When we started watching “Reborn Rich,” we presumed that the storyline would extend till Jin Do Jun was in his 40s, which was the age when he had met his untimely end in his previous life. When episode 11 ended, he was still in his early 20s, and from the looks of it, that will be the case for the rest of the five episodes of “Reborn Rich.” Regarding the storyline, he is achieving one aggressive victory after the other. But what really struck us this week was the development of the love story between Do Jun and Min Young. While this is something we had been looking forward to, we couldn’t get on board with the infantilization of Min Young. This is how this week’s episodes unfolded.
The Start Of Do Jun’s Takeover Of Soonyang
In last week’s episodes of “Reborn Rich,” we saw Jin Hwa Young dig a deeper hole for herself with the purchase of her stocks in New Data Technology. This week, as expected, it all blew over when the stock price plummeted to unexpected lows. Since she had used the investment money from the department store’s funds, unless she replaced it quickly, she would be prosecuted for embezzlement. Not knowing what to do, she asks Miracle Investment for help once again. But to her shock, she finds that due to her dropping stock price, the firm now owns the shares she had used as collateral, and if she wants a further loan of $140 million, she must give them more shares. Hwa Young refuses and decides to explore other options, but it is mostly a dead end for her as her brothers are just as opportunistic, and her father refuses to help, citing that he had made that leg of the industry into a separate entity, which means that helping her would be akin to placing his own neck on the line. In the meantime, Do Jun enlists Min Young’s help to have his aunt investigated. She is frustrated by the sexism in her workplace, and Do Jun’s tip, if it leads to anything, is an opportunity for her to prove herself.
Finding the walls closing around her, Hwa Young gets ready to face the heat, but she receives unexpected help from Hyun Min. The only way for Hwa Young to be proven guilty was if it was proved that Soonyang Deco was a paper company. Hyun Min arranges a set-up where it could be proved that it is, in fact, a real company. With her being off the hook temporarily, Hwa Young’s confidence soars. She plans on just waiting out the crisis for two more months so that she can sell some of the more valuable assets to cover the $140 million. But Do Jun can see that this move is not in favor of the poor employees. We see flashbacks of his time as Yoon Hyeon Woo when he had to witness his father struggle to pay the bills. To help him out, he sold some of his stuff to his classmate, and when trying to buy groceries with that, he had to witness his father shoplifting so that he could put food on the table. Do Jun had been unable to eat it. Not just that, he had foregone his test so that he could start contributing financially to the house. As he says, “poverty comes with compound interest.” Giving the test and going to college would have ensured a cushy life for him. But at that time, going to college would have meant pushing his family further into poverty. For the sake of his immediate survival, he had to let go of his bright future because he simply did not have a choice. This is something that most privileged people do not understand, especially those like Hwa Young, who cannot think beyond their privilege.
Do Jun pulls in a due favor from his grandfather and ask him to arrange a board meeting to discuss the dismissal of his aunt as CEO? Hwa Young plans to get her Director of Finance, Im Myeong Seok to take the fall for her. Though the director initially agrees, Do Jun talks to her about her decision. He sees himself in her; once upon a time, as Hyeon Woo, he too lived by the philosophy of not questioning or judging. But it had really not given him the dignity or the pay-off he had wanted. As he tells her this, in his own words, she sees the merit of his arguments and decides to testify against Hwa Young. However, she is abducted right before the meeting. But the day is saved by Min Young, who arrives just in time with the recordings sent by Myeong Seok that prove that Hwa Young had indeed embezzled the money. There is a saying in Hindi that loosely translates to “the rope is burnt, but it has not lost its strength.” Similarly, following her dismissal as CEO, Hwa Young is adamant that she will not sign over her shares to Do Jun. But she doesn’t require a lot of convincing—that is, once he points out that she might eventually go to prison and her husband might lose his political career because of her. Having no other go, she gives Do Jun her shares.
With this victory in place, let us talk about the part of this week’s storyline that ticked us off the most. To start with the positives, we appreciate that Min Young has been used aptly for the storyline. While we have said it before, it still bothers us how Hong Cha Young was just used as comedic arm candy in Vincenzo. “Reborn Rich” is Song Joong Ki’s show all the way, but at least when they brought in Min Young, she had some relevance to the plot at hand. But it is her unsure manner that really gets to us. K-dramas have a trope of infantilizing their female leads, even those who they wish to project as strong and independent. Once she is in front of the male lead, she turns into someone who absolutely needs to be taken care of. Precisely because of that, we like Hyun Min so much more. She would have made the perfect grey female lead. She and Do Jun would probably have been like Dan and Blair from “Gossip Girl,” but alas, giving shades to their female leads is an arena that k-dramas are not going to explore for a long time, if not forever. Either way, after a very sweet kiss scene, Do Jun and Min Young start dating. The next hurdle for Do Jun to clear is his uncle Dong Ki, who leaks news to the media that his nephew has been involved in stock manipulation. Now, an investigation would still clear Do Jun’s name, but it is the court of public opinion that is costing him big bucks. All of his clients want to withdraw their investments from Miracle, and that means that Dong Ki has an opportunity to absorb them into Soonyang Investment, whose control would put one at the front of the succession race.
Do Jun finds himself between a rock and a hard place but not to forget, he is from the future. He asks Mason Oh to sell all of their stocks in New York. One thing that he is sure of is that history has not changed. Everything that happened in his previous life is repeating itself in this one. His guess proves to be true, and the fateful 9/11 sends shockwaves throughout the world. The domestic and international stock market crashes, but Do Jun is safe since he has sold his shares. Dong Ki, on the other hand, is in hot water. He had bought international shares, similar to Do Jun, hoping to make a profit, but he had lost money massively. The understanding of what follows requires us to have an MBA, but the gist of it is that Do Jun manages to bring back the domestic stock market, restoring the credibility of Miracle Investment. That is a further loss for his uncle, who put measures in place to anticipate losses for his investors. But their profits have turned out to be his downfall. Do Jun buys Soonyang Investment from Dong Ki, placing him pretty much at the top of things. Elsewhere, the Chairman decides to bring back Seong Jun, who has been in the warehouse for quite a while. He also asks Do Jun whether he wants to run Soonyang Financial Group. That question is an indirect indication that he wants his youngest grandson to be his heir. But before this can go forward, both of them get into an accident.
‘Reborn Rich’ Episode 11: Ending Explained – Who Tried To Kill Do Jun And The Chairman?
During the accident, Do Jun realizes that the reason he remembers nothing about his current self is that he had died. As he is sure that history will repeat itself, he is saved just in time by Mr. Ha. It is clear to the grandson and the grandfather that this was no accident, and they decide to continue with the charade until the board meeting next week to figure out who is behind this. While they are doing that, it is complete chaos in the outside world. The Chairman’s children have understood that he wanted to announce Do Jun as his heir, and they are at their wits’ end as to what they can do about that. On the other hand, Dong Ki has been aware of his father’s illness for a while, and he is suspicious about whether he was actually hurt in the accident. Hwa Young accidentally becomes privy to his suspicions, and both of them decide to visit their father, but they are stopped by Yoon Ki, Do Jun’s father. Elsewhere, Do Jun’s entire family, Min Young, and a select few are aware that the duo is alright. As they are waiting out the time, Soonyang is conducting its own investigation into the matter. They zero in on the person who orchestrated the accident. The only thing left is to get to the mastermind. They found a painting with him, which was his payment. Min Young traces the painting back to Hyun Min, who owns an art gallery. However, she tells Min Young that the painting was stolen a month ago.
The suspicion about the accident is directed toward Hyun Min and Seong Jun. She suspects that her husband, who had taken the painting from her gallery without consulting her, could be the culprit, but we think that the matter runs deeper. As we might remember from “Reborn Rich” Episode 1, Seong Jun had wanted to quit the company due to his suspicion of his father’s involvement in an “accident.” Also, he mentions to Hyun Min that he wants his children to live a life free of the pressures of being the heir to a conglomerate. It is all making us think that he might not be the culprit after all. Seong Jun is a heavily grey character, driven by some insecurities and trauma. But he is far from evil. Our suspicion is that the eldest son, Young Ki, is the culprit. There was always something behind the facade of an obedient son that made us uncomfortable. We will only see that in the coming episodes.
What Can We Expect From Upcoming Episodes Of “Reborn Rich”?
We really want Hyun Min and Seong Jun to get more screen time. They are such interesting characters who are getting criminally less space. In the coming episodes of “Reborn Rich,” we might also see the Chairman’s health deteriorating. The attack of sorts that he had towards the end of the “Reborn Rich” Episode 11 has to mean that more of it is in store. Also, Do Jun is discovering the flip side of wealth. He has always been driven by his hunger for power to escape the helplessness of his previous life. But it is now that he is coming to realize what all that entails, from the love of his family to his own sanity and relationships—there is always a price to pay for everything. We know how this series ends; there are no surprises there. But can it please show us this aspect of things? It was long overdue. The pitfalls of privilege are always a debatable topic because which struggle would you rather have in life—the one that comes with money or the one that comes without? Maybe this will be the series that captures the sensitivity of that matter. Let us see in the coming episodes.