Thursday, December 19, 2013

Heirs THE FINALE (ep 20) MiXeD bAg

As I come to the end of this drama, I am filled with an assortment of thoughts and feelings, some positive, some unsure, and yes, even some kind of sad.  I think that this one will take me some time to process.  I think it's going to take me some time to even say that I liked it.  There were things I liked, but things that left me feeling...empty.  I hate feeling empty.  Or unresolved.  At the same time, I'm also glad they didn't just give everyone a perfectly wrapped "happily ever after" either.  I am also willing to admit that I was half wrong about my previous wager that they would pull a "x years later" with us.  Half wrong-ish.  I'll argue that a fantasy 10 years later still sort of counts, even if not completely.  But more on that part in a bit.  For now, let's back up, start at the beginning and dissect this, our final episode.

1.  A Good Portion of the Episode Was Spent on This...

...but I'm only going to give it a blip of a mention here.  The takeover attempt by Fake Mom while Papa Jeguk is in a coma.  Kim Tan and Kim Won both rally and go after votes for their side.  It pays off in the end, as Kim Won manages to maintain his position as CEO and Papa Jeguk as company head.  Fake Mom loses and not very gracefully I may add.  When Papa Jeguk finally awakens and hears about what she did while he was sleeping, he wants a divorce.  She's good with that, but mostly because she knows that she'll still get half of what he has in the end anyway, so while she didn't get the whole of what she was after, she's not walking away empty handed.  Well, in her defense, she has had her husband's mistress and love child under her roof for 18 years, so I guess she's owed something out of such an awful situation.

2.  Kim Won

Part of the process to secure the company resulted in Kim Won having to agree to an arranged marriage with a business partner.  Yeah, really.  I kept hoping that he would have refused when she proposed the deal, but no, he said yes, and intended to go through with it.  This ended in a heartbreaking break up with Teacher Hyun Joo.  And later, a soul crushing scene with him alone at his desk, sobbing.  His life is a lonely one.  At least he has made peace with his brother, as witnessed by him asking Kim Tan to stay so that he'll be less lonely.  This boy...his story just devastates me.  What he has lost and lived through all in the name of "privilege" and "power".  Is it worth it?  His mother died.  His step-mother isn't exactly the warm and fuzzy type.  His dad is an ass.  He has this half-brother that is obviously loved more.  This half-brother is not only loved more, but gets to live with his bio mom and have a relationship.  Who does Kim Won have?  No one.  Sure, he finds love, only to have it stripped away from him.  And unlike his brother, he is unable to hold onto that love once it's been stripped away.  Yes, Kim Won's story truly is painful and so very sad to witness.

3.  Young Do

Speaking of tragic characters, let's chat about Young Do for a moment.  Arguably this character stole the show.  I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that his story drew me in even more than our lovable leads.  Things don't improve much for him in the finale either.  He starts off with his dad going to jail.  Now, as far as his father goes, there is some redemption here.  As he is being carted off to jail, he leaves a message behind for his son, a message that contradicts with his earlier teachings.  He tells his son to not try to win by cheating.  I'm glad to see him at least start to see the error of his ways and try to turn things around for himself.  Sure, it took losing everything in order for him to see the light, but hey, better a death bed confession than none at all, right?  It was nice to see father and son begin to repair their very broken relationship.

So, he loses the girl and dad goes to jail.  But hey, it's not all bad news for Young Do.  He does finally get to reunite with his mother.  Now there's one that I would like to have a talk with.  I can understand her leaving.  I've seen the kind of man she married and can only imagine what being his wife was like.  I'm sure life was Hell for her.  I get that.  But to leave your kid behind with no way of contacting him???  To just abandon him to the very monster you yourself are running from?  What sense does that make.  So while I'm happy that he found his mother, there was part of me that was really upset by it.

Oh, and how awesome was he when he went to find and apologize to that kid that he bullied?  I know that the kid didn't forgive him, but I was so proud of him for having the courage and guts to do what he did in trying to right his wrongs.  What an impressive young man, don't you think?  I love him.  I truly do.  Which is a big reason why this episode bothered me because we don't get to see him of all people have his happily ever after.  Things do definitely improve and there is hope for happiness in his future, but I just wanted a little more positive resolution for him.  I wanted to see him find a girl I guess.  Not Eun Sang obviously (though yes there is a part of me that still would have loved to see that, but I'll silence her out of respect for our OTP), but someone good and kind and decent that would see him for the amazing man that he is underneath his troubled exterior.  I'm just a sap that way I guess.

