The numbers: Triangle clinched the lead of the ratings pack on Monday with a 9.1%, while Trot Lovers followed with 8.3%, and SBS’s new show Temptation premiered with 7.6%.
SONG OF THE DAY
The Hidden – “그대뿐이죠 (Only You)” from the OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 21 RECAP
Young-dal and Dong-soo resume their conversation up on the roof, where the latter explains how Dong-woo was adopted and raised as Chairman Yoon’s son, Yang-ha. Although Dong-soo didn’t understand Kim Jin-soo’s actions at first, he later realized that it was better that their brother grew up in a life of privilege than to have suffered in the streets like Young-dal did.
Learning the truth now would only traumatize Yang-ha, who has practically lived his whole life without knowing about his brothers’ existence. Chairman Yoon is also unaware that he’s raised his enemy’s son, so the best thing they can do for their brother now is to bury the past and give up on their revenge.
Young-dal, however, can’t agree with his hyung’s forgive and forget stance: “Have you already forgotten everything Chairman Yoon has done to us?” Like Dong-soo said, their familial ties to Dong-woo matter little now—in his eyes, Yang-ha is their enemy’s son, not their little brother. And he won’t forgive either of them.
But that bitter facade crumbles once Young-dal’s alone, as he recalls the night baby Dong-woo was taken from the orphanage. He breaks down in tears, blubbering his brother’s name.
Speaking of whom, Yang-ha persuades his adoptive father into giving him another chance, promising to make amends with Hanchang Group. He’s brought outside where Chairman Yoon boasts of how he built Daejung Group into an empire by eliminating any and all threats that were in his way.
Chairman Yoon knows he wasn’t an affectionate father, but his end goal was to raise a capable heir to a financial empire. Yang-ha vows to follow in his father’s footsteps, promising to do whatever it takes to get rid of Dong-soo and Young-dal.
This is Yang-ha’s last chance to prove himself or else he’ll really be disowned, Chairman Yoon reminds him. No, really, he swearz it this time! Honestly I’m surprised this threat even works on Yang-ha anymore, but it does, so let’s move on.
Back in his office, Young-dal struggles to wrap his head around the realization that Yang-ha is truly his brother, their acrimonious history weighing on his mind. Even a dinner invite from Jung-hee doesn’t lift his spirits, and he passes on the offer.
Seeing that text has Hyun-mi wondering who Jung-hee actually likes between her two suitors (Yang-ha and Young-dal), and when she hears it’s always been Young-dal (aw), she warns her friend to be careful—liking men like Young-dal only leads to unhappiness.
While Shin-hye advises Dong-soo to be patient, Chairman Go has a brainstorming session with Director Hyun on ways to get rid of Yang-ha. Noting how Yang-ha’s greatest weakness has always been his mental health, Director Hyun suggests they exploit his feelings for Jung-hee to cause him to self-destruct. Um, haven’t we learned from the whole kidnapping incident?
Yang-ha tests the waters with Jiyeon, asking what it’ll take to mollify her. Will she accept an apology if he makes one? Or how about if they get married? Gee, you sure know how to woo a lady, Yang-ha. She says she isn’t someone to be easily swayed, but her request is simple: that he try to impress her with his sincerity.
He smirks at that, acknowledging that that’s quite difficult. She agrees, citing her wounded pride and growing interest in Young-dal, but Yang-ha accepts the task anyway.
In spite of her dismissal, Jung-hee continues to show up for work. Her boss encourages this idea, whispering that Director Hyun will have her reinstated soon.
Young-dal’s gloomy mood persists at home, where he drinks alone. He picks up Yang-ha’s call with a heavy heart and rejects his attempts to meet up before he hangs up and slams an angry hand against the table.
Jung-hee is taken aback when her grandmother comes running about the latest gossip claiming that she’s been fired. She denies them, telling Grandma not to worry because she’ll make sure to take care of their family even if she isn’t working in the future—say, if she gets married.
Her choice of words confuse Grandma, so Jung-hee honestly admits that she’s seeing Young-dal again. Now she knows she can’t live her life without him, and when Grandma voices her concerns that Young-dal doesn’t seem like the type to settle down, Jung-hee says he will with her.
Director Hyun sits down with Dong-soo to strike a deal with him—if Dong-soo agrees, then Director Hyun can help him in his revenge against Chairman Yoon.
Young-dal is still out of sorts the next day, and glumly tells his buddies that his plan isn’t to bring down Daejung, but to build the company up and then take it away from Chairman Yoon. But his plan is about to get a lot more complicated when he hears that Yang-ha has become the new interim CEO.
So when Young-dal runs into Yang-ha later, he simply listens to Yang-ha’s speech on how he underestimated the bond between father and son. Young-dal doesn’t even throw a word of protest when Yang-ha declares that he’ll make sure Young-dal walks out of here voluntarily.
But Young-dal does stop him to ask him a question: “Are you happy with the way you’re living right now?” Yang-ha doesn’t know where this is coming from, but he listens as Young-dal says he’s just being used as Chairman Yoon’s pawn.
“It’s still not too late for you to stop here,” Young-dal advises. Are you trying to be a hyung to your brother? Yang-ha looks affected by his words.
Chairman Yoon looks awfully satisfied for a chaebol who threatened to oust his own heir several times now. A flashback takes us back to a meeting with Kim Jin-soo, who handed in his resignation and begged on his knees to ask for forgiveness.
And that’s when Chairman Yoon finally learned the shocking truth: that Yang-ha is Daddy Jang’s son.
Upon hearing that Dong-soo knows this but Yang-ha doesn’t, Chairman Yoon ordered that Yang-ha become CEO, because then the Jang brothers would have to tear down their own brother first to get to him. And while he can’t control what Dong-soo says, Yang-ha must never find out from Kim.
Apparently Director Hyun’s offer was to hand over information to Dong-soo that would incriminate Chairman Yoon. Because Shin-hye is a walking encyclopedia on everyone in this universe, she believes her ex-husband is eyeing to take over Daejung for himself. Since Director Hyun’s family co-founded Daejung, it’s not altogether impossible.
In exchange of obtaining information on Chairman Yoon, Dong-soo would have to eradicate the chairman himself. Dong-soo admits that the offer is tempting, but it’s Shin-hye who tells him to think about how accepting it would affect Yang-ha.
Just then, Yang-ha calls to give Shin-hye the good news, which she relays to Dong-soo. Neither of them can understand Chairman Yoon’s intentions, but Shin-hye figures that Chairman Yoon can’t abandon his adopted son that easily. Even when Yang-ha was just disinherited in the previous episode. In any case, Shin-hye tells Dong-soo that they all have to stop fighting and hurting each other.
After Jung-hee gets a surprising apology from the annoying sunbae trio leader for making her grandmother worry about her job status, she hears that Yang-ha is the new CEO and that he’s waiting for her.
So she heads down to see him, and Yang-ha apologizes for putting her through so much trouble. She’ll get her job back and he’ll work on getting over her. However he forewarns her that his hostile feelings towards Young-dal won’t change and he can’t do anything if that ends up making things hard on her.
Young-dal finally smiles when he receives a cute text from Jung-hee claiming that she’ll forget what he looks like because he’s been so busy. So they both make time to go on a hiking date the next day, adorably feeding each other food and just spending time together.
When they take a break, Jung-hee asks if Young-dal and Yang-ha could put an end to their war. Yang-ha had once told her of his painful past, of how he’d been adopted and unloved, and suffered from depression and anxiety. Hearing his story made her realize that being rich doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, and she feels that Yang-ha’s a pitiful person, not a contender.
She hopes that hearing this doesn’t upset Young-dal, and he replies that he understands where she’s coming from—it’s just unfortunate that their animosity for each other runs too deep.
Looks like yesterday’s allies are today’s enemies as Madame Jang smiles to see Boss Min gambling at her underground casino. Boss Min’s been getting rotten luck at the table and tunes out Boss Yang’s advice, but she gets up to grab ahold of a man who allegedly made off with her money.
