Not dying and thereby thwarting Director Baek’s evil plan to take over Gold Group is already a huge blessing in itself for Louis. Not that Director Baek is Kdramaland’s Most Effective Bad Guy — someone who loses sleep and becomes a panda the next morning, cos his target ain’t dead isn’t going to impress me with his “evil-ness” anytime. More so when he is saddled with the world’s Most Clueless Wife, who unwittingly destroys all his careful planning with her big mouth and scatter brain.
Although losing his memories and his identity are real bummers, somehow I feel these are a boon (rather than bane) for Louis. Chaebol Louis may have an abundance of material goods, but the intangible ones? He is even poorer than a street beggar.
Firstly, Chaebol Louis isn’t free to do what he wants. Worried that Louis will be harmed, his sole kin (Granny) sends him away to stay in Europe. Rather cruel, imo. Cos of her irrational fear that she is the “cause” of her son’s death (er, her daughter — Director Baek’s wife — seems ok?) she decides that all her male offsprings are in danger. Regardless that young, scared Louis, who was probably very insecure after losing his parents, now had to cope with living all alone in a foreign country. And again for his “safety”, Louis never got a chance to step out of his gilded cage. So much for living in a castle. It’s juz a fancier prison.
Besides losing his freedom of movement, Louis also never had the freedom to befriend another person. Butler Kim can’t be considered as a “friend”, since he’s an employee who is paid to care for Louis. Imo, a “friend” is technically someone whom you choose to know, rather than “forced” upon you by circumstances (or employed by you).
And because his free will is robbed from him — the simple act of deboning his own fish is done by a servant — Louis never learnt to do anything for himself. He heavily depends on others for survival, which taxed Bok-shil for a pretty long time. Instead of adopting a person, Bok-shil seems to have adopted a leech… But the downstream effect of over-dependency is a lack of self-worth. Which Louis later figures out (with Joong-won’s help) when he sees that all he does is drag Bok-shil down with his “demands”, and consequently, he feels a strong need to contribute and make himself useful.
On the other hand, Beggar Louis is intangibly richer than Chaebol Louis. His first friend, Bok-shil, takes him under her wings and feeds, cloths and shelters him without complaints. Even when he spends or loses all her money. In-sung from downstairs becomes his (rather questionable at times) hyung and social compass, Ahjumma (In-sung’s mum) turns into a surrogate mother to both Bok-shil and Louis, being naggy and concerned over them at the same time. And of course, there’s reluctant Joong-won in an almost-bromance with Louis, who becomes Louis’ more reliable and sensible hyung, teaching him about the value of hardwork.
Thus, I felt rather sad when Louis regains his biological family in ep9. Imo, the band of friends whom he “picked up” as Beggar Louis seems more like his real family than his aged halmoni who only satisfied his material needs, but never really taught him about the true value in living.