After yesterday’s dramatic episode, we return to Itaewon Class as we officially move into romance territory for our two main leads. I have had my doubts about Yi-Seo and Sae-Ro-Yi from the start, and made no secret of that either, but this episode really does well to subvert expectations and deliver a natural extension of their blossoming relationship over time. All of this builds up to a very dramatic finale that leaves things wide open for next week’s last two episodes.
Episode 14 of Itaewon Class begins with Sae-Ro-Yi heading back to the office where he finds Yi-Seo asleep at her desk. After placing his jacket on her, she wakes up and refuses to give it back. Given how much she needs to prepare for the buyer in China, Sae-Ro-Yi gathers the group together in the morning as he announces that the Chairman is about to pass away. Min-Jung and Ho-Ji try to work out a way to remove Geun-Soo from his position and while they do, Sae-Ro-Yi pledges his support to Yi-Seo.
As they head out the building, Yi-Seo asks him for one wish – to go on a date with him. He tells her to keep things professional but she’s relentless in her pursuit of him
Not long after, Soo-A rings him but he blows her off, telling her he’ll meet another time as he’s busy working. Yi-Seo makes no secret that she’s jealous butSae-Ro-Yi tells her he doesn’t have feelings for her and asks again for her to stop showing how much she cares. Yi-Seo remains indifferent though and holds back her obvious sadness as he tells her he doesn’t feel anything for her.
The meeting goes ahead and Yi-Seo greets the investors with Min-Jung, a big smile on her face. Several meetings ensue as she continues to work. Given how hard she’s working, Tony greets her warmly but notices her nose bleed and exhibits his concerns over pushing herself too hard.
Outside, she bumps into Geun-Soo and they discuss his potential Chairman position. Things are frosty between them but he asks her if she wants to drink with him. She incredulously looks like she’ll turn it down but decides to go nonetheless.
At the same time, Soo-A and Sae-Ro-Yi meet and have dinner together. Soo-A tells him she feels lethargic at the moment and goes on to ask him again that if the shareholder’s meeting goes wel, will she be able to quit. Remaining cagey, he dances around the question of whether he likes her as he starts to realize they’re less compatible than he thought. Even worse, Yi-Seo shows up with Geun-Soo to the same restaurant moments later. She unfortunately doesn’t take this well and hurries out the building.
Sae-Ro-Yi looks to leave to chase after her but Soo-A grabs his arm, telling him not to go. Eventually he does and outside, he bumps into Geun-Soo who tells him to stop using Yi-Seo. As he deliberates over what to do, Soo-A leaves and runs into Geun-Won who boasts about being a model prisoner and being released early. As they sit and drink together, he admits to liking her but won’t pursue it given his reputation. He goes on to promise he’ll always be a jerk to her instead.
The day of the stockholder’s meeting arrives and Yi-Seo looks the worse for wear, feigning to be her best despite running herself into the ground. As she collapses on the floor, Sae-Ro-Yi messages through to Ho-Jin and MIn-Jung informing them about what happened. Only, as Sae-Ro-Yi is a major shareholder he needs to be at the meeting.
At Jangga, Min-Jung meets the Chairman again who tells her she always makes the wrong decision and goes on to brush her aside given she’s never been the obedient type. As he leaves the scene, Sae-Ro-Yi rushes in as he announces that Yi-Seo won’t be joining them as she’s really not well.
Given she passed out earlier, holding a meeting surrounding Yi-Seo being promoted to a non-executive Director of Jangga without her even present gives Sae-Ro-Yi extra gravitas in his position. However, the board reject the motion. On the way out the door, the Chairman tells Sae-Ro-Yi he won’t wait for long; a throwback to their call last episode.
Sae-Ro-Yi scrambles back to the hospital and tells the group that the motion was rejected. He also exhibits concern surrounding Yi-Seo’s well-being. As she stands up and looks set to work again, he tells her to rest or he’ll fire her. It’s a pretty brutal move but he goes on to beg her to do this for him before leaving.
Outside, Seung-Kwon confronts him about Yi-Seo and asks if he’s confused. He mentions the age gap between them again but stops himself midway through as he realizes this is exactly what she said before about him making excuses. Seung-Kwon tells him it’s not like Sae-Ro-Yi to act this way and after thinking outside, he heads back in but hears Hyun-Yi and Yi-Seo talking outside the room about him.
She goes on to mention how she needs to be someone he needs in order to justify how hard she’s working. As he contemplates what to do, the camera pans out as we see him holding the necklace he promised Yi-Seo in his hand around the corner.
Back at Jangga, Geun-Soo admits that the chairman only has a few months to live, sending Soo-A up to his estate to talk to him. He tells her that someone she hates is dying and doesn’t understand why she’s crying. “You fool,” he goes on, before mentioning her strengths and how she’s been tamed to his standards.
Geun-Won meanwhile, meets with a shady crime boss and tells him he wants to start “what they spoke about” with immediate effect. As they do, we cut back to Sae-Ro-Yi who notices firsthand just how much work Yi-Seo has been doing. With no password for her drawer, Sae-Ro-Yi guesses his own birthday as the combination and manages to break in.
Seung-Kwon goes on to read a load of questions not long after, as Sae-Ro-Yi finally realizes he does have feelings for Yi-Seo, especially after seeing the drawing of himself on the back of her book. As he races up to the hospital with this newfound wave of emotion, Yi-Seo awakens and sees the necklace along with a message for her to get better soon.
Sae-Ro-Yi and Geun-Soo talk outside about Yi-Seo and he admits that she’s actually the reason he wants to get rid of IC Co. Finally, after all this time, Sae-Ro-Yi admits that he shouldn’t like Yi-Seo as it would be a betrayal to his friend – his friend being Geun-Soo. However, he decides to follow through on that betrayal and openly admits that he likes Yi-Seo, leaving him speechless.
Sae-Ro-Yi heads into the hospital ward and notices Yi-Seo missing. She’s been kidnapped and worse, he’s told to head up to a secret location via text in order to save her life. As he races off in his car, Geun-Soo follows in hot pursuit.
Unfortunately this was Geun-Won’s plan all along and as he sits in the shadows, he finally reveals himself to them, along with the gang members, and admits the two guys he hates the most are now together.
Sae-Ro-Yi saves Geun-Soo’s life as a car charges toward them, and he tumbles down the cliff just like his Father did as Geun-Won watches and screams his name. As he thinks back to his time with Yi-Seo, he admits to missing her like crazy where the episode ends.
With the fires of revenge starting to extinguish, the story itself has changed over into romantic drama territory rather than outright vengeance. This will inevitably split the fan-base of course but the way everything is tied together and made believable by the montage segments does help to keep everything consistent and with enough momentum to keep things exciting. Ultimately though, Itaewon Class leaves things wide open for next week with some really shocking final scenes.
Seeing Geun-Won revert to the same cruel person he was all those years ago – in a bid to please his Father – is exacerbated by Sae-Ro-Yi being accidentally hit and rolling down the cliff just like his Father. It’s all to play for next week though and with no preview for episode 15, Itaewon Class’ wait is likely to be a very agonizing one!