Empire of Gold Episode 8 Recap

Drama Summary/Overview

EmpireofGold_Jang Tae Joo

Jang Tae-joo (Go Soo) was (keyword: was) a intelligent, young, and dashing man studying to be a lawyer and a “filial son” who tried supporting his poor father in anyway he could. His dream was to become rich so that his family would never have to suffer again for lack of money and his sister could go to college. However, one day, the massive conglomerate Sung Jin Group buys off land (via a government contract) for 10% of market price which would become the catalyst for his darker descent (I stand by the opinion that Jang Tae-joo was a deranged man from the start) towards an insatiable obsession with money.

[Okay, so it might be much to say that he’s deranged, but there are only two good things he has done so far in the show and both of them are eventually negated. First, he gifts money to the man who works in Eden’s parking lot (a family friend) for his daughter’s wedding and second, protects Director Yoon Seul-hee (Jang Shin-young) once or twice from the pervert Politician. But then he turns around and destroys that man’s life by coercing him to join the election, and as for Seul-hee, the first ten minutes are enough to assess why the above is for naught.]

This piece of land included the property that Jang’s father bought with 30 years of savings in order to finally build a noodle shop for Tae-joo’s mother (such a dedicated man!). Everyone involved with the land is devastated by their land being taken over and set up a protest that prevents Sung Jin from beginning working on their reconstruction project. Choi Min-jae (Sohn Hyun-joo), who heads Sung Jin Construction, decides to forcibly take their land, leading to the deaths several of the protesters, including Jang’s father.

The thing is, what killed Jang’s father was not the violent takeover. It was the fact that the family had no money to pay the doctors for the operation to save their father’s life. The doctors could not perform surgery despite Tae-joo’s pleas and promises to pay the money after the fact. Tae-joo then comes with an elaborate and dangerous scheme to come up with the money, only to find that once he gets it, his father had already died.

EmpireofGold_ChoiMinJae

Tae-joo is then sent to jail and happens to meet Choi Yong-jae, Min-jae’s brother. Yong-jae ends up dying after an asthma/panic attack in jail and Tae-joo is the sole witness. Tae-joo realizes that the dead man is connected to Sung Jin Group and attempts to find a way out of Jail by claiming to have heard Yong-jae’s last words. Min-jae bails Tae-joo out, but only because of his own hidden agenda (Min-jae is not stupid to believe that Yong-jae could have actually said anything at the time of his death) to convince his own father, Choi Dong-jin (Jung Han-yong) to go against Dong-jin’s older brother and Chairman of Sung Jin Group, Choi Dong-sung (Park Geun-hyung) in order to gain “rightful” control over the Group. In the meantime, the prized daughter of Choi Dong-sung, Choi Seo-yoon (Lee Yo-won), is doing everything in her power to thwart the plans of her cousin, which eventually leads her to require the assistance of Jang Tae-joo and his two pyung land.

But this is only the beginning, as the three of them will have their lives irrevocably intertwined as they fight over the ownership of Sung Jin along with everyone else in he Choi family.

Because there’s so much going on in the story, here’s just a few major character relationships of those wanting to own Sung Jin as of Episode 7:

  • Choi Dong-sung: The Patriarch of the Choi family and is Chairman of Sung Jin. He has been on his death bed for the past 3 or so years with severe Dementia. He intends to pass the company onto his youngest daughter and confidante, Choi Seo-yoon, to hold until his grandson (Won-jae’s son) can take over the company.
  • Han Jeong-hee: Choi Dong-sung’s second wife and mother to Choi Sung-jae. She was once married to a business man who had died as a result of Sung-Jin group’s ruthless acquisition of his business. She ends up marrying Dong-sung to steal the company and avenge her late husband. She also intends to place the reluctant Sung-jae as chairman, who is actually the son of her late husband.
  • Choi Won-jae: Oldest son of Choi Dong-sung who was nothing but a rich spoiled brat for most of his life. However, his immature behavior is just cover of his self-disappointment. He desires the acknowledgment of his father, and tries to prove his worth by taking over Sung-Jin group. He currently works as a director in Sung Jin Group.
  • Choi Seo-yoon: Dong-sung’s second daughter and de-facto heir of Sung Jin group. She becomes the acting Chairman (with the title Vice-Chairman) when her father becomes too ill to work. She has a love for literature, and only desires two things from being Vice-Chairman: one, to carry the legacy of her father, and two, prevent her cousin Min-jae from taking over Sung-Jin.
  • Choi Min-jae: He currently serves as the president/director of Sung-Jin Construction, and wants to take over Sung-Jin because he feels that his family (i.e. his father) was cheated out of a rightful share. As of now, he is teaming up with Eden’s Jang Tae-joo to bring down Seo-yoon. The two agree to split their earnings in half.
  • Jang Tae-joo: Founder and President of Eden, a real estate company that has some shadier undercurrents. He however is not happy with just the success of his own company, and would rather sit in the Empire of Gold where he can change the world with just the lift of his hand. He is business partners with Yoon Seul-hee, and has shown some ambiguous romantic interest in her. (However, as evidenced from the first ten minutes of this show, he ends up marrying Seo-yoon for some mysterious reason.)
  • Yoon Seul-hee: She is a Director of Eden and Jang’s school senior. She starts out as Jang Tae-joo’s mentor to the world of real estate and underground business/black market, but eventually starts working for him. She is very romantically interested in Tae-joo and would do almost anything for him.