4.  The Body

Remember the great mystery of the outline of the body that appears every morning at Jeguk High?  Who is behind it?  Well, we finally get the answer.  Everyone.  Everyone is behind it.  Eun Sang sees multiple people painting it as some form of release in their stifling world.  These are kids with big, real world issues on their shoulders, kids that have to live partly in an adult world before they are truly ready to bear the weight.  Kids that don't get to be kids.  Kids that the world sees as privileged and fortunate and enviable, but have difficulties to endure that most kids couldn't dream of.  I was somewhat confused on the exact meaning of the body, but my take on it was that is was a way for them to vent their frustration with the different aspects within their lives, kind of like saying in a very subtle yet dramatic way, "this is killing me" or "I may as well be dead".  Or even "I wish I was not alive".  "My world is killing me".

5.  Other Notables
There are a few other characters to wrap up with not yet mentioned.  First, Secretary Yoon.

If you'll remember from #3 up there, I am an admitted sap.  I wanted to see Secretary Yoon and Esther Lee reunite in the end.  I also wanted Secretary Yoon to be revealed as Rachel's father.  Sadly, neither of these wishes came true.  This was certainly one of the things that left me feeling empty in the end.  The end to their story was anti-climatic.  And it started out so promising with that make-out in the hallway way back when in one of the early episodes.  Sigh.  Oh well.  I guess we can't always get what we want.  Boo.

I loved the scene with father and son fishing together.  Their relationship is awesome.  Do you think that it's coincidence that our two healthiest child/parent relationships come from the two poorest (or most "normal") families?  I think that if anything, the message trying to be driven home by this drama is, "be careful what you wish for" or "the grass isn't always greener on the other side".

Another character I wanted to mention is poor troubled and dark Hyo Shin.  He has struggled with the expectations placed upon him by his family.  That and the lack of authenticity from them he receives.  We learned earlier that in the past he was driven to attempt suicide.  Now he just rebels by not taking the college entrance exam.  When even that neglects to get a rise out of his parents, he really loses it.  I will admit to not fully grasping what is going on in his world, but it would seem to me as if he is desperate to be seen as who he is and not just some soulless extension of his parents that they can manipulate and control whatever way they see fit.  It's like they have created this facade with certain expectations and cannot accept him not towing the family line.  He doesn't want to rebel and do "bad" things, he just wants to live his life his way.  He wants to make movies.  I guess he was accepted to an art school or something, but his parents don't support his dream, they just want him to quietly obey theirs.  Anyway, so he runs away from home and joins the army.  Guess who he tells first?  Uh huh, Rachel.  After running into her at the psychiatrist's office.  I LOVE this budding romance!  Like when she asks him if he has a girl waiting for him and he answers contemplatively, "I don't know" like, "well that all depends on you - are you waiting for me?  I think I might like you to".  They never come out and make anything official, but it's obvious both are thinking about each other.  Those must have been some pretty awesome kisses at that party!  And may I just add, he looks fanfreakingtastic in that beanie by the way?  Wowzers!  Yumm!  His bromance moment with Kim Tan was some wonderful fan service, and so as a fan, I feel it important to say thank you.  From the bottom of my very happy fangirl heart, thank you for this part.

6.   10 Years in the Future

So we don't actually go in to the future, but we do get a glimpse of it in the form of a fantasy.  Kim Tan and Eun Sang are talking about what they imagine life might be like 10 years down the road.  Kim Tan pictures a party and all the people there.  Most everyone is happy, or happy-ish.  Bo Na and My Chan are still together, silly and adorable as ever.  Rachel and Hyo Shin are still flirting with each other.  Myung Soo is still in the military because he left so late.  Kim Won is still heading the company and rocking his suit, though I'm less sure about the hair.  Young Do is doing important things for his father's company and seems to have a better relationship these days with him.  Papa Jeguk is still alive and kicking and seems a bit nicer than before.  Secretary Yoon is still there smiling and happy.  Fake Mom is also still there which is puzzling to me.  Maybe that means that they didn't get a divorce after all?  Or else it means Kim Tan doesn't yet know about the impending divorce?  Or maybe it's just because she's a big enough actress that it was required that she be in one of the final scenes even if her presence there made no sense story-wise.  Whatever.  She was there.  Real Mom and Eun Sang's mom were also there, having one of their trademark hilarious interactions as usual.  This time it was Tan's mom realizing for the first time after all these years that Eun Sang's mom, who she has always called "ahjumma", is actually younger than her.  These two ladies crack me up so I'm glad they got one last scene together before the end.

