“The Bigger You Dream, The Bigger You’ll Grow”
Itaewon Class returns with another slice of drama today, one that fully establishes the battle lines being drawn as Sae-Ro-Yi plays his trump card. If the Chairman wasn’t worried before, he’s certainly taking notice now and the ending reinforces that we’re in for a real fight in the coming weeks as DanBam and Jangga both look to fight it out for dominance in Itaewon.
Episode 6 of Itaewon Class begins moments before Yi-Seo denies Soo-A her kiss, jumping back in time to see Soo-A’s upbringing, including her Mum leaving and her being forced into an orphanage. Alone and believing no one loves her, we see a small montage that fills in the gaps of Soo-A’s life before returning to Yi-Seo breaking up the kiss.
The team meal goes ahead but Soo-A insists on tagging along which certainly isn’t awkward at all. The attention soon turns to Yi-Seo as she honestly critiques the pubs around Itaewon and settles on her star ratings. At the moment DanBam is a 3 star restaurant and only one is currently a perfect 5 stars – Jangga. Sae-Ri-Yo is determined to franchise DanBam though and they toast to the future success of the pub, with Soo-A watching on silently.
In secret, Yi-Seo and Soo-A come to blows and start to fight over Sae-Ro-Yi, with Yi-Seo promising to destroy her rival. As Soo-A leaves, she heads back to Jangga where she reveals that Geun-Soo is working at DanBam, which doesn’t sit well with the Chairman. Soo-A continues to feed back information about Sae-Ro-Yi, going on to tell him the staff are loyal and how he intends to franchise the pub. Geun-Won laughs at the incredulousness of this statement but the Chairman isn’t laughing.
Back at the pub, Yi-Seo discusses plans of appearing on TV with Sae-Ro-Yi. In order to expand, they need to introduce a new job posting, which Sae-Ro-Yio agrees to post online. However, Yi-Seo heads into her apartment and finds her Mum sitting on her sofa, waiting for her. As they talk, Yi-Seo tells her defiantly that she won’t be anything like her and wants to live her own dream.
The job postings get a lot more applicants than DanBam first expected, and as they start sifting through the applicants, a beautiful girl arrives that immediately sweeps Seung-Kwon off his feet. He begs Sae-Ro-Yi to hire her but Yi-Seo is not so sure, immediately turning her down. With things looking bleak, a new applicant arrives called Tony Kim and he tells them he’s Korean. Yi-Seo immediately takes a shining to him and it’s decided – Tony is hired. Adding to these good vibes is the news that DanBam is going to be featured on TV.
When Sae-Ro-Yi heads to the broadcasting company, he sees Geun-Won and things are immediately tense between them given their history. After taunting Sae-Ro-Yi, Geun-Won leaves and decides to teach his enemy a lesson, once and for all. As he starts to spin a plan into action, he phones Soo-A, who hangs up on him as soon as he mentions the Chairman and how he may react to the news of how she feels about Sae-Ro-Yi.
As she heads up to Itaewon, Sae-Ri-Yo stews over Geun-Won’s words and realizes Soo-A’s livelihood could be jeopardized if he goes ahead and tries to rival Jangga. Instead, he lets them win this time and tells her he’s pulling out from doing the TV broadcast. As he walks away, Yi-Seo selflessly tells him that Soo-A lied and didn’t actually report the pub. She vows to win him back in her head but watches as Sae-Ro-Yi hurries off to catch up with Soo-A.
Catching his breath, he asks why she lied and as she gets on the last bus home, he calls after her and vows to destroy the Jangga company once and for all, allowing her to rest easier. As he drifts out of sight, tears fall down her cheeks as she mutters “you fool”.
Determined to prove Geun-Won wrong, Sae-Ro-Yi phones Hee-Hoon and asks about his finances where he learns he has 1.9 billion won, which is a result of him investing in Jangga 8 years ago during the public arrest of Geun-Won. Back then the stocks were incredibly low and our business-savvy ex-con invested heavily in stocks and as the company have improved and bounced back, so too has Sae-Ro-Yi’s finances.
When the chairman finds out, he laughs incredulously and immediately storms up to DanBam. As he arrives with the others, he sees his son working and locks eyes with Sae-Ro-Yi, knowing once and for all that he can’t underestimate this kid and he’s come to fight.
The fight is on – in more ways than one. With Sae-Ro-Yi and the Chairman looking set to duel it out, Yi-Seo and Soo-A look set to battle over our protagonist while Geun-Won and his brother find themselves on opposite sides of the battleground, which really adds some depth to this show. This characterisation is ultimately what makes Itaewon so enthralling and the diverse nature of the casting really helps add an extra depth to this one too.
Sae-Ro-Yi acts as a pretty generic protagonist but his intense rivalry with the Chairman is enough to keep you coming back for more. There’s a revenge-soaked energy to this story that remains raw and emotional, especially given the history between these two characters, and this unresolved conflict certainly acts as fuel to the flame. Itaewon Class is fast becoming one of the better Korean dramas of the year but whether it can keep this up throughout its run-time remains to be seen.
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