The Blue Night of Jeju I
Episode 13 of Extraordinary Attorney Woo starts with Young-Woo faced with another case. While she’s eating at her father’s, Mr Kim Yeong-Bok (the father of the landlady of the building that Young-Woo and her father live in) seeks some legal advice.
Now, it turns out he’s been charged a 3000 won admission fee for the local cultural heritage site (a temple) called Hwangjisa. The crux of the issue here is that this couple were charged even though they weren’t actually visiting the temple, they were just heading up the road.
Although the fee was 3000 won (which equates out to around £1.85). The man is stubborn and wants to take them to court. He wants his money back regardless of legal fees. For him, it’s more the principle of the entire ordeal.
When Young-Woo learns that the temple is on Jeju Island, which is home to baby dolphins and other aquatic life, of course she jumps all over this case.
After coughing up blood last episode, Myeong-Seok heads to the doctor to get checked out. When he returns to his office, he finds the team already there waiting for him. As for Young-Woo, she races into his office, determined to book a business trip to jump all over this case.
Myeong-Seok is all for it and decides they should all move their schedules and make some time to have a bit of a break and dive into this one. Everyone else is shocked by his turnaround.
CEO Han believes Myeong-Seok should hang back but he’s adamant he wants to go and oversee this personally. Of course, there’s also the drama involving Jun-Ho and Young-Woo to contend with before we depart. Jun-Ho is still not happy about them not dating and decides they should go and visit his sister, Seung-Hui, and her husband while they’re on Jeju Island.
When Young-Woo lets Dong Geurami and Kim Min-Sik know about this Jeju Island trip, they contemplate whether to tag along as well. Before they do though, Myeong-Seok shows up in summer gear, complete with sunglasses and a colourful shirt. Min-Woo is absolutely shell-shocked that this business trip has turned into a holiday.
When they touch down, Myeong-Seok switches over to the open-top car to hang with Geurami and Min-Sik while the rest of the lawyers actually prepare to handle this case. As they head up the road, they’re stopped by a toll booth – the same one their client was stopped at.
Jun-Ho suggests they should have installed this booth closer to Hwangjisa given how big the area is, but their arguing turns hostile when they realize there’s actually no way that they can get through without paying. The thing is, the road actually forks further up the road so the fact this toll booth is further down the road is certainly telling. The toll booth operator demands they pay up.
Speaking of telling, Myeong-Seok starts crying while they’re driving, which seems to hint that he’s had bad news from the doctor. However, we’ll have to wait before we find out for certain.
We start off the court case with Su-Yeon’s film footage invaluable to the cause. However, they’re also up against a whole bunch of monks from the temple who show up in the courtroom to oversee proceedings.
Now, Hwangjisa has a pretty wide berth of control over the area, with one major temple and three minor ones dotted across one stretch of road. Hwangjisa’s lawyers claim that Mr Kim must have known about the origin of the road and exactly where he was going.
Myeong-Seok and Young-Woo argue that they can’t just charge anyone to use the road. And besides, he was just following his sat nav directions. The judge understands both sides and decides to set a later date for court.
As for the lawyers at Hanbada, they’re recommended to visit the temple up at Hwangjisa, which they agree to do… and get involved with the 155+ bows. Min-Woo claims that he’s Catholic and refuses to join in, while Geurami sees this as the perfect opportunity to bust a move!
After meeting with the monks, Young-Woo and the others start working but Myeong-Seok decides they should stop and takes the papers away. He sends Min-Woo and Su-yeon out to go and get some drinks for everyone.
Whilst alone, we learn a little more about Min-Woo’s family history. It turns out his parents are in poor health and he needs to make as much money as possible to support them. He’s under a lot of stress and is doing all he can to try and make that a reality. Except, as we know, he’s using nefarious schemes to get to the top.
Back at the villa, Myeong-Seok points out he used to be married and he had his honeymoon on Jeju Island. Could this be why he started crying?
Through flashbacks we see the painful reality of overworking, including- Myeong-Seok’s dedication to his work that caused him and Ji-Su to drift apart on what should have been the happiest night of their lives. Myeong-Seok mulls over his actions, believing he put his work first and as a result, lost those who cared about him the most.
In the morning, Young-Woo prepares to head off and see the dolphins but there’s been a change of plans for lunch. Jun-Ho hasn’t seen Seung-Hui in a long time and she’s prepared especially for them with a nice meal. She hasn’t made any gimbap but Young-Woo decides to do her best and try the food anyway.
When Young-Woo heads off to the bathroom, Seung-Hui speaks to Jun-Ho about Young-Woo and talks about how difficult their relationship is. Not only that but she urges Jun-Ho not to tell their parents that he’s dating Young-Woo. It’s a really heartbreaking conversation, especially as Young-Woo hears everything from inside the house.
In court the next day, the cultural heritage case gets underway but Myeong-Seok suddenly clutches his stomach in pain and collapses on the floor. Sweating and in considerable pain, the entire courtroom is thrown into disarray as 911 is called and everyone is left shocked and confused.
The Episode Review
One f the more intriguing parts of Extraordinary Attorney Woo is how this one line: “”What you see isn’t everything.” is indicative of almost every character and situation.
Cases aren’t always what they seem and the same can be said for the characters too. Sure, Min-Woo is pretty conniving and is doing what he can to sabotage Young-Woo so he can make it to the top, but his motivations stem from looking after his parents to make more money for them, which is believable.
Likewise, Myeong-Seok’s potential illness is overshadowed a little by a look at his past. As someone who is an absolute workaholic, I can relate to Myeong-Seok’s woes reflecting back on moments when you could have been there for your partner more.
I’m sure other people can empathize with this struggle too, as it depicts the overwork culture in South Korea and how Myeong-Seok’s dedication has ultimately lost him his wife by trying to better his career. Of course, there is a point where that balance tips again and you can breathe a bit easier but it’s indicative of the darker side of this pursuit of a glamorous job.
The whole trip to Jeju Island is incredibly unrealistic to be honest, as there’s no way a law firm would agree to pay for everyone to head over. The case itself isn’t exactly going to light up the screens either, but what will, undoubtedly, stand out is Myeong-Seok’s relationship with Min-Sik and Geu Ra-Mi. They have mad chemistry together and their segments were easily some of the best in the episode.
Having said that, this is still a solid episode and sets everything up for an exciting chapter to follow tomorrow.