner, how original.
Grandpa walks away claiming that he only sees MONEY as the true righteousness. Really a pocket of sunshine this Yang-Cheol fellah. Do Jun next catches his oldest cousin, Seong-Jun, who also happened to overhear the conversation. Wow he exceeded my expectations, I thought he would be too busy with simping. Seong-Jun laughs at Do Jun interest on “Justice” and “Righteous” and ends with saying that he is happy that Do Jun has no interest in running Soonyang.
In the car ride back, Hyun-Min ask her father about information on Do Jun.
Do Jun is clearly making her very wet, and Hyun-Min tells her father that they should change the male lead in this tale! Hmmmm maybe Do Jun >> Seong-Jun? Now wouldn’t that be something! That’s right gentlemen, it is that EZ. If you are alone right now, you are just apparently not strong enough to rip off a price tag!! Hit the gym lads.
Do Jun next stop is to a coffee shop – named Coffee Palace – where he orders a Vienna Coffee. Let me tell you chaps, it isn’t any ordinary coffee shop. It’s the coffee shop that Min Yeong works at. She has his order prepare for him even before he had step through the door. Either that or she’s a super-fast barista.
Min Yeong casually writes down her number and hand it to Do Jun and claims that she, the brilliant SNU student, knows what his game is.
1) You order this drink 365 days/year and only seem to come in to order it when I AM WORKING
2) This coffee shop is out of your way, and you always come in alone
3) This is a greasy ass coffee, no one would LIKE THIS and come in just for this alone!
Min Yeong tells Do Jun that she would like a window seat at the library tomorrow. Do Jun is like coin-wink-ca-dence sis goddamn you over analyze! Min Yeong asks him to explain this cliche story and for the first time he seems truly stuck.
Min Yeong then tells him that “you know you could order these drinks for free because of the points you have accumulated”. Do Jun seeing a way out exclaims that he really didn’t know!
Seeing how he focus on the circles and not her number, Min Yeong now a bit thrown off her game. She’s like “wait a minute, you like this damn coffee. Wait it’s not ME THAT YOU LIKE???”
He doesn’t answer her question and states that he intends to use his points next time! As he walks out though, Do Jun turns back and tells her that he will save her that seat by the window tomorrow. After he exits the door, Min Yeong is a bit star-struck and try to gloat about her game to one of her co-workers. “YOU SEE THAT SIS, HE ASKED ME OUT. I got UNIMAGINABLE AMOUNTS OF GAME”. Her co-worker replies that to them, it seems like she had asked him out instead.
Back in his car, Do Jun takes out the enormous stack of Coffee Palace cards. He smiles knowingly. HIS MASTER PLAN HAS WORKED!
The next day, Miracle and Ahjin are hosting a very public signing ceremony cementing their partnership. Unfortunately for them, Hyunsung Daily had published an article blasting the deal as selling out to the foreign markets. This has the intended effect of getting protestors to the signing ceremony. Do Jun gets this news directly from Hyun-Min when she catches him at school.
Hey Hyun-Min, back off you power hungry WENCH! He belongs to Min Yeong! The news has Do Jun running. Unfortunately, he also catches Min Yeong on her way to the library with two cups of coffee in her hands.
COME ON MAN!! He rushes out without explaining. Min Yeong is left hurt.
Grandpa, Hyun-Min father and Virgin-Je (Hwa-Young’s husband) are having a lunch together. Grandpa congratulates Hyunsung Daily on their patriotic article. He tells Virgin-Je to hand over the materials he has collected on the current Ahjin’s chairman at the Seoul prosecution office. Grandpa tells Hyun-Min father to publicize the material, so that Ahjin will be force to find a new company owner.
Things are really somber at Miracle’s HQ. Se-Hyun compliments Grandpa plays while Do Jun rush in and tell him to find a way to acquire Ahjin. Se-Hyun asks Do Jun why he wants this so bad. The way he sees it, with Do Jun belonging to the Soonyang’s family and all, isn’t this a win either way for him?? Do Jun reveals that the reason he wanted to buy Ahjin was because Soonyang is against the employee buyout. AWW IT’S FOR HIS EX-FAMILY! Se-Hyun is a bit ticked, telling Do Jun that he was a “corporate hunter” specialize in acquiring companies that face solvency issues! He only agreed to employee buyout because he also thought that it was the best way to acquire Ahjin. Se-Hyun tells Do Jun that layoffs are actually good and that the notion of “job-for-life” is no longer in. With that, Se-Hyun declares that this is the end of their partnership!
Do Jun is a bit desperate now and tells Se-Hyun, fine he will negotiate with Grandpa directly. Se-Hyun doubts that Do Jun can handle is grandfather. Do Jun shots back that Soonyang needs the money to acquire Ahjin while he needs those employees not laid off.
Se-Hyun asks Do Jun if this is really the reason he’s going to such great and desperate lengths at either acquiring Ahjin or keeping workers there employed. Do Jun doesn’t answer as he walks out of the office. The reason is revealed to us and surprise, it has to do with his ex-family. In the previous life, this laid off event was the event that cause his (now ex) mom to have a heart attack and die prematurely after witnessing ex-Father getting beat on screen by strike breakers.
Do Jun misses his grandfather at the house as Seong-Jun tells him that their Grandpa had went to the presidential palace upon the request of the president. Unfortunately, it isn’t going too hot for Grandpa either at the palace.
Apparently the plan is to merge Soonyang Motors and Ahjin Motors under Daeyoung Motors. Do Jun receive this bit of information from Seong-Jun. Rushing back to Miracle’s HQ, Do Jun tells Se-Hyun that he has a plan and that they can still save this marriage!
Cue to Se-Hyun meeting with an angry Grandpa very mad that his beloved Soonyang Motors is about to be taken over by his arch-rival. Grandpa declares that while he has no money to fight off Daeyoung, and no political cause to fight off the president’s wishes, he – YANG-CHEOL – will not partner with this Miracle fellow!
That façade completely collapse when Grandpa is in the car. He cannot just give up the company he spend his whole life building to his arch-rival. He telephones for an emergency meeting with the president and Daeyoung (oh by the way if I haven’t already said it, Daeyoung is equivalent to the IRL conglomerate Daewoo).
At the meeting Grandpa laid his car down on the table. He tells the President that companies hates spending a single cent for the good of the country while they would do anything to make that cent. He proposes a BIG DEAL. Have conglomerates swap subsidies that need downsizing instead and then give tax incentives to the conglomerates. This will make the various companies that are opposing the reformation plan to get in line while it will give the president the achievement that he had been the one to reform the conglomerates (the current president should be Dae-Jung by the way. The crisis happen near the tail end of Young-Sam term).
Back at Miracle HQ, Se-Hyun is skeptical that the president will go back against his plan to merge Daeyoung, Soonyang, and Ahjin under Daeyoung. Do Jun re-assures him that the deal will be taken just because this is the first successful opposition president (Dae-Jung was the person from the opposition that was successfully elected) and the new regime needs to show that they have done work for the Korean people.
The President knows there must be an angle to this Yang-Cheol fellah proposal. Yang-Cheol ask him to allow him to take over Ahjin Motors and combined it with Soonyang Motors and he will make Soonyang Motors a global top ten. Besides, a car is but a machine fill with electronics and we all knows how good Soonyang Electronics is!
Flashback to the meeting between Se-Hyun and Grandpa. Se-Hyun had proposed to fund Grandpa’s acquisiton of Ahjin in exchange for 17% of Soonyang Motors shares and the guarantee of an employment buyout. Before Grandpa can object (I AM JIN YANG CHEOL AFTERALL) Se-Hyun tells him that Miracle’s majority shareholder had guarantee Grandpa would accept for Grandpa believes that righteous management would mean increase profits. Wow nicely done. A very good bit of politick there.
And of course, Grandpa accepts Miracle’s money, telling the president that he can satisfy Ahjin’s debt obligation.
Celebration occurs among Ahjin employees as Grandpa announces that he promises to take Ahjin and Soonyang Motors to new heights! Do Jun is ecstatic. He had purchased the building where his ex-family reside in the meantime and that means they will never be evicted! He walks the street of his past life feeling happy that his mom will live, and his dad will be able to keep his job. That happy expression is finally broken when he hears sobbing coming from his house
You must be logged in to post a comment