recap: Empire of Gold Episode 14

I’ve never liked Lee Yo Won and Go Soo so much in a drama before. They are kicking some sexy, intelligent ass as a power couple in SY and TJ. Ruthless and shrewd, but with a reluctant soft side, they are really a match made in (conglomerate, for now) heaven. On a side note, the score is really abdominable, with the exception of the beautiful song by Ali.

Here goes:
SY is anxiously waiting for some kind of response from TJ. The man is currently trying to scrub blood from his hands. SH persuades TJ to marry SY – SY needs TJ and TJ needs her. The marriage will provide mutual benefits – SH figures that MJ won’t leave TJ alone even if he leaves for the Philippines.

SH dials her mobile phone and passes the phone to TJ. SY answers on the other end and there’s this drawn-out moment of tears between TJ and SH. It’s actually quite a moving scene, but because I keep thinking that SH REALLY didn’t have to resort to sleeping with Congressman Kim to save TJ, I just feel sorry that her foolishness, though driven by love and good intentions, landed her into hot soup. She was really jumping the gun and being a little too smart for her own good, I feel.

TJ’s a smart guy – I’m sure he would have figured out something. Worst-case scenario he marries SY (as he eventually ended up doing in the end) and SH would be around to see her man playing husband to a brainy, attractive chaebol heiress. SH going to jail does work in her favour in the sense that she would forever have a hold on TJ – if not because of love, guilt then.

TJ informs SY he is on the way to the church and the scene ends with SH hugging him. He arrives at the church and they exchange vows. SY falters on seeing the blood on his fingers. She looks at him questioningly, but he returns her stare unflinchingly. Back at her office later, SY is continually disturbed by it. When she stumbles while trying to stand up, she shares with her secretary a.k.a the one-good-man-in-this-drama that the ring feels heavy. TJ will be moving into the house the next day – she has much to say to him.

MJ finds out about the transfer of 1 billion from TJ to SY and warns that TJ can’t be trusted. She imperiously informs him that TJ is her husband, thank you very much – they are now family. MJ can’t believe the stunt SY has pulled and calls evil stepmom. They are both shaken and stepmom calls for a family meeting. SY’s useless siblings and their respective spouses fret what to do.

TJ is solemn as he watches the news reporting Congressman Kim’s death back at his own office. A woman by the surname of ‘Yoon’ is the main suspect. His lackeys burst into the room demanding to know what happened. He tells to take a break, because after that, they will be too busy to even draw a breath.

Choi family ensues and SY asks her stepmom to leave with her son. But her seriously spineless, hare-brained siblings and their spouses don’t agree with her. Instead, they support stepmom in asking SY to stay somewhere else instead. Geez. With family like that, who needs enemies.

Fortunately, Uncle turns up and puts a halt to the nonsense. He yabbers on about stepmom’s old love. Mother and son share a terse conversation after. The music was pure rubbish in this scene.

SY chats with Uncle, who tells her he promised SY’s father he would hold her arm and walk her down the aisle if she got married. Awwww. Uncle hesitates and mentions TJ has someone he intended to marry. SY is a little unnerved at that piece of news. Uncle sighs that TJ is a dangerous person who can’t be trusted, to which SY says she knows more dangerous individuals at the office and at home. I agree. TJ will be a great help to her.

Back at TJ’s office, TJ is issuing instructions to his lackeys to do what they can to help SH and provide for her family. TJ is left alone with ex-mobster, who sees his ring but doesn’t comment. TJ later asks why he isn’t curious to know what transpired between him, SH and the congressman. Ex-mobster replies he trusts that SH had her reasons, and trusts TJ even more. He says TJ has to keep his earlier promise – they would start anew when SH is released from jail. TJ vows to destroy MJ and SY, along with Sung Jin Group. They will be kneeling and begging him at the end of it all.

TJ arrives at the Choi mansion and is given a rather cool welcome by the band of money-diggers. Stepmom tries to play matriarch and gets shot down immediately by TJ who calls her by her name. HA. Love him. Love him even more when he politely asks SY whether he can call her that way. SY nods.

At the table, TJ and SY talk business (already?) and they start formulating some restructuring for the group. WJ has to vacant his office for TJ. SJ says the couple shouldn’t talk about such stuff first thing in the morning. TJ addresses him as Bae Sung Jae and repeats the same action of asking SY whether it is fine to do such. She nods again. And mother and son are left furious.

TJ and SY continue their business talk in their bedroom, which is huge. TJ plonks himself down on the nearest bed and SY directs him to the other bed in the room. Heh. They discuss how to handle MJ and when TJ asks to shake hands to mark their collaboration, she declines.

They make their grand entrance into the office, like the bad-ass power couple they are, and bump into MJ on the way. SY leaves without a word, while TJ invites MJ for a cuppa in his new office. They trade barbs as per usual. MJ’s secretary reports to stepmom.

SY is discussing work matters with her secretary when she casually inquires whether he remembered what time TJ called her to say he was going to marry her. Secretary replies that it was around 3.15pm. SY glances at the papers, which states the murder of Congressman Kim was committed around 3.02pm. She starts to connect the dots.

SY visits SH at the police station. She tells the other woman she suspects what actually happened on the day of her marriage. SH denies everything, saying she hasn’t seen TJ for a week. SY warns she she can’t hide the truth and the police will eventually find out. SH notices SY’s wedding ring and is affected. She comments that the wedding ring is pretty. SY catches on instantly and asks her how she knows she is married. SH realises her slip and SY guesses that SH was beside TJ when he called her before the wedding ceremony.

When SY returns to office, she instructs her secretary to find a way to help SH. When he asks the reason, she responds that she just wants to help the other woman. Mobster informs TJ that SY went to visit SH and is suspicious of him and what really took place on the day of their wedding. TJ decides he won’t hide the truth from SY – he will be honest about it and tell her everything.

Bro-in-law is in cahoots with stepmom. That night, SY and TJ chat in their room about business…what else. She mentions that she is heading for Congressman Kim’s funeral the next day and says they should go together. He turns her down flatly.

He crosses to sit on the same couch as her, and she shifts away from him uneasily. He confesses that he was there the day the congressman was killed. Even SY is shocked that he is actually admitting it. In a flashback , we see TJ telling his lackey he is going to come clean with SY as she is his wife.

When he is done, she asks why she should believe him. He says whether she does or not, he is the one who threw her a lifeline and saved her and her company. He admits that SH was the one who convinced him to marry SY and that’s why he called her and showed up at the church. SY mentions that she heard that SH is someone he intended to marry.

TJ replies the person he married eventually was SY in any case. SY pauses for a second to think things through and says he doesn’t have to go to the funeral. She goes to sit on the opposite couch and it’s back to business.

Later, they are both lying on their respective beds, wide awake and thinking. Finally, she asks him to turn off the lights. Before he does so, he thanks her for believing what he said. She throws back his earlier comment: there is no difference whether she believes him or not, since he was the who rescued her. He lays back in his bed and says good night. SY returns the favour.

The next day, SY’s sister calls her hubby back to the house during lunch hour. At the same time, SY is having tea with her new hubby and says she has found a way to handle her bro-in-law. SY’s sister asks for a divorce. SY informs TJ she knows how they can defeat bro-in-law and says it is time for him to make a move towards the man. He agrees and the episode ends with this awesome shot of them reaching decisively for their tea cups simultaneously, their matching wedding bands glinting rather menacingly. A metaphor of their total awesomeness and tenacious synergy as one entity, one unit, happily married or not.

Some thoughts:
At the rate they are going, SY and TJ are going to take over the whole world. Just by discussing strategies over breakfast and tea. Can’t wait till next week!