The Fight Begins
Itaewon Class picks up where it left off last week with another strong episode, one that deepens the growing rivalry between Sae-Ro-Yi and the Chairman as the stare-down results in both throwing down the gauntlet and making their moves. Sae-Ro-Yi in particular continues to be a really interesting character and despite his cool facade, there’s a really sensitive soul underneath that helps make him an easy character to root for. Unfortunately the Jangga team are the polar opposite and the Chairman in particular, is a really dastardly character, finally paying attention to Sae-Ro-Yi and causing havoc in his life.
Episode 7 of Itaewon Class begins with Yi-Seo taking the Chairman’s order – a stew and stir-fried dish. This is something that Sae-Ro-Yi takes seriously and tells the team that he can’t afford for the Chairman to find any flaws in their food and to give it their best.
As he hands over the dish, the Chairman calls Sae-Ro-Yi out for buying shares in the company and asks him why he decided to invest. Sae-Ro-Yi tells him he believed the company would bounce back and thought it would be a good long-term profit – something he simply did to churn a profit. However, he invested 600 million won that very morning, something which he poker-faces as to churning extra profit too, which the Chairman sees through straight away.
Despite clearing his dishes, he tells Sae-Ro-Yi he doesn’t consider him a rival and to be thankful he isn’t in the firing line. He tells our protagonist to give up and take it easy. However, he defiantly stands his ground and tells the Chairman he’ll keep fighting. Despite it being a slow process, the Chairman is his end-goal. Before this is all over, he’ll make him pay for what he’s done.
All of this, as it happens, is a ploy to pull the first sucker-punch, to blindside the Chairman into thinking that he’s just a casual kid – which is far from the truth. As we cut back in time, we see Sae-Ro-Yi visited in prison by Ho-Jin, the boy Geun-Won bullied in class. He gives him advice about fights and goes on to admit he wants to be a Funds Manager, thanking Sae-Ro-Yi for his help in the past. This is how they managed to work together and make so much money off the back of Jangga.
Sae-Ro-Yi talks to Min-Jung regarding a stock proposition, deciding to invest money into owning 1% of Jangga stock. She laughs at the prospect but Sae-Ro-Yi isn’t laughing – he schemes with her and tells her he’ll be by her side when the Chairman retires. Realizing he’s for real, she makes a deal with him – if he can get the Chairman to eat at his pub then she’ll know he’s for real; this is the first punch Sae-Ro-Yi was referring to.
Back in the present, Sae-Ro-Yi meets with Min-Hung after completing his task and she agrees to follow him and try to take down the Chairman and Geun-Won. After shaking hands, she plays a game of Go with the Chairman and he expresses just how fond he is of her, prompting her to feel a tinge of guilt over the deal she’s just made. Only, he knows about the deal thanks to some incriminating photographs of them shaking hands.
The next day, the Chairman confronts his son regarding his decision to pay off the competition to make sure Sae-Ro-Yi didn’t compete the day before. Geun-Won apologises but his Father can’t hide his disgust, telling him to leave. On his way out the door however, Geun-Soo passes after having been summoned in by him. After being struck in the face by his brother, the Chairman tells him he needs to go abroad and study. Geun-Soo is having none of it though, and proceeds to walk away from his Father.
The next day, Sae-Ro-Yi walks with Soo-A and they reminisce over old times before heading back to DanBam where an English couple arrive. Only, none of them speak English, despite the entire group looking toward Tony-Kim as if he’s an English speaker. They mention his complexion and express genuine surprise when they learn he’s Korean but before that he came to Korea from Guinea, meaning he actually speaks French.
Meanwhile, Geun-Soo and Yi-Seo walk together, where she admits to liking Sae-Ro-Yi. However, she also tells him that emotions are fleeting and this could change in the future, flirting with him and leaving him to sigh as they head back to DanBam.
These good vibes don’t last long though, as Yi-Seo puts on some lipstick and hurries after Sae-Ro-Yi as he heads out of town to meet someone, listening to his life’s story and the events that led up to this very moment.The house he visits happens to be the officer in charge of his Father’s case all those years ago. When he comes face to face with this man, he drops to his knees and apologises to Sae-Ro-Yi, pleading with him to stop turning up at his house. Sae-Ro-Yi tells him he needs to turn himself in for the injustices he’s caused and walks away.
That evening, Yi-Seo and Sae-Ro-Yi talk but after showing her his scar, she grabs his arm as we hear her narrate that she’s in love with him and doesn’t want to let him go. Having said what he needed to say to the officer, the duo head back on the bus together as Sae-Ro-Yi holds her close and lets her sleep on his shoulder, a thin hint of a smile crossing his face.
The next day, Yi-Seo walks along Itaewon and sees a crowd of people outside Jangga. Soo-A approaches her and suggests getting ice from DanBam but she scoffs at the idea, proceeding to admit that she hates Soo-A. As she hurries up to the shop, Sae-Ro-Yi finishes talking to the building owner, and it turns out he’s sold the building. Even worse, the new owner wants to raise the rent by 5%, with specific instructions to move Sae-Ro-Yi out the building.
With no other way out, and even Soo-A herself not being able to find a loop-hole, he decides to speak to the new building owner on the phone to try and negotiate terms. Only, that’s not going to be possible given the new owner is the Chairman himself.
Ah, what a twist! Sae-Ro-Yi may have won the battle, but the Chairman looks like he’s going to win the war. The under-handed tactics of buying out DanBam’s property is a really sneaky move but it’s something that certainly ignites those antagonistic flames of hatred toward the Chairman.
It’s the perfect move from a narrative perspective too, given Sae-Ro-Yi has spent most of the last few episodes on the front-foot, especially as he reiterates what he’s managed to achieve across the last 8 years.
So what happens next? The Chairman has clearly labelled Sae-Ro-Yi a threat and this is going to really explode into a bitter feud going forward. The battle lines have certainly been drawn, and I think Soo-A is going to be the wild-card here. She’s been flitting between both sides and her loyalty has already been tested a few times. I’d imagine she’ll team back up with Sae-Ro-Yi properly and this will see the team finally topple the Chairman and his son, letting Min-Kung ascend to CEO status.
Whatever happens with this one, the show has left plenty of questions hanging over this one but thankfully we haven’t got to wait too long to find out what happens next!