Heirs Episode Recap
We open at the SBS building, where we waste no time in meeting today’s guests aka our water fairies: actresses Kim Seo-hyung (A New Leaf, Empress Ki) and Ye Ji-won(Cantabile Tomorrow). Seo-hyung immediately brings on the laughs by striking a hilariously confident pose without saying a word. Ha, just take a look at that expression.
Ji-won also happens to be Jae-suk’s college classmate, though tries to avoid the same-year association by greeting Jae-suk as “oppa.” Then she momentarily forgets herself a second later when saying that “Jae-suk-ie” is the most popular alumnus in their year.
This week’s Water Fairy Race is to promote and create awareness of the upcoming 7th World Water Forum taking place in Daegu in April. The team breakdown is as follows: Gray (Seo-hyung, Jong-kook, Haha), Blue (Ji-won, Jae-suk, Kwang-soo) and Black (Ji-hyo, Suk-jin, Gary).
She ends up in some nearby batting cages, holding a bat with the look of someone who hasn’t picked one up for a while. Yeol’s voice comes back to her, telling her that the worst thing to do is go down and take your team with you. We flash back to a time when Yeol taught her how to swing a bat, and both of them look happy and relaxed. The best player, he says, is the self-sacrificial batter who strikes out but hits with runners scoring, because while he goesdown, he saves everyone else.
In the present, every ball she hits gives her satisfaction. But a tear slides down her cheek all the same. Sa-rang texts her that she wants a bike for her birthday. Another flashback shows mom teaching Sa-rang to ride. Sa-rang begs her not to let go, but mom does, and she crashes. Mi-rae realizes that what her daughter needs isn’t a bike, but a person to be with her.
The next day, the cancer patient tells Mi-rae she’s decided against chemo, and wants to spend that time with her family instead. She says that even if she’s gone, she wants her husband to protect their child. Mi-rae asks, what would happen if there were no father, no other family, only a mom?
Do-hee meets with CEO Park, who has a new concept image to present to her — a sexy photo-shoot. Do-hee’s a little hesitant and CEO Park reassures her it shouldn’t be too awkward since she’ll be doing it with fellow swimmer, Kyung-woo. The sound of his name makes Do-hee even more determined not to do it. But CEO Park tells her that they can dispel all those childbirth rumors with this photo-shoot — it’s not a request, it’s an order.
At the restaurant, Kang-chul is totally drunk now, and he tipsily asks Ho-kyung why she likes him. He cutely tells her that she shouldn’t like him, though, because he’s… he lowers his voice… gay. She laughs it off, but he repeats it, yelling: “I’m gay! Gay!” until he passes out drunk at the table. She spots the crumpled up assessment next to him.
Seo-jin gets even grumblier when Robin answers that he’d like to try a triathlon: “Is he trying to kill me?” But he sighs that in all this time, he’s exchanged countless messages with Robin and tracked his every move… but he’s never known anything about him. Hana says that Robin admitted the same thing—that they’d shared a body for fifteen years but never bothered to learn what the other wanted in life.
Robin’s big webtoon convention rolls around, and he and Hana are both a bundle of nerves. He notices her shaking as she helps him get dressed and thinks she’s scared that he’ll make a mistake in public, but she says that it’s nervous excitement about going to their first official function as a couple.
They walk in holding hands, and are stunned when the elevator doors open onto a crowd of screaming fans all waiting for Robin. They’re so surprised that neither of them moves a muscle before the doors close on them, and Hana smiles up at Robin to reassure him before opening the doors again.
Although Teacher Jung-woo has been denied the foundation director post, Chairman Hong is fond of his protégé and suggests an alternative: corporate planning chief, which is the foundation’s most important position. He calls it the “washing machine” that needs to run in order for the foundation and the school to work properly. Jung-woo thinks it’s too early to make such a bold move, but Chairman Hong says that the education minister is gearing up to make a bid for presidential election, and that means he’s wanting money. He needs Jung-woo to run the washing machine.
