Itaewon Class returns this week with another strong episode as we gear up for the final push for DanBam to become the number 1 food company. There’s a really interesting juxtaposition here between the two sides and this bubbles up to the surface during the final scenes of the episode.
The Best Pub competition reaches the final 4 and Hyun-Yi finds herself in the limelight as the attention falls to her. She admits the truth about herself being a transgender live on TV and goes on to tell the announcer that birds of a feather flock together and she works with the best people. It seems to be enough and this inspiring story comes to a close with her winning Best Pub for DanBam. It’s a big moment for her and one that sees the group celebrate together.
Meanwhile, Geun-Soo is berated by the Chairman for losing the competition but Soo-A speaks up and admits that he’s a lot like his Father surrounding the ruthless way he spilled the truth about Hyun-Yi.
Geun-Soo however, ends up running into Yi-seo in the main reception area. She slaps him and confronts her former friend over what happened with Hyun-Yi. He admits to being the one responsible and goes on to tell her he only did that because she would have feelings for him if he became owner of Jangga. She apologises to him as he admits his feelings and goes on to tell him she doesn’t feel the same way and walks off.
True to her word, Ms. Kim signs the investment as news of this spreads online. Yi-Seo’s Mum sees this too and with pride, she smiles as she reads the article, realizing that her daughter is true to her word and more like her than she initially thought.
After Sae-Ro-Yi says some encouraging words for the group that evening with drinks, his thoughts go back to his Father before he passes out.
Meanwhile, Geun-Soo is encouraged to join the meeting with the Chairman where he openly admits to thinking about passing the company down to him. The board members clap as the Chairman may finally start to be seeing reason.
In prison, Geun-Won continues to work out, hardened by the experience and driven by that same jealous rage that lit the fires of Sae-Ro-Yi all those years ago. Even more ironically, the cell-mates and cell he finds himself in is the same one that Sae-Ro-Yi was part of all those years back.
Sae-Ro-Yi decides they should enter the upcoming Franchise Expo, turning their billions into hundreds of billions in a bid to finally beat Jangga once and for all.
We then jump forward 4 years to 2020 as we see Sae-Ro-Yi arriving at a lavish office complex with Yi-Seo getting ready to meet him. It appears his dream has come true – as he sits in a board meeting with Yi-Seo listening as she flexes her intelligence in the face of all these board members.
Geun-Won is now the Director of Jangga and as the Chairman sits back he listens at how his son handles himself in the face of adversity. He wants to turn a 40 billion won investment into a 120 billion one by buying these buildings and selling them when they’re high. The popularity won’t lose anything as the marketing team will interject at the right time and stop things spiraling.
Th Chairman is clearly not well though and after having groomed his son to take over, he heads home. At the same time, Yi-Seo tries to encourage Sae-Ro-Yi to buy her a nice necklace before admitting that she likes him so much but she’s too good at her job for him to fire her. She goes on to tell him she loves him, just as Hyun-Yi arrives and they talk about birthdays.
Geun-Won is released from prison and in the street he crosses paths with Ho-Jin. Although Ho-Jin recognizes him, he doesn’t seem to recognize the boy he used to bully.
Meanwhile, the Chairman is taken into hospital but he doesn’t have much time left – about six months to be precise. Geun-Won greets him in hospital and things are frosty between them. Even more so when Geun-Soo arrives and boasts about being the Director. He coldly goes on to mention the stock price and eventually goes on to tell his Father to get some rest.
With Geun-Soo gone, the Chairman tells Geun-Won he did all this for Jangga’s sake. Geun-Won promises to protect Jangga no matter what as he bitterly leaves his Father’s side.
This news sends ripples across to Sae-Ro-Yi too, who learns through Ho-Jin that Geun-Won is now free. As he wanders away from Soo-A, Yi-Seo and Soo-A sit together and talk, where the former admits that she knows Soo-A is afraid and goes on to call her disgusting.
Even more alarming, Sae-Ro-Yi learns about the Chairman’s health and he looks at Ho-Jin in shock. However, he phones the Chairman directly and asks him if he’s doing well and admits to knowing about his cancer. He asks if he’s going to die and tells him not to – he doesn’t want him to die that easily. Sae-Ro-Yi promises to punish him himself and goes on to tell the old man to stay alive for now.
Interestingly, Sae-Ro-Yi is the one person who still wants the Chairman to live as everyone else has given up on him. These two are intertwined together like Yin and Yang – both need each other and as the Chairman stands up, the fire he once had seems to return again.
There’s a lot going on in Itaewon Class this week and with another time jump forward, it seems like the intense rivalry between Jangga and DanBam is reaching fever pitch. It’s become apparent now that this deep-rooted rivalry between Sae-Ro-Yi and the Chairman is running so deep that they both need each other to keep their drive intact. In a way, it’s this classic tale of a hero and villain needing each other that makes these later episodes of Itaewon Class so endearing.
There’s a lot left to unpack here and it looks like we’re moving into the final act next episode as we’re left to wonder just whether Sae-Ro-Yi and Yi-Seo will end up in a relationship or not.