Reborn Rich – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Betrayal, Death, and Reincarnation of a Loyal Servant

Episode 1 of Reborn Rich starts in an international bank where Yoon Hyun-woo, is signing some documents and the bank deposits 600 million dollars to his account to withdraw whenever he likes. The bank attendant wonders how he amassed such wealth at a young age, “is it hard work or luck?” The story goes back one week earlier in Seoul to answer this question.

The chairman of the Soonyang Group, Jin Young-ki, is leaving the courthouse with his bodyguards, and the reporters disclose that he had been accused of manipulation of stocks, misconduct and embezzlement. The crime is punishable with three years imprisonment and five years probation which the courts granted his probation, thus getting away with professional misconduct. Yoon Hyun-woo is among his bodyguards.

A recruit, Shin Gyeong Min is introduced during the preparations for the unveiling ceremony for Soonyang Group’s successor. He adores Hyun-woo and idolizes him for his loyalty to the Soonyang family. In the scene, we learn that Yoon Hyeon-woo is a senior manager of the Future Asset Management Department.

He is diligent and seems to know a lot about his employers as he orders Assistant Shin to help him get rid of the drinks since the chairman is allergic to peaches. Assistant Shin idolizes him for being the chairman’s most trusted employee for over five years, regardless of the massive workload and is eager to know what he needs to do to be like Hyeon-woo.

The other employees regard Hyeon-woo as a handy family servant whom they use to do all the dirty work and keep their hands clean. We later realize he is constantly at the family’s beck and calls, even while in the shower, to do menial tasks such as fixing toilets.

On the day he is meant to be announced as the new chairman, the eldest grandson and the son of chairman Jin Young Ki, Jin Seong-jun renounces his inheritance, causing his father to be hospitalized. His wife, Mo Hyeon-min, tasks Hyeon-woo with finding her husband and making sure he is at the ceremony to give a speech within 30 minutes, a failure to which his job at Soonyang is on the line.

Hyeon-woo finds the vice chairman, an emotional wreck at a hotel with a golf club and breaking potted plants and fish tanks just because the staff insisted on serving him lunch. Hyeo-woo manages to get the staff out to safety but at the expense of taking a golf club to the head. Eventually, he manages to calm down Seong-jun, who is still harbouring past traumas from his grandfather’s view of him after breaking a vase incident in his teens and a mysterious accident that they had initially argued about with his father.

Seong-jun announced big plans for the company, including that he would turn the company into one that serves the nation at the ceremony accepting his position as the new chairman. The family is not pleased, but their immediate worry is the health condition of the former chairman hospitalized due to an acute myocardial infarction. The visit to the hospital brings with it the black sheep of the family. Jin Yoon-ki and his wife, Lee Hae-in, are estranged from the family.

We learn that they insisted on getting married and following their careers despite the objection of the family founder and Yoon-ki’s father, Jin Yang-cheol. Hae-in wants answers about what happened to his son and uses her 3 % shares at the Soonynag group as a bargaining chip.

Hyeon-woo teaches assistant manager Shin that he lives by three rules while working for the family. The first is never to refuse an order given by any member of the Soonyang family. The second rule is never to ask questions, and the third is never to make personal judgments.

Another challenge facing the Soonyang group is Prosecutor Seo Min-young. Prosecutor Seo is determined to prove the professional misconduct of the Soonyang family, and she seizes assets at the Hyeon-woo office. However, they were aware of the seizure and had moved all the company files and computers, replacing them with new ones.

Hyeo-woo and his team are now tasked with getting rid of any incriminating files, and in the process, assistant manager Shin comes across a paper company used as a slush fund to siphon a massive amount of company money into an overseas account. Hyeon-woo reports the file to the financial manager, who shreds the document and directs Hyeon-woo not to look into it.

Regardless, Hyeon-woo reports the overseas account to the new chairman Seong-jun who fires the finance manager and promotes Hyeon-woo to replace him. Hyeon-woo’s first role as the finance manager is to retrieve the money in the slush, launder it for the company and retrieve all the siphoned assets. That is how Hyeon-woo ends up in the foreign bank making a 600 million deposit.

We learn that the conversation between Seong-jun and Hyeon-woo was recorded and handed over to his aunt Jin Hwa-young, who plays it for the prosecutor and asks if she could indict him. In addition, Jin Dong Ki’s daughter Ye jun knew of the slush fund from the fired finance director Kim and asked for the money after it was retrieved.

On his way from the bank, Hyeon-woo crimes across some goons. He is captured at taken to the edge of a cliff. Assistant manager Shin shows up, and although he seems conflicted, he reminds Hyeon-woo of his teachings never to refuse an order, ask questions, and never make a personal judgement. He informs Hyeon-woo that the person who needed the money wanted him dead. Assistant manager Shin takes off, and the hired goons shoot Hyeon-woo at the cliff’s edge, and he falls to his death.

Miraculously, Hyeon-woo wakes up in the body of Jin Do-joon, the youngest grandson of the Soonyang family and the son of Yoon-ki and Hae-in. He is taken back to 1987, when the founder of the Soonyang group, now his grandfather Jin Yang-cheol is still alive. The episode ends with a bewildered young Jin Do-jun staring at his grandfather Jin Yang-cheol still struggling to comprehend what just happened.

The Episode Review

This is Song Joong-Ki’s comeback following his success with Vincenzo and based on this first episode we are in for a riveting thriller.

The first episode gave us a good introduction to each character and we hope to learn more as we dive into the show. It was also refreshing to get a Jin-young cameo, hope to see him soon in his upcoming shows.

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Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!
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