Boss Min takes the matter up to Young-dal, describing the man, Kang Sun-tae, as a former Daejung VIP client who ran off after borrowing a large sum from her. Apparently he can repay his debt if he gets to meet one of the Daejung higher-ups.
Young-dal agrees to meet him, though his young appearance makes Kang suspicious. Still, Kang boasts that his name alone will get Chairman Yoon to comply with his demands. The reason is that he holds the physical evidence of Chairman Yoon’s money laundering and lobbying activities, but little does he know that Young-dal doesn’t want to protect the chaebol, but bring him down.
Realizing that Kang can expedite his revenge plan, Young-dal tells his buddies that he plans to have Chairman Yoon arrested. He knows that Chairman Yoon holds some influence within the legal system, but Elder Ahn’s pockets run deeper. Once the investigation begins, both Chairman Yoon and Chairman Go will be dealt with in one fell swoop.
When his buddies ask how Chairman Go fits into all of this, Young-dal explains that Kang was also on Chairman Yoon’s hit list, but it turns out he also helped Chairman Go with some corrupt activities.
News of newly-minted character Kang Sun-tae reaches Manager Bae’s ears, as the minor character’s history is hammered into us yet again. You know, about how he used to be a VIP client who nearly ruined Daejung with his lobbying activities but disappeared suddenly.
Getting Jun-ho to relay this information wipes Young-dal’s hands clean of getting directly involved, since Kang’s reappearance will eventually reach Yang-ha and Chairman Yoon. When asked why Young-dal doesn’t just deal a deathly blow to Chairman Yoon, Young-dal replies that the least he can do is to make the rich man sweat and buy some time before the investigation begins.
Boss Min has mercy on Top Dog, much to his relief and gratitude. She has him relay a message to Chairman Go, warning him that betrayal will be the end of him. Chairman Go is up in arms at the news that Kang Sun-tae is back in town (you and everyone else in here, really), and decides that he must see Chairman Yoon himself.
Young-dal informs Dong-soo of how Chairman Yoon and Chairman Go will soon be arrested because Young-dal will be handing over the guy who orchestrated all their money laundering activities to the police. And of course, the name Kang Sun-tae rings a bell to Dong-soo as well. HAHAHA, okay now it’s just funny.
Young-dal tells his hyung not to worry because once the chaebols are behind bars, he doesn’t plan on bringing Yang-ha down with them. Dong-soo is relieved to hear it.
Once Chairman Yoon is filled in, he wastes no time placing the blame of Kang’s reappearance on Chairman Go for not killing him years ago. Furthermore, he shifts alllll the responsibility for dealing with Kang on to Chairman Go. Again.
That has Chairman Go sneering that Chairman Yoon should be afraid of the damage he can deal too, but they basically do more of the same: Yoon: “Are you threatening me?” Go: “Yes, I am! I’m very upset!” Lather, rinse, repeat.
Yang-ha is aware of the impending investigation by the time he meets with his father, though he’s completely caught off-guard when Chairman Yoon suggests that he take the fall for this case.
It… doesn’t make too much sense to my ears if we’re talking about corrupt financial activities that could precede Yang-ha’s employment at Daejung, but Chairman Yoon is concerned that this investigation will cause a dent in their plans for their snazzy resort in the works.
Chairman Yoon promises to do whatever it takes to get his son out of jail as soon as possible, but now this is his grand opportunity to save Daejung. Or something. And Yang-ha agrees.
So when Yang-ha meets with Shin-hye later, he says he probably won’t get to be crowned the new Daejung CEO because he’ll be too busy undergoing interrogation. Shin-hye doesn’t understand why Yang-ha has to be the one to take responsibility, but he’s all, I can’t let my father suffer, so I have to go in his place.
Yang-ha sees it as a rite of passage to becoming a dishonest corporate exec like everyone else in the industry, and tells Shin-hye not to worry. But… maybe we should, Yang-ha. Maybe we should.
