All along, we have been seeing Min Hye Rin (Lee Da Hae) being a student activist fighting for the commonfolk, conflicted over her illegitimate child status and her relationship with Lee Dong Wook (Yun Jung Hoon). But as we move towards the midway point in East of Eden, Hye Rin will soon move into the heart of a power struggle as she inherits Daehan Daily (newspaper agency) and sees herself turning into an ambitious woman with political aspirations.
In Episode 23, Hye Rin’s father liver problem sees him leaving for America for treatment, leaving Daehan Daily under her temporary charge and announcing Hye Rin as his future succesor to the board of directors. Later on, political figure Mr. Chun “forces” Hye Rin to go to an event for some networking.
Before the event, Hye Rin goes to look for Dong Wook, “To seek connections with those in power, I have put on makeup. Quickly tell me not to go”, as she finds herself in conflict with her ideals against reality. How will Hye Rin handle being in a vicious power struggle, having been fighting for justice and against power hungry higher-ups in her position as a student activist in the past. Viewers are interested to see how will Hye Rin’s character will develop.
In Episode 24, Hye Rin meets Dong Chul (Song Seung Hun) again, wanting to buy over his land as foreshadowing of a triangle relationship between her, Dong Wook and Dong Chul surfaces once more. Viewers expressed their curiousity and anticipation on the website, “Hye Rin has now become an ambitious woman that surpasses Ji Hyun even”, “Will Dong Chul and Hye Rin really fall in love? Are the brothers going to become love rivals?”, “Just let Dong Chul be with Young Ran and Dong Wook with Hye Rin, a happy ending”.
For the ill-fated couple, Dong Chul and Young Ran, having managed to evade the clutches of Young Ran’s father, they spend some quality time together, enjoying what normal lovers would do in Episode 23. But Young Ran’s father does manage to find them of course and forces them apart at the start of Episode 24 and that was the last time we saw Young Ran for a while.
Two years have passed, Dong Chul is now the boss of a scrap car site, severing all links with Young Ran’s father. One day, he receives a call from an agonizing Young Ran in Macau asking him to visit her at least once but Dong Chul asks her to forget him. Later on, in the preview, we see Dong Chul eventually going to Macau to visit Young Ran who is bed-ridden in some sort of cell. As Dong Chul leaves, Young Ran springs from her bed begging him to take her away.
Dong Chul and Young Ran, regardless of what happens, they have been through so much, it’s really hard to see Dong Chul falling in love with Hye Rin unless it’s for politics at this point. With 1/2 of the series to go, anything could still happen. But definitely, Dong Chul’s true love is Young Ran.