I’m so sorry for the delay in recaps. I’ve been falling behind on Empire of Gold episodes because I started avoiding watching it because every time I did, I felt guilty for not annotating and recapping. Unfortunately, writing recaps makes watching dramas more like work and less like fun. (Also, I’ve been preoccupied with tumblr lately and tumblr is a major time leech ;P) I’m still figuring out a work flow/method for recapping this series.
EMPIRE OF GOLD EPISODE 2 RECAP
Episode two opens with a scene of Hee Joo talking with Tae Joo in a prison visiting room. Tae Joo has been arrested for taking Pil Doo (the mob boss) hostage and possibly for attempted murder, since he intentionally crashed Pil Doo’s car. Hee Joo updates her brother on their father’s humble funeral. Their mother decided to cremate their father and scatter his ashes in the ocean, since their father grew up by the sea. She informs him that she’ll quit school and start working at a restaurant. When he remains silent, she tearfully bursts out that he promised to take care of everything: the restaurant, the house, and her college tuition.
In his prison cell, Tae Joo has a dream in which his father appears and feeds him. Tae Joo apologizes to his father for his failings, but his father gently replies, “I lived 60 years of my life like a fool. And all I’ve left behind are burdens. I’m the one who’s sorry. Tae Joo, you have to win. In this world where I never won, try winning once.” When his father disappears, Tae Joo cries as though his heart were breaking.
Let me start out by saying this; if you’re going to sample Empire of Gold, I’d skip episode one and go for the juicy, meaty main course, episode two. Episode one is delicious, but episode two is decadent. You can read 10Asia’s short and sweet summary of episode one here. If you laugh in the face of tl;dr’s and have mastered the art of skimming paragraphs, here’s a slightly lengthier recap of episode one. There are a lot of adverbs (I get excessive when I’m excited). You have been warned (lulz).
EMPIRE OF GOLD EPISODE 1 RECAP
In one word, Empire of Gold is intense. It begins in medias res with Jang Tae Joo (Go Soo) stonily listening to the radio while speeding along a highway. Over the radio, we hear a female news presenter’s voice reporting that Congressman Kim Gwang Se will cooperate with investigations by the Seoul prosecutor’s office. He receives a call from Yoon Seol Hee (Jang Shin Young) alerting him that she’s finished showering and that Congressman Kim Gwang Se will be leaving for the Seoul prosecutor’s office shortly. He tersely orders her to delay Congressman Kim by sleeping with him again, ignoring the note of plea in her voice. Seol Hee stays still for a moment gazing at her reflection in the bathroom mirror before walking over to the politician and suggestively dropping her towel.
We cut to the next scene with a close-up of a plate of fruit and a paring knife (Chekhov’s gun, people). Tae Joo has arrived at the politician’s villa and proffers a one-way ticket to Macau, one million USD pocket money, and the papers for a shopping complex valued at two million USD and a luxury department store. Tae Joo wants Congressman Kim to leave the country immediately because he suspects that Congressman Kim plans on handing him over to the Seoul prosecutor’s office. Congressman Kim makes a show of heartily accepting Tae Joo’s offer and pretends to call and order his secretary to cancel his appointment with the prosecutor’s office and burn all incriminating documents. Tae Joo is onto him, however, and immediately calls Secretary Choi himself to check if Congressman Kim had really given those instructions. Tae Joo coolly reacts to Secretary Choi’s negatives and slowly corners Congressman Kim before grasping his throat. He growls, “Did you think you could throw me to the gutter? Listen carefully. What you have, ambition, power, I have too. So when I when my hand waves goodbye, leave.”