La Dolce Vita – Itaewon Class Ep 9 Review

This is a review of episode 9 of Itaewon Class, or 이태원 클라쓰 kdrama currently airing on Netflix.

Check out the previous episode review here.

Wow, it’s happening.

Full steam ahead in the efforts to absolutely annihilate Jangga Corp.

I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t sure about Detective Oh. I thought he would fold under the pressure of Chairman Jang but BOY am I glad I was wrong about him. It seemed hopeless that Sae Royi had been visiting him for as long as his child had been born, and hadn’t gotten anywhere.

Then, as usual with the amazing writing and acting in this show, it clicks.

Detective Oh left the force 10 years ago. Mr. Park was killed 10 years ago.

Sae Royi was sent to jail 10 years ago.

Detective Oh opens a food distribution service 10 years ago.

Revenge King Lee Ho Jin links up with Sae Royi in a prison visit 10 years ago.

Seung Kwon and Sae Royi meet in prison 10 years ago.

Ms. Kang tried to fight for Mr. Park’s position before his death 10 years ago.

All of the pieces are aligned. The only confrontation we’ve yet to see is between Revenge King LHJ and the stupid son of Jangga, Geun Won.

Wow, I’m truly surprised and impressed with the level of patience and planning this entire group had throughout. Detective Oh never let it on, but he, like Yi Seo, is betting his life on Sae Royi. As is Geun Soo, since the seed Yi Seo planted in his head that day has taken root and is making a garden all on its own.

I know it’s a weird analogy, but let’s roll with it.

Wow. Seriously, wow.

Chairman Jang severely underestimated the amount of people he’s trampled to get and maintain his position at the top. The disapproving looks from Ms. Kang during that seminar with Jangga corp were not lost.

The Chairman acted like he was the only one who had a hand in the company’s success, when really it was two – Chairman Jang Dae Hee and Ms. Kang’s father.

But, I guess that wouldn’t sell as many books. That wouldn’t look as good or feel as good to his business admirers and supporters.

“I didn’t do it by myself, I had a partner but basically stole the rights away from his only (known) child.”

Nobody would want to see a subway advertisement with that on it. It’d remind them that you cannot build a dream on your own. And, dead men tell no tales so…the truth would be bad for business, in that regard.

Speaking of bad for business, Sae Royi is a one man army renovating an entire alley neighborhood all by himself. I wonder what the deal is with that shady loan shark lady. For some reason, I feel like she has strong mafia ties. And Sae Royi’s actions reminded her of someone – I wonder who? The Chairman? His father? Maybe someone in her life that has already passed?

Either way, I’m looking forward to finding out more about that.

I wonder what Geun Won is going to do now.

He had another car accident, on top of bragging again about a murder whose statute of limitation has yet to expire. At the behest of Chairman Jang’s manservant Mr. Kim he was tasked with winning over Jo Yi Seo, and he couldn’t even do that. His father will no doubt be even more disappointed when his little birdie Soo Ah lets him know DanBam has incorporated.

I.C. is born!

Although seriously, why is Soo Ah still hanging around so much? What is her excuse now?

“Oh, we are the top food company in Korea but we ran out of ice, can I borrow some for our super popular restaurant pub with unlimited resources?”

“Oh, gosh darn it. I’ve spent so much time snooping around your tiny newly-established pub with great marketing that I forgot to keep track of our own inventory. Can I borrow a case or two of Soju? I’ll totes pay you back next weekend. After all, I know you’ve liked me for over 10 years Sae Royi! ♡”

Okay, I’m being a little melodramatic at this point but you all get the gist of what I’m trying to say. Despite Soo Ah’s ever-changing feelings and current situation, she is transparent. Like the thinnest piece of loose leaf paper possible.

So it is, painfully obvious what she is up to.

After all, she readily admits that she has to and will always put herself, and her position above anything else.

As I’ve said in every single review where I mentioned this character, I do not have a problem with her methods of self-preservation. I have no problem with how she chooses to live her life. She was an orphan who instead of struggling, took the free ride through college with already paid tuition, living expenses, and a guaranteed job after graduation.

In her situation, who wouldn’t do that?

My problem lies in her confliction and constant mind games with Sae Royi.

If you are going to continually and directly be responsible for the pain of someone you claim to care about (and even love), then what is the point of the constant declarations? Why do you have to continue to do dirty things in the dark (like reporting back on his activities to his adversary) and then hide your hands, cry, and remind the victim that he is in love with you and most likely won’t retaliate against you due to his own feelings?

Run on sentence be damned. That’s manipulation, and emotional abuse. And I am not cool with that.

But, enough about her. For now, at least. I’m sure in the rest of this series’ seven episodes I’ll have ample enough time to continually rip on Soo Ah’s actions until she has a change of heart. She might not, though.

And that’s okay. That is realistic and part of life as we know it.

Things like this are happening today, right now. Just because it’s not televised, or you’ve never seen it before in the workplace doesn’t mean it’s fabricated and sensationalized just for TV. Just for your sole enjoyment.

Every single character in Itaewon Class is based on someone living today. Maybe you know them, maybe you don’t. Maybe you can see yourself or people you’ve known in real life in each character. Maybe you can’t, and that’s okay.

But, I can.

I can even see myself in some of these characters, if I’m quite honest.

The reason I left the “proper” workforce and decided to do my own thing is because I didn’t want to turn into a Soo Ah. I didn’t want to wake up one day, years from now, and realize I’d lost myself. That I’d given my best years to some nameless corporate head that sat behind a desk all day plotting on how he could further his greed and world damnation.

I didn’t want to be like Yi Seo either, because it’s very easy not to care. It’s very easy to trample over whoever and whatever stands in your way, bereft to whatever consequences or cosmic karma you may accrue.

If you even believe in those things.

Maybe that’s why I’m so hard on Soo Ah. Because I see a lot of myself in her.

It’s so easy to not take responsibility, and keep moving forward. It’s easy to turn away from the damage, and just keep shooting for the top.

But then when you make it, what awaits you?

Wouldn’t it be the carnage of your past misdeeds, waiting for their retribution?

Is this not what Chairman Jang is experiencing now?

To have a short time at the top (or well, four decades – the number 4 symbolic of death in Japanese and Korean culture) just to be toppled down by the very people you stepped over to maintain your appetite?

All because you were hungry?

All because you had a table full of food but had to let everyone else starve.

I got tired of it. I got tired of living like that, for the few short years I did. The decade I was in the work force. At those beautiful companies that everyone wanted to work for, without knowing what it takes to stay within rank. To stay at the top.

It’s not worth it. And I got tired of waking up and seeing nothing but snakes.

Maybe by the end of our story, Soo Ah will get tired as well and try to turn her life around, as best as she can. Not for Sae Royi, not for DanBam, but for her own sake.

If she doesn’t, that’s fine, too!

Live how you want, but you shouldn’t regret your choices. Because at a certain point there is no going back, and you should really weigh your options and what you might be losing just for that – a status that can be toppled so long as you should live.

I went off on a bit of a tangent, but as I mentioned in my last review, I am in a bit of a mood. Don’t mind me much, I’m not talking about anything or anyone in particular ☺.

"It's so sweet." - the stupid son of Jangga, Itaewon Class Episode 9
“It’s so sweet.” – the stupid son of Jangga, Itaewon Class Episode 9

So, what do you think of Itaewon Class so far? What have you learned from its class? What will you change in your life, if anything, after seeing some of these character’s plights?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Itaewon Class reviews!

Don’t fall for any schemes in the workplace, read: The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

다음 화 Rejected Dreams and Sociopathy

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

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