Brilliant Legacy: Episode 24

Writing this recap (after a break of two months) feels like coming home.

Before I started, I randomly picked a few of the previous recaps and read them in their entirety. As I did, all the old feelings came rushing back. Hwan making me giggle, he an open book of conflicting emotions. Jun-se making me swoon, again and again, his eyes these crystalline pools. Sweet and spunky Eun-sung, caught between the two men who loved her (thus turning me green with envy!) and between her own dreams and fears. Grandma — the heart of the drama — confounding me with her abstrusity and, lately, frightening me with her vulnerability. The witch and her witchling, their sheer desperation holding me transfixed.

Each one I have missed. Watching them again in Episode 24, I am reminded afresh of all the reasons why Brilliant Legacy is one of my favorite dramas this year.

The episode opens with a flashback to how Episode 23 ended: It is morning and Hwan and Eun-sung awake next to each other in Grandma’s hospital room, the first thing they see being each other.

Continue reading

Brilliant Legacy: Episode 23

In a children’s story beloved for nearly a hundred years, a little railroad engine takes over a task rejected by much larger engines and successfully pulls a long line of freight cars over a hill, puffing as it goes: I think I can, I think I can.

The name of the story? The Little Engine That Could.

More recently, a friend has coined a similar name for Brilliant Legacy: The Little Drama That Could.

I love this pet name and have been using it as a nutshell answer when people ask me what is so special about this drama that I’ve been recapping from the first episode. But why ‘little’ drama?

Continue reading

Brilliant Legacy: Episode 22

An old couple, unrelated to any of our characters, appears in this episode for the first time.

She’s ill and craving the Jin Sung beef soup. He, who is tending to her and can’t leave her side, calls to place an order. The manager (and increasingly I believe he was sent to the second branch by a power higher and wiser than Grandma) asks Hwan to deliver the soup. He does it a tad reluctantly at first, because the minimum order for home delivery should be two bowls but this customer orders just one.

Inside the couple’s dim and decrepit room, we see the old lady on the floor, her husband sitting next to her. He is delighted to see the soup. Apologizing to Hwan for his single order, he looks for the money to pay (and we see that he has just small change left after paying). Before Hwan leaves, the old man presses two mint candy into his palm. For all your trouble, he says.

Continue reading

Brilliant Legacy: Episode 21

I know. I know what you are saying as you shake your head in disbelief.

This is Episode 21. TWENTY-ONE! For your main image, how can you NOT be using a certain screencap which elicited a collective “Aww, finally!” across the globe? Instead it is this comical one of Hwan eating dukbokki? THUNDIEEEEEE!

But wait. Hear me out.

You have no idea how this scene of Eun-sung feeding Hwan made me giggle like a loony. He was so naughty when he asked, and so gleeful when he received. He was just so cute! I wanted to reach into the screen and squeeze his cheeks, except that would make him choke on that spicy rice cake. In an episode packed with memorable scenes, this one was hands down my favorite. But fret not. “Aww, finally!” images aplenty coming up in the later part of this recap.

Okay, let’s get started on this fantabulous episode.

Continue reading

Brilliant Legacy: Episode 20

Doesn’t she look radiant? How amazing that two unexpected and inexpensive gifts of sleepwear and wildflowers can make our favorite grandma so happy. Such is the power of love. Or, more specifically, the power of a grandson’s love.

But what makes the above image even more special is that by himself the grandson isn’t sure what to buy for the grandmother. He has known her all his life, yet it is someone else who shows him which are the more meaningful gifts. This someone, who just a few months ago was still a stranger, understands the elderly lady better than he does. True enough, the gifts move the grandmother to tears.

Hwan’s willingness to follow Eun-sung’s judgment and to TRUST her makes this another standout episode.

Continue reading

Brilliant Legacy: Episode 19

It is finally here: the fight that we have been anticipating between Eun-sung and her stepmom.

As battles go, this one is swift, nasty and lopsided. Days later, all I could recall of the episode was this scene, this showdown that left everyone except its instigators reeling. I knew it was coming, but its viciousness took me completely by surprise.

But Episode 19 isn’t just about vindictive stealth attacks. It’s also filled with light couple moments that make me giggle and feel all tingly inside. This is why I love Brilliant Legacy. It isn’t so angsty that you feel you are tiptoeing on a minefield of fragile emotions. It’s sweet, funny and all-around heartwarming, too.

Continue reading