And then, Kim Tan.  Wearing a pretty atrocious "suit", I suppose showing us that his stylist doesn't change in these 10 years?  Seriously, he looked like someone skinned a really ugly couch and made his outfit.  It's Lee Min Ho, so he still looks perfect, but golly, it was hard to see him beyond that "stuff" he was wearing.  He walks in to his room and standing there of course (in a beautiful dress unlike his hideous monstrosity) is Eun Sang.  He goes over to her and kisses her.  And we finally get the truth revealed in an unequivocable and inarguable way - Park Shin Hye truly cannot kiss.  In the past kisses it could be argued that it was the character's resistance to his affections that caused the pained and sick looks on her face, but in this scene that argument is dead.  In this scene they have been in love for over 10 years.  She should be used to, and welcoming of his kisses by now.  But she just stands there.  Lee Min Ho's lips are on hers and she just.stands.there.  Her chance for redemption in this is gone and cannot be reclaimed.  Her fate and label is unalterably set.  She is officially the worst kisser in Kdom.  I hate to be so harsh on the girl, but OH MY GOODNESS!!!!  It's just SO BAD that it is impossible NOT to talk about.  She is the Kristen Stewart of Korea.  Harsh, man, harsh, I know, but can we deny it any longer?  It kills me to say it so bluntly, because I really do want to just love her, but agh!  There's no use pretending anymore - I don't know if I can watch her for awhile after this year.  I'm not saying that I'm done with her forever, but I need a break.  Let's let her do some movies or something for a bit.  Or like I've said before, put her in a drama where her strengths will shine and her weaknesses be invisible.  They exist.  There are PERFECT roles for her out there.  Playing opposite of guys like Yoon Shi Yoon and Lee Min Ho though?  No.  Just no.  Stop the madness already.  It's only going to hurt her career to keep trying.  She's proven that she can't do it, so stop making her.  Plenty of dramas have important roles that are kiss-free.  Put her in one of those, let her cry and be all angsty, and keep her lips away from hot guys.  Is that too much to ask?

7.  The End

After our 10 Years Later fantasy, we get one final closing scene with our leading couple walking hand-in-hand through the snow and being all philosophical and deep talking about that year when they were 18 when they fell in love and all the pain and triumphs that came with it.  And then -- it's over.  20 episodes, 10 weeks of Heirs comes to a close.  And I don't have much else to say on it than what I've already said.  Overall, it was good.  I liked it.  Favorite drama of the year?  No.  It really wasn't.  I wish I could say that it was, but I just can't.  Would I watch it again?  Hard to say at this point.  There are certainly many parts I would love to watch again, but the whole thing with all its angst and torment?  I don't know if I could endure it again.  I do think that the cast (Park Shin Hye's glaring kiss issue aside) did a phenomenal job.  Our leads were wonderful and our supporting cast ah-mazing.  It was a fun ride, one that I'm glad I took, and that's what is important.

So, in closing, I would just like to say thank you for going along on this journey with me.  I hope you had fun.  I even hope that your experience with this final episode left you feeling less empty than it left me.  Maybe I was just having an off day.  You never know.  I haven't heard or seen any negative chatter about it, which I'm taking as a good sign.  Granted, I haven't gone looking for it either, but normally it's not hard to find even when you're not looking for it.  To the cast and crew, because of course they're totally going to see this *eye roll*, I thank you.  To DramaFever, thanks for subbing it so fast and for whatever other roles you took on, but seriously, let's try to not do this whole "exclusive" thing again because it kind of hurts your image and I'm getting tired of always defending you.  Totally selfish of me, I know, but there you have it.  Just keeping it real and passing on my "inside information" from a viewer's perspective (i.e. I have a lot of REALLY ticked off friends).  And finally, to you, my dear readers old and new, thank you for your comments and encouragement and feedback.  Thank you for spending time with us here.  It's always wonderful to hear from you guys!  Makes this labor of love rewarding.

Now, on to the next drama!

(and yes, I say that like I know what the next one will be for me, but no, I really don't have any idea yet, but I'll let you know when I do)


  1. I have loved all of your reviews of this drama. Thanks for all the laughs:)

  2. Hi Dongsaeng :) You could try a review for Empress Ki? The show is very good in my oppinion

  3. You couldn't have been more right abt park shin hye's response to lee min ho's kisses. it was like a painful experience for her. i concluded probably that was the kind of feeling the director wanted to portray, but then, it made no sense for people who were inlove not to enjoy kisses. but hey, she is not the only culprit. all the kdramas that i have watched have bad kiss scenes. i reckoned deep kisses were not acceptable in korean culture and society. if it's not the culture factor, then the actors and actresses just cannot kiss.


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