11 responses to “Empire of Gold Episode 8 Recap

  1. Thanks for the recap. I have been searching mainly for another person’s view point on this drama. I agree that the two main families with evil stepmom thrown in is an interesting power struggle without Tae-Joo although without him Min-Jae wouldn’t be as strong a presence in the mix. Lee Yo-Won does come off as being a bit unemotional but I think her character has so much stacked against her that she must contain her true feelings because except for her secretary she has virtually no one to trust. I am rooting for her and cheer everytime she outwits anybody who is trying to bring her family business down.

    I’m waiting for a spark of romantic chemistry between Tae-Joo & Seo-Yoon. Up till now there has only been business sparing so the personal connection should be coming soon. They both need to let loose and fall in love despite their probable reasoning that their interest in one another is only for business reasons.

    Was also sorry to see the father die but am hoping that her youngest stepbrother will decide to support her in the future. Seo-Yoon deserves to have Somebody by her side since she never asked or wanted to take over the family business but is now dedicated to
    protecting her father’s legacy.

    Like

    • Seo-yoon is undoubtedly the one I’m rooting for, and it looks like most of the people watching the drama actively feel the same way. She’s fighting a fight on a level that no one else in this story is, and I commend her for being an intelligent and strong willed person no matter the obstacles in her way.

      As for the relationship between Tae-joo and Seo-yoon, I still ain’t buying it. There is no chemistry between the two (save for a split second in Episode 12) and I really cannot find any reason for her to have a romantic relationship with Tae-joo when he’s obviously in love with Seul-hee. Moreover, Tae-joo and Seo-yoon can never logically have a relationship because their goals in life are mutually exclusive. Tae-joo and Seo-yoon cannot be owners of Sung Jin group at the same time, and I highly doubt Tae-joo will ever let her be the more powerful one, nor do I think Seo-yoon would ever give her father’s company to an outsider. Honestly, Seo-yoon deserves way better than Tae-joo. Sure they may be intellectual equals (which is the only thing allowing me to stomach the possibility of them being together), but their level of maturity and elegance is on opposite sides of the universe. Let Seul-hee have her man; they deserve each other.

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  2. [SPOILERS BELOW]

    I am waiting to see episode 12 with english subs but did catch part of the video on youtube. Tae-joo has always protected Seul-hee but I don’t see that as being in love with her. I read that in episode 12….spoiler….Seo-yoon proposes to Tae-joo to protect the business. I see them both as basically decent people who will do whatever they need to, to protect their family and friends. They may be cut throat in business but I think once they get engaged and married they may share a lot of private, personal time where inevitably their vulnerability will reveal itself.

    I like that they are adversaries right now. You may be right that neither of them wants to relinquish the power but remember that Seo-yoon never wanted the job to begin with and traditionally in Korean drama the women leave the business to the men in the family. If she feels that Tae-joo loves her and will protect her father’s business and most importantly that she can TRUST him, she will defer to him.

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    • [SPOILERS BELOW]

      Don’t worry, it’s not much of a spoiler because I think we all knew that this would be the case from day one (that wedding was probably closer to being a funeral than a wedding). Tae-joo also refuses to marry Seul-hee, but I think it’s currently a case of “noble idiocy” rather than dislike. In any case, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree, because I really do think Tae-joo *currently* likes Seul-hee. That may change in the long run, however, since he’s dropped a line or two indicating some liking for Seo-yoon (i.e. he doesn’t completely hate her).

      Seo-yoon may have not wanted the job initially, but it’s become a huge part of her life and identity now. Her job was to hold the company until Myung-hoon (I think that’s his name?) takes the position when he is of age. Giving it to Tae-joo would imply that Myung-hoon will probably not get it, and it’s far more likely that their progeny (were they to have kids) will receive the company. Moreover, Tae-joo is rash and stupid. He’s an intelligent guy who will make lots of money in the short term, but has nada to maintain a company long term the way Seo-yoon does.

      My guilty pleasure of drama tropes has always been adversaries to lovers, but I really want to give Seo-yoon the world after what she’s been through to be filial. She seems so collected and pragmatic that it pains me to see her hitched to a man with the maturity of a teenage boy (read: none). Let’s hope he gains some brains in the last half of the drama, or I may just cry for Seo-yoon. Good thing Go Soo is visually attractive, because I may not have lasted this long otherwise.

      (Btw, It is wonderful talking to you, hopefully you’ll stick around for the upcoming recaps! I’ve been waiting forever to discuss EoG with someone to no avail, until now that is.)

      Like

  3. love that you recap this drama even at episode 12..I love Seo Yoon too I want her to win the end and gain love too.I love Lee Yo won this is a very different character totally where she is strong and vulnerable at the same time.I think the younger brother and her relationship is so close and very sad as they are not biological related.Step mom is a very good actress to have stayed as a wife to the man she hated and even taught her son to do all that will be pleasing to the dying dad..I can’t wait for the recaps because it is a very good drama and I don’t like to watch this genre but due to Lee yo won here I am trying to read anything about it..Thank you for recapping, please continue so that I could release my addiction to this drama..I really want to know how it ends..Will Seo Yoon find true love in Tae Joo (because not a bit of spark seen so far) or will she go away and live as what she dreams off..or will she carry on and lead the company or lost it totally..

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  4. By accident I found this blog when I look for empire of gold, and I like it. It,s become one of my favo blog beside dramabean 🙂 .
    A nice lay out..( but still need to improve ) and good style writing.

    Like

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