The chairman makes it sound like good news, but Jung-woo knows better and leaves the meeting sneering, “You’ll use me as your bulletproof vest?”
Ho-gu’s head whips around so fast it gives instant lie to his insistence about being over Geum-dong, and he gasps to see Geum-dong laying right there on the couch. Do-hee stops Ho-gu from going to him — you know, since he’s so annoying. She picks up Geum-dong, and Ho-gu is so overcome he can only run and hug them both. He wails that he missed Geum-dong so much that he wanted to die, and kiss-kiss-kisses the baby’s head while Do-hee smiles.
Ho-kyung gets Kang-chul to sit, and even manages to maintain her sweetness-and-light demeanor when he gulps a drink down and tries to go. She drags him back down onto the bench, denying that this meeting was anything but an accident, and swears that she heard him when he said he’s not interested and only wants to be friends.
In fact, Ho-kyung reminds Kang-chul that she’s a psychology major and that he may need her help in his future cases, but he starts to leave anyway. He stops and asks if she’s ever heard of someone’s sexual preferences changing, and suddenly their talk looks more like a therapy session.
I’m honestly confused as to why they all think this is a huge revelation—Robin as Seo-jin’s pen name is pretty much the first cover story that comes to mind, no? It’s way better than the twin story, since that’s so easy to disprove, and this way Robin is accounted for and even glorified as Seo-jin’s better half. It just doesn’t strike me as an actual solution though—it’s a bandaid, much like the twin cover story. And if Robin is still feeling threatened, this doesn’t change the overarching problem that he faces. It’s a smart way to buy some time and save both Seo-jin and Robin from having to make their condition public, but the truth is that it still boxes Robin into being Seo-jin’s alter ego. To be fair, that’s what he is, and his dream of becoming his own person is unrealistic at best. But he might see this as Hana protecting Seo-jin above all. Though maybe it’s really the thing that she wishes were true.
It’s kind of nice to have everything else fall away and focus almost entirely on the love triangle, though would it kill them to pick up the pace? When we do get to the revelations and important conversations, I’m usually satisfied with the characters’ growth and the ways in which they’ve changed, but I still feel like I’m waiting for them to really dive in, to let things get messy rather than talk about the relationship instead of having it. I’m glad that Seo-jin was able to crystallize Hana’s fears and reservations about admitting her feelings, because I was starting to wonder how she could be so in tune with her feelings for Robin but so out of tune with her obvious feelings for Seo-jin. But Seo-jin understands it better than she does herself—that admitting her feelings isn’t as much about being unfaithful to Robin romantically, as it is about opening the door to Robin’s disappearance for good.
I did expect Seo-jin to make the sacrifice to keep Robin around, but it was still really touching when he did it. We’ve seen how much he’s suffered and how desperately he’s wanted to live a normal life, but now the choice is simple for him: He loves Hana, Hana loves Robin, so he won’t be the one to take Robin away from her. I think that’s the point at which Hana sees Seo-jin’s love for her as something real, because he’s actually giving up his own happiness to put her first. I can’t believe he’s suggesting that they actively maintain a love triangle though. I mean, I get it… but it still weirds me out.
Meanwhile, let’s meet the players behind the bureaucracy: Myeongseong Foundation runs Myeongseong High School, and there are a handful of players we’ll have to get to know. I can’t promise it’s exciting, but it is important so here are the nuts and bolts: The foundation is headed by Chairman Hong, who’s been accused of misusing public funds. He’s wheelchair-bound and sickly, so his secretary, JOO AE-YEON (Oh Yoon-ah), handles the media and ushers him off. The sharp look in Ae-yeon’s eye tells us to watch out for her.
Also worth watching out for is Myeongseong High teacher and planning chief DO JUNG-WOO (Kim Tae-hoon), who has a distinct shark-like quality. He’s also well-connected, putting in a courtesy call to the minister of education.