Shin-hye takes these latest developments straight to Dong-soo and Young-dal, who are surprised to hear that their little brother will be the fall guy. Shin-hye’s ex-husband also plays personified messenger pigeon to Chairman Go, and now he’s sure that if Yang-ha endures this, it will guarantee his spot as Daejung’s heir.
The question is what happens to Chairman Go, but Director Hyun doesn’t have an answer. After being informed that Young-dal instigated the investigation, Chairman Yoon smirks that Dong-soo and Young-dal will be responsible for their own brother’s arrest.
Young-dal is torn about how his actions backfired onto Yang-ha. His calls and texts go mostly ignored, but when Yang-ha does finally pick up, he acknowledges that Young-dal has won this round, but this isn’t the end to their war.
That isn’t what Young-dal wanted to hear, because he asks where Yang-ha is right now. The question legitimately confuses Yang-ha, so he shows up to at least hear what Young-dal has to say.
Young-dal asks why Yang-ha is taking the fall for his father’s crimes, to which Yang-ha throws back that that’s what family members do for another.
“But you were adopted,” Young-dal points out. “You’re just being used, you pathetic fool.”
But Yang-ha says there’s no father who would use his own son like that, something that Young-dal will never be able to understand. Sacrificing oneself for one’s family is a given, and there isn’t anything Yang-ha wouldn’t do for his father.
Having had enough of those words, Young-dal urges him once more not to get involved, tears welling up in his eyes. Yang-ha asks if this wasn’t the result he wanted, and starts to walk away.
And then Young-dal says, “Your name before you were adopted was Jang Dong-woo. And my real name… is Jang Dong-chul.”
Yang-ha whips around at that, and Young-dal continues, “You’re Jang Dong-chul’s dongsaeng Jang Dong-woo. You’re my dongsaeng, Jang Dong-woo.”
And now Yang-ha knows. In that respect, I’m glad that it was Young-dal who told him the truth, since these two share the most tumultuous relationship in this dramaverse. Just how Yang-ha reacts to this news and whether he believes it or not remains to be seen in the following episode, but it’s enough to say that Yang-ha did pick up on Young-dal’s withdrawn behavior in this hour.
So while it didn’t give our hero much to do, Young-dal’s broody reaction to this truth seemed appropriate with his relationship to Yang-ha. The idea that Young-dal had been waging war against his own brother seemed to affect him more than the fact that Dong-woo had been raised by their family’s enemy. If anything, I liked that Young-dal actually went ahead and did something after learning the truth, like how he tried to assess Yang-ha’s life satisfaction and met up with Yang-ha when he knew that his brother was voluntarily throwing himself under the bus for Chairman Yoon’s sake.
I initially didn’t understand Yang-ha’s compliance towards Chairman Yoon, but then I remembered that he was considering trying to regain his adoptive father’s acceptance. And of course, Chairman Yoon accepted him once more with that ever-thinning warning that Yang-ha might be disowned if he screwed up again. By this point, I’ve accepted that this threat is one conflict that will be thrown in to keep Yang-ha on his toes until the end of this series. And I’d say that the threat has worked for the umpteenth time, but then Yang-ha hasn’t really done much in the interim to impress either.
In that vein, I’m actually surprised that Yang-ha hasn’t questioned his adoptive father’s decision to reinstate him as the company’s interim CEO, because I highly doubt he believes all that nonsense he spits out about family bonds and sacrifices when it comes to Chairman Yoon. And when it came to Yang-ha finding out the truth of his past, it rather seemed like Chairman Yoon wasn’t particularly concerned who Yang-ha found out from, just as long as Yang-ha didn’t hear it from him.
But if anything in this hour gave me a good laugh, it was definitely the introduction of yet another minor character who could throw a wrench in our characters’ paths. Perhaps it was how every other character ever around Young-dal had to hammer in Kang Sun-tae’s supposed importance by telling us his entire history, because apparently everyone else in Sabuk knew of his existence… except the boy who practically lived his entire life in Sabuk. I got nothin’. Here, enjoy this picture of Young-dal and Jung-hee being adorable: