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Due to the fact that a lot of people seem to be looking for recaps of Shining Inheritance, I hear and obey. I shall be recapping it one episode at a time. Initially I wanted it to be from Seung Mi's point of view for a change, but that would make the story narrower, so I just went with the point of view of the viewer. Please bear in mind that I am not Korean, so a lot of the stuff dealing here with Korean culture are based on my own deductions from the drama itself, or research, and it may not be totally accurate, although I learned a lot about their culture just from this drama. If you're a Korean reading this blog and I might have misinterpreted or misread some cultural nuance, please feel free to explain it to me nicely.


There may be a lot of detail that people would think extraneous, but you can be sure that what I've included here ties up with a lot of stuff as the story progresses. Episode 1 introduces the main characters and mainly just lays the background and sets the mood for the whole drama.

Episode 1
If bags could yell...

Shining Inheritance, also called Brilliant Legacy, opens with a fashion show where lovely young ladies in gowns model sets of jewelry. It looks like it's supposed to be an exclusive event; there are only a few women seated around the ramp. One of them, a pretty woman of a certain age, is the subject of discussion by two women some distance away who call her a "vixen" who earned a better social position through her marriage. The woman is revealed to be a certain Madam Baek, and is later baited by the other women into buying a set of jewelry which she is reluctant to take, simply by hinting that perhaps she cannot afford it. [Note: Which just goes to show that they're all not really that rich, although they seem well off? The really rich are often so used to money that they don't think about it anymore or bait others with its lack.]



Madam Baek, the vixen

Cut to airport, where the camera catches a pretty young woman looking upwards and checking her wristwatch, evidently coming to meet someone; she crosses paths with two young men discussing the girlfriend of one of them, who is evidently also arriving on the plane. Cut to plane, where a disagreeable-looking young man with hair that looks like a hurricane had been let loose on it, fetches a brown satchel from the overhead luggage bin and exits with it, while the flight steward wakes the pretty young woman sleeping in the seat underneath the bin. She also fetches a brown satchel from overhead and deplanes. We next see the young man and his satchel, who has been spotted by the young lady we saw earlier in the terminal. She waves, only to hide when she sees the young woman who took the other brown satchel coming up behind him, and we wonder why. Both young man and young woman, with identical bags on their pushcarts, stand side by side for a moment, then someone calls the young woman's attention--we hear her name: "Eun Sung!"-- and she moves off. The young man moves in the other direction, to meet the other girl.
Somebody give this boy a comb.
Sleeping beauty awakes.
Twins? Where?
Seung Mi
...evidently saw something she didn't like
...and she hides.
 Go Eun Sung has been met by her boyfriend, Hyeong Jin, whom she also calls Sunbae or senior, meaning he was ahead of her in the same school. Hyeong Jin introduces his friend Park Jun Se, whom he calls Hyung or older brother. [Note: Apparently also used as a courtesy title, not necessarily for a real brother or relative, but also for a close friend.]
Park Jun Se!
Hyeong Jin and Eun Sung move off, leaving Jun Se who sighs and follows with the luggage like a hired lackey.

Meanwhile, our disagreeable-looking young man comes up behind the young woman who has come to meet him, surprising her. She calls him Oppa, or older brother [which can also be a courtesy title for an older guy. Note that these titles are gender specific; guys call older guys hyung, girls call them oppa. Shall we find out later how they call girls?].
She's looking for...
...what's right behind her. Told ya.
 Outside, Eun Sung gushes over the car in which Jun Se is loading her luggage, saying that Hyeong Jin seemed to have prospered. She doesn't know that it is really Jun Se's car, which he brought as a favor to his junior. Eun Sung asks to be allowed to drive the car, and Jun Se reluctantly hands over the key.

Next, we see two middle-aged men talking in an office; the older man, Mr. Ji, is refusing the loan being asked by the younger, because apparently the latter's company is sunk so low in debt that its credit is shot. The younger man, addressed as President Go Pyung Joong, [evidently president of a company], then receives a call from Eun Sung, who calls him Appa, father. We see how close father and daughter are in the course of the conversation. [Note: Appa is informal and the equivalent of "daddy," it seems.]
Go Pyung Joong, Eun Sung's dad.
 We now see Madam Baek, paying for the jewelry she has just bought. She receives a call from her husband, who turns out to be President Go, and who tells her that their Eun Sung is back from the States. Madam Baek tells him it's good and that he should hang up quick because she's cooking.

On the highway, Eun Sung driving, talking with Hyeong Jin and Jun Se. She mentions her younger brother Eun Woo, a piano prodigy. In another car, the disagreeable young man is driving, drinking a cup of something, and regaling his companion with tales of the people he has been rude and arrogant to. [Honestly, I can't help but wonder what kind of girl she is if she actually liked listening to that stuff. I mean hello, the guy's clearly a first-class jerk!] Anyway, the two cars are neck and neck on the highway, and the disagreeable young man throws his paper cup out of the window and hits the windshield of the other car, making Eun Sung mad because she nearly has an accident. This results in a fast-and-furious race, while the respective passengers hang on for dear life-- the young lady in the other car is trying to avoid being seen by Eun Sung, and the look on Jun Se's face is priceless, and who could blame him, it's his car, and now his life! The arrogant young man wins by threatening to ram the other car head-on. Eun Sung has to brake and brake hard and drift, and her opponent triumphantly reverses and roars off, leaving her to sputter in such rage that Jun Se eyes her askance. [BTW, I like the car that the arrogant guy is driving, I wonder what make it is! And where were the cops when you needed them? ]
This kid's crazy!
Hyeong Jin., plenty scared.


And Jun Se's facial expressions are priceless.

We next see arrogant guy checking in at a hotel, while his companion remonstrates with him that his grandma and his mom would definitely be looking for him. But he is adamant about it. He says his grandma is like ice cream in his hands.

Then we are in a factory, where an old lady, evidently the boss, is conducting an inspection. She is apparently well-loved by her employees, whom she all seems to know personally and even jokes with and treats them familiarly.
Jang Sook Ja, the guy's granny

Hyeong Jin and Jun Se drop off Eun Sung at her house. Hyeong Jin excitedly tells Jun Se afterwards that Eun Sung's dad owns a company and that it would likely go to Eun Sung as her only brother is autistic, so his prospects are good.

Eun Sung, inside the house, shrieks and runs into her dad's arms while Madam Baek looks on benevolently, but smirks when the other two are not looking.


Madam Baek is quite two-faced.

Eun Sung calls Madam Baek "mom" but they treat each other more formally. Go Pyung Joong tries to hide his worries so that his family doesn't suspect anything. While father and daughter are having a reunion, in walks... the girl that was with the arrogant guy. She is noticed by Madam Baek, who calls her, and we finally learn her name: Seung Mi. She and Eun Sung are around the same age, and they treat each other cordially, like acquaintances, not quite that close to each other. Eun Sung asks after Seung Mi's education, for she has always been a "role model student." This of course leads us to wonder what they are to each other, if they live in the same house. Surely they cannot be twins?

Madam Baek now calls Seung Mi to her and asks her why she is already home, why she is not still with Hwan. Now we have a name for the arrogant guy. Madam Baek scolds her for wasting her opportunity to be with him and for not going to his house. Apparently, Madam Baek is expecting Seung Mi to marry Hwan [and we here again wonder why the hell], even if she has to act and lie and pull the sort of crazy stunts you would expect from a girl desperately dangling after a guy she can't quite have. We then learn that Seung Mi also calls Madam Baek "mom" and we realize that she is Madam Baek's daughter and Eun Sung's stepsister. Madam Baek evidently doesn't trust Seung Mi to do things right, so she makes a certain phone call herself to someone she calls Young Ran.

Oh Young Ran is evidently Hwan's mom, who gets very put out that her son was back in Korea but not coming home to their house, as she tells the servants who are preparing what looks like a lot of food not to bother anymore. A guy in a butler suit, who is making sashimi, tells her that a certain Mr. Park is coming to dinner, anyway.
Oh Young Ran doesn't just look clueless, she is clueless.
Butler Pyo. Those knives look sharp.
 It's evident that while Young Ran acts like the mistress of the house, the butler defers more to her mother-in-law, not to her, and the two argue, with the butler coming out the winner. Now someone comes in and asks Young Ran acerbically why she is bullying the butler, and we see... the old lady who was at the factory, evidently Young Ran's mother-in-law and Hwan's grandmother.

Grandmother has brought home a guest, Director Park. A young lady now comes in and greets Director Park and asks after "Jun Se oppa," and we realize that Director Park is Jun Se's dad. The girl is Jung Woo, Hwan's younger sister.
Director Park, Jun Se's dad
Jung Woo, he's just not that into you.
 Young Ran now has to tell her mother-in-law that Hwan is not coming home to the house, "because he is afraid." Grandmother orders that they call Hwan and tell him to come home, and Jung announces that his phone "cannot be reached." This of course makes Grandmother very angry.

In the Go household, they are also having dinner, and Eun Sung tries to discuss her brother being sent to school with her, but her stepmom cuts this. Eun Sung also says she wants to tell her dad something, but he tells her to save it for later. After that, husband and wife discuss their financial problems and Madam Baek tells her husband that if he won't tell Eun Sung that she has to stop school due to lack of money, she will. He asks if she doesn't have money, and she sounds incredulous that he would ask her to send Eun Sung to school with her own money. She sounds frantic when she learns they are going to be broke; she does not want to be broke. "Even if you dig out your heart and sell it, we have to overcome this crisis!"

In her room, Eun Sung realizes that she has taken the wrong bag; the satchel has a different tag,and we learn Hwan's full name, Sun Woo Hwan.

Apparently her presents for her brother and father are in there. She tries calling the number on the tag, but Hwan's phone still "cannot be reached."

She later tells her dad she is going out to meet some friends, and he gives her some money; her stepmom sees this. Father and daughter now leave together because she wants to go meet Eun Woo at the bus stop. Eun Sung tells her dad to come home early the next evening to celebrate his birthday. As they part ways, some impulse makes her shout that she loves her dad, and he answers that he also loves her.

Eun Sung's dad waves goodbye.
 After watching him walk off, she also heads off to meet her brother's school bus. We now see Eun Woo for the first time, a boy who walks awkwardly and looks vague.

Go Eun Woo, the autistic piano prodigy.
 He pinky-swears with his older sister, or noona, [Finally, we learn that boys call their older sisters "noona." In comparison, girls call their older sisters "unnie."] and shows her the cross pendant he wears around his neck, a twin to her own. They stop by a piano music institute on the way, where Eun Woo plays a pretty piece which he apparently composed himself, called "Thinking of Noona."


Awww. Sweet sibling moments.
 Meanwhile, their stepmom is busy pulling out hidden papers from under her mattress. It appears she has assets her husband doesn't know about, but is not inclined to share them with his family.

Eun Woo and Eun Sung go to visit their own mom's grave and make offerings. They talk to their mom as if she were still alive. Eun Sung reaffirms her promise to her mom before she died, that she would always take care of her brother.
Brother and sister at their mom's grave.
 Meanwhile their dad has gone to ask a friend for a loan, but the friend cannot lend him anything. In desperation, Mr. Go talks wildly of dying, saying that if he dies, his family can at least collect on his insurance and be better off, than if he lived and they became bankrupt. His friend tells him not to be crazy, and evidently feels sorry for him, so tells him that he will be in touch later. Mr. Go says he will wait and not go home yet.

We then see Jun Se again, waiting for Eun Sung to pass judgment on a pasta dish; apparently he is the manager of the restaurant where they are. [I like this restaurant; it's got tables in a garden. Al fresco dining!] With them are Hyeong Jin and another girl, In Young.
Hyeong Jin is such a toady...
...and In Young looks like she's not gonna be a friend long...
Jun Se seems impressed by Eun Sung's suggestions on how to improve the dish; apparently she changed her major from business to culinary arts without her dad knowing, and plans to tell him the next day, on his birthday. Hyeong Jin tries to impress the girls by claiming it is his restaurant; Jun Se looks as if he wants to say something but changes his mind.

Eun Sung comes home to find Madam Baek alone in the dark, drinking. Eun Sung wants to talk to her stepmom, but is told to go to her room.

Meanwhile we see Eun Sung's dad, walking on a wharf, evidently wrestling with his problems. His friend arrives, but only gives him a personal loan of some money, not enough to bail out his company. He doesn't answer his wife's calls. Madam Baek is frantic! Mr. Go turns to drink; we see someone eyeing the envelope of cash he is carrying.
This doesn't look good...
 Hwan is partying with his friends. At home, the butler asks Hwan's grandma if she wants him to go look for her grandson, she says there is no need. The hotel refuses his credit card; he realizes the old lady has had his credit card stopped. When he opens his cellphone, by misfortune it is Eun Sung's call that comes through first looking for her bag and he is so soused he doesn't talk sense. He tricks her into coming to the hotel to pay for his bill, refusing to talk to her until she does so. 50 million won, OMG. Who drinks that much beer? Arrogant as ever, he now makes her drive his car to his hotel, since he is now too drunk to do so. Fuming, but needing to reclaim her bag, she goes with him.

Back to Eun Sung's dad, we see him walking drunk down an alley, and there is someone following him. Uh-oh, this doesn't look good. [WTF Dad what are you doing, nvm that you're drunk, you're supposed to be an adult. You should know better than to go wandering around dark alleys or something.Ok fine, your company's going under,but...]

At the hotel, Eun Sung peppers Hwan with questions, and finally he catches her by the scruff of her neck and drags her off backwards. Which of course gets her so screaming mad that she hauls off and kicks him in the ankles, then fells him with a right hook. OMG way to go Eun Sung!

I'd react like this too, if someone did that to me.
At about the same time, in the alley, someone comes up on her dad from behind and hits him with a two-by-four in the back of the head and makes off with his jewelry and money. Oh no!
OUCH.
 Later we see that same jewelry on an unknown singer in a night club, where gas is slowly leaking...

At dawn, Mr. Go wakes up in the alley with a bad headache.

Rude awakening!
 He stumbles into a store to ask for directions to the police station, then hears his own name on TV... he has been listed as one of the casualties in a fire at a nightclub due to a leaking gas tank that exploded. Ah, now we see where this is going!

Meanwhile, Hwan's grandma's company is also facing some sort of financial trouble, and she chews out Jun Se's dad about it.

Hwan wakes up in his hotel room with a bleeding nose, courtesy of Eun Sung.

You deserved it, you jerk.
 Where he didn't believe Eun Sung before, he now sees his bag and realizes the substitution.

Apparently Hyeong Jin is living in Jun Se's apartment --what a sponger!-- and asks his friend to borrow the car because he wants to impress Eun Sung, who is is being given the runaround by Hwan who is mad at her for slugging him. Hwan then goes off to meet his mom and sister at Jun Se's restaurant, asking them for cash and a credit card since his grandma has cut him off. They plot how to make his grandma cave in to him. Hwan displays more high-handedness by being rude to the waitress, and is called on it by Jun Se. [I sort of wished the waitress would break the tray on his head. Srsly. This is a first class *sshole.]
A guy with a band-aid on his nose shouldn't act so petulant.
Gotta admit though that Lee Seung Gi does "petulant" well.
Meanwhile, Madam Baek sees the newscast of her husband's "death." She receives a call about it, but when she is asked to identify the body, it has been burned beyond recognition. She assumes it is him because of the jewelry. Now she is distraught-- she has to deal with being a bankrupt widow with three children to support. She gets angry at her dead husband at first. Then she remembers the insurance.

Eun Sung, unaware, is writing birthday greetings for her dad and making plans about what to cook for his birthday dinner. She is still trying to trace Hwan, because her dad's birthday present is in the bag that Hwan has. Hwan, who is with Seung Mi, instead calls Hyeong Jin and threatens him. [K, WTH, how does he know Hyeong Jin?] Seung Mi gets a call from her mother to come home. Eun Sung calls home, talks to her stepmom,and receives the bad news. She drops everything and runs to the funeral parlor, where Madam Baek is waiting. She doesn't want to believe that he is dead and wants to see the corpse, but Madam Baek tells her of the condition of the body, and that she had it cremated. Now we catch a glimpse of Madam Baek's iron hand as she implacably makes a hysterical Eun Sung believe that her dad is really dead.
OMO!


End Episode 1.

Comments:
Let me begin by saying that I do did not consider myself a fan of K-dramas. I watched Kim Sam-Soon on and off, and totally missed out on the first run of Jewel in the Palace (Dae Jang Geum) when everyone was talking about how Korean food is cooked. I caught up a bit with Jumong, then got interested enough to watch Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi all the way through. (And it's still my favorite sageuk, because I love the concept of the black phoenix :P Okay, I loved Seoh/Sujini more than Damdeok. Just saying.) Then came a rerun of Full House which I'd also totally missed the first time around. Yes, call me ostrich. With my head in the rocks. Full of rocks. Whatever. I knew I had it bad when I began to schedule my weekdays around three p.m.-- I was working the night shift then, and slept/ran errands during the day. Justin and Jessie (Lee Young-jae and Han Ji-eun) got me hooked on their antics. They were fun! After Full House ended I went back to moping... until one day this came swooping in on the wings of the song "I will take you forever," and life began again.


For the Filipino readers who only watched this on GMA-7 as Shining Inheritance, the other title of this drama is Brilliant Legacy, and the characters we've seen so far are: Eun Sung = Ynna; Hwan=Juan; Seung Mi=Aimee; Jun Se=Francis; Sung Hee=Lanie; Young Ran=Sonia; Jung=Joanna; Eun Woo=Nono; Butler Pyo=Edwin.


So. On to the nitpicking commentary.
1. Eun Sung looks cute. And sweet, and basically high-spirited. Blech, okay, we have established she's the heroine, but I may gag from all the sweetness and light. I wish she'd show a little more depth. The flashes of temper seemed a bit overdone, though. I was actually glad she decked Hwan, because he sure needed taking down. Okay, I'm a bloodthirsty monster. I sure hope she can take what Hwan is bound to do to her next, because he can't even be nice to his own grandma, how much more to a stranger?
2. Hwan is a jerk. I hate him. I am wondering what Seung Mi sees in him. And if this is the hero, I am also wondering what Eun Sung is going to see in him. I want to essentially reach in there and give both girls a skillet each to bash his head with. That scene with the waitress was... wait, was he channelling Dao Ming Xi or something? I am hoping that he will redeem himself, or...
3. Seung Mi is pretty, and stylish, and basically under her mom's thumb. Is it just that she doesn't have enough strength of will? I mean, here she is following a jerk like Hwan around like a puppy. And she's supposed to be a "role model student." Is she in love with him or something, or are they just best friends? What's with the good-girl bad-boy stuff? You're giving us "smart girls" a bad rep, sister. Wake up, please, kthx. Oh well, with a mom like Sung Hee... And wait just a minute: Why didn't you want Eun Sung to see you meeting Hwan at the airport? And why are you not supposed to let Hwan know about your family?

4. What's with the strong silent stuff, Jun Se? The part I liked most about you was the expression on your face when you were scared Eun Sung was going to crash your car and yet you never let on that it was in fact your car and not that opportunist Hyeong Jin's.
5. Sung Hee looks mighty suspicious. She's sweet one moment and the next you suspect she doesn't really care. We see her being two-faced with her family several times, and you can already guess that money's her weak spot, witness how easily the other two matrons were able to bait her. And what is with insisting that Seung Mi absolutely has to marry Hwan?
6. The kid playing Eun Woo is good!
7. Mr. Go is such a softy. Both his wife and daughter can wrap him around their little fingers. Srsly. How'd he get to be a successful businessman? Oh right, his company's going down down down... I guess he's supposed to be this basically sweet dad caught in circumstances beyond his control or something?
8. Granny is awesome! And Butler Pyo isn't so bad either.
9. Young Ran is a ninny. So is Jung. Nuff said.

Acknowledgment: To GMA-7, for airing this delightful drama so that I became interested in it. To Mysoju and hellogamers, for making it possible for me to watch it in the original Korean. To the guys and gals at haruharu subs, for their subtitles that made it possible for me to understand the dialogue.

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