Holding Hands Can Wait
Episode 10 of Extraordinary Attorney Woo starts with Young-Woo listening to her whale noises on the subway. However, she’s distracted by a man running through the carriages trying to get away. He claims this is an illegal arrest and Young-Woo actually speaks up and points out she’s an attorney so she knows what she’s talking about. The police officers soon reveal that he’s been charged with rape…against someone with a disability.
Su-Yeon and Young-Woo are assigned to defend this man – Yeong-Il’s – case. The charges are serious and it could result in him getting life in prison. Yeong-Il is convinced that this is a big misunderstanding as he and Hye-Yeong (the victim) are in love.
It turns out Hye-Yeong has a credit card in her name and paid for their dates, which is what the prosecution are using as an argument toward him taking advantage of her. Yeong-Il is frustrated and points out this isn’t the case and actually, it was love at first sight.
Unfortunately, the case is going to include Young-Woo discrediting Hye-Yeong’s statement. However, she’s adamant to follow through with this and believes she should defend Yeong-Il, especially if he really is in love with Hye-Yeong. Of course, this echoes back to her own feelings toward Jun-Ho. Myeong-Seok tasks Su-Yeon with jumping in to calm Young-Woo with the “whoa, whoa” mantra if need be.
In the courtroom, Young-Woo is encouraged to stand up and give the opening statement, especially as everyone in the courtroom is glaring at them. So Young-Woo stands up and admits she has autism spectrum disorder.
Young-Woo begins by bringing up the text messages between the pair a day after the incident occurred. Given they’re talking normally and even mentioned how they miss one another, Young-Woo questions the validity of these accusations. But then Hye-Yeong’s mother stands up and immediately throws shade at all of this, claiming they need to read between the lines.
After work, Young-Woo waits for Jun-Ho and has a whole itinerary full of date ideas they can go on. Jun-Ho has a big ol’ grin on his face and queries whether they can hold hands. As for Young-Woo though, she only allows it for 57 seconds maximum. She even times it too… but can’t manage longer than 30 seconds. It’s a good start I guess!
Back in the courtroom, a psychiatrist confirms that Hye-Yeong’s mental age is the equivalent of a 13 year old, and she clearly feels bad about the whole incident. The psychiatrist interprets this as her not consenting. Even with the text messages in mind, she brings up how this isn’t contradictory given Hye-Yeong wanted to be loved and may not have fully meant what she said.
During a recess, things take an even more serious turn. Su-Yeon finds out that Yeong-Il has actually done this before. Apparently he ran up debt for a different girl with an intellectual disability but paid it all off in private so it didn’t go on his record. This was actually a year back.
When Young-Woo confronts Yeong-Il about this, he points out there was someone else but that he and Hye-Yeong really are in love and he needs her help. That evening, while Young-Woo is thinking over what to do, she ends up on a date with Jun-Ho. Some of his old friends show, and Jun-Ho tells them he’s currently on a date.
When Young-Woo introduces herself, she has another “lightbulb” moment as she realizes what BA means. Barista Academy. Now, this happens to be code that she and Yeong-Il shared in their chats, and it means that she (Hye-Yeong) wants to speak to Young-Woo alone at the coffee shop.
Remembering the messages, Young-Woo shows up and questions Hye-Yeong. It turns out he really does love her and she loves him. Her mother made her write the statement, so the only way round this is for Hye-Yeong to step up and defy her mother. Young-Woo encourages Hye-Yeong to speak up and tell her truth.
Meanwhile, Su-Yeon is set up on her date with Kim Min-Sik but the latter is incredibly nervous and he fumbles his words. Not only that, but he throws out a number of food-related puns that completely throw Su-Yeon off her game. In fact she makes an excuse and immediately runs away.
The next day in court, Yeong-Il is removed while Hye-Yeong steps up to testify. Young-Woo’s questioning leads her to sidestep around blaming her mother, but does outright plea with the jury not to let Yeong-Il go to prison. The prosecutor immediately goes in and questions Hye-Yeong over what the difference between sexual assault and intercourse is. She can’t answer it.
The attorney continues on and shows off pictures of Hye-Yeong’s hand, which includes some awful scratching. The lawyer believes this is because of the incident involving Yeong-Il. Eventually Hye-Yeong loses her composure and rushes back to her mother.
Outside the courtroom though, Hye-Yeong’s mother confronts Young-Woo and she drops her papers in surprise, clutching her head and shaking.
Jun-Ho heads out with his friends who happen to berate him and question why he’s dating Young-Woo, believing it’s out of sympathy. Jun-Ho is angry and lashes out, tackling his friend to the ground.
At the same time, Min-Woo continues to investigate Young-Woo’s ties with Tae Su-Mi. He goes for dinner with Attorney Kim, who brings up rumours circulating about her having another child.
The next day in court, the jurors come to their decision – Yeong-Il is not guilty. Yeong-Il stands to hear his verdict and despite the jury’s decision, Yeong-Il is imprisoned for 2 years. Even worse, he’s going to have this on his record, limiting his employment options. It’s a tough pill to swallow, with Hye-Yeong bursting into tears in the courtroom after.
That night, Young-Woo walks Jun-Ho home and admits he’s going to still like her no matter what happens. The pair stand together, staring into one another’s eyes, before the pair kiss. The lights turn off and we see the pair’s silhouettes, against the beautiful, twinkling backdrop of the city.
During the epilogue, we cut back to Gwang-Ho again but with a bit more context around his chat with Tae Su-Mi. She hands over a prospectus for Taesan. She’s convinced that Gwang-Ho and Young-Woo planned this to take her down and for her to work at Hanbada.
Tae Su-Mi admits that she’s amazing at her job and suggests she move overseas to the States. Of course, Su-Mi is trying to get rid of her, and even suggests he get doctors involved to help Young-Woo’s “condition”.
Gwang-Ho is angry at her interference and points out the hubris she has interfering like this. Eventually he demands she get out, struggling to compose himself.
The Episode Review
Extraordinary Attorney Woo is quickly shaping up to be the best drama of the year and honestly, this episode was near-perfection. I said yesterday that the beauty of this show is in the way it depicts shades of grey in each case and allows its viewers to make their own assumption.
Both yesterday and today’s cases are not easy subjects but the way the writer has presented this material and let us come to our own conclusions is pretty telling and a really refreshing, mature way of writing. Compare this to the way some western studios (looking at you Disney) spoon-feed their messages and bash you over the head with it, Attorney Woo excels with its morally grey cases.
On the one hand, Yeong-Il and Hye-Yeong are in love and you could point to their messages and time together as indicative of this. You could also argue that society’s immediate judgments and believing this is sympathy echoes what Jun-Ho and Young-Woo are currently going through, even though they genuinely like one another.
At the same time, the reveal that Yeong-Il had been accused of this exact same thing a year earlier is a red flag. Not only that but he may well have been financially inclined to take advantage of these girls. In the end, we’ll never know as Yeong-Il is imprisoned regardless of whether it was really love or not.
The one stand-out moment here though is the kiss between Jun-Ho and Young-Woo. Seeing the lights shut off like that, so we only see their silhouettes, could be interpreted as all the preconceptions and beliefs “shutting off” as we see two people who truly love each other coming together in that single moment of love. It’s such a beautiful scene and easily the stand out of the whole show thus far – it’s hard not to get emotional.
I’d be surprised if this isn’t up for some Baeksang Awards next year, and so far this has been a fantastic drama and it’s only getting better as the weeks go by. Can next Wednesday hurry up already, please?
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|