Heirs, episodes 11 and 12: That one good scene
Sorry, this blog has become an “Heirs” blog.
Let’s cut right to it: Choi Young-do, I, what? Huh??? He was my biggest gripe at the start of the story: there were sparks of something interesting in his character but he was just too terrible and frightening to justify whatever interesting qualities he might have as a love rival to Tan. “Heirs” is a G-rated drama but if Choi Young-do were a movie character, I’m sure he would’ve killed some peoples and those people’s moms and/or puppies by the 30-minute mark, and that doesn’t make a good, realistic romantic interest to root for, no matter how sometimes charming the bad-boy facade.
But 12 episodes in and Choi Young-do might be the most interesting of our three leads and developing nicely in layers, too. I read some general conspiracy theory-ish spoilers that I’m hoping will prove false, because I don’t really care about the plights of anybody on this drama anymore (except Lee Bona! I wuff her), and I’d rather Choi Young-do continue developing, even if he ends up being the loser of this whole triangular spectacular.
I just want to highlight this scene for being probably the most realistic conversation any two people have shared on this drama so far:
Young-do finds out that Eun-sang lives at Tan’s house because she’s the daughter of the housemaid, and the housemaid is mute at that. Eun-sang is told that Young-do knows, and hurries to confront him, demanding to know what he’ll do, so that she can prepare herself.
I like this conversation because this is exactly the kind of conversation I’ve wanted these two characters to have hours earlier. Young-do — who still is kinda a bully in Eun-sang’s mind, despite some softening on her part — finds out her biggest secret, a secret bigger even than the fact that she’s at Empire High on a welfare scholarship. She’s scared about what he’ll do with that information, because Young-do hasn’t exactly been the beacon of friendliness — if anything, the worst of classist worst — and she needs to brace herself.
For once, Young-do is honest when he says that he’s not going to do anything, and for once, Eun-sang pushes him further, because she doesn’t really believe that he’s going to sit back and do nothing. It’s a nice moment to find out that Young-do earnestly cares about Eun-sang enough that this revelation does more to concern him that it might ruin their budding (dare I say?) friendship, than it does to become blackmail material (though, he does use it against Tan, so he’s not 100% noble).
And what’s nicer is that Eun-sang doesn’t let him play victim, because he has no right to even rhetorically question why she would think he’d be up to something given his awful fucking track record. It is completely in Eun-sang’s right not to believe his sincerity because Young-do has shown how terrible he can be, using what can only be described as ass backwards logic that nobody uses.
Eun-sang is smart and standing her ground, for the FIRST TIME EVER where it matters, and I just want to punch the air. She is realistic about her vulnerability and Young-do’s kinda realistic about his vulnerability too, putting them both at a level playing field for once, which is just awesome. There’s no yanking, there’s no dictating. There are just two sides, each being truthful in tandem and it’s so crazy in its simplicity, but it’s all I wanted out of this shitty drama.
Like, the worst scene in a good TV show is better than this scene in “Heirs,” but at this point, I’LL TAKE IT. I’LL TAKE ALL OF IT. There’s development on Eun-sang’s side, just like there’s development on Young-do’s side. I’m not too hopeful that Eun-sang will continue to be a fantastic warrior princess, because Kim Eun-sook has shown that she has extremely selective memory when it comes to Eun-sang: Eun-sang is randomly scared for no reason, and then bounces back to steely, and then is badass, but then is scared witless … all towards the same person even if there’s very little change on that person’s part. But in this moment, Eun-sang was fantastic.
And Young-do, being straightforward for once, not playing any maybe-if-I-punched-you-hard-enough-you’ll-pay-attention-to-me-which-is-what-I-want-since-I-lub-you games and then thinking that that since his own brain came up with the logic, then it must be true and everyone else must understand his intentions.
This was the most normal and unexciting conversation ever, but it was better than aaaaaaanything else so far. Come on Kim Eun-sook, I have faith you’re secretly creeping on all those Nate Pann boards, looking at all those gifs of Choi Young-do and noticing the outpouring of Kim Woobin fans and realizing that writing him well will redeem you from this crazy, nonsensical drama. And even though Young-do will probably never earn Eun-sang’s affections like Tan has, just make him more contemplative and admirable, and let him have normal-people conversations with the girl, please. Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaase!