The Blue Night of Jeju II
Episode 14 of Extraordinary Attorney Woo begins with Myeong-Seok in hospital. He has stage 3 stomach cancer and intends to get surgery when he heads back to the mainland after this case.
Young-Woo, ever the optimist, points out the stats surrounding survival rate which is only 30-40%. Young-Woo knows that Myeong-Seok needs to eat and wonders whether they should try and find the owner of Haengbok Noodles so he can experience this again in case he passes away. Surprisingly, even Min-Woo is all-in on this idea too!
So off everyone goes to try and find the owner, including heading to a rival noodle place and asking around the neighbourhood. No one seems to know where the guy is after shutting down the restaurant. It would appear that Haengbok Noodles just couldn’t change with the times but is there more to this story than that? We’re about to find out…
That night, Jun-Ho watches as a strange man heads up to the site of Haengbok Noodles. He’s actually one of the old chefs from Haengun Noodles (their rivals) and he grabs some cat food.
Caught in the act, Jun-Ho quizzes just what he’s doing. It turns out he used to work in the kitchen before jumping ship. The owner of Haengun Noodles recruited him but the man is quick to point out that Haengbok Noodles was the definitive original.
Haengbok originally did well because word got out about how good the restaurant was. This guy was then recruited to start cooking noodles for Haengun, meaning they essentially stole the same business idea, went bigger with marketing and promotion and stole all the customers. As a result, the owner of Haengbok was forced to close. It would appear that he’s gone off to find a place where “mountains and waters are nice.”
When Young-Woo hears this, she wonders whether it could be Mountain Water Nursing Home. So off Young-Woo goes to the Nursing Home. The owner’s mother actually stays there and the owner of the noodle shop showed up yesterday so they just missed him. It would appear he’ll be coming back in a month’s time but that doesn’t really help them right now.
After 17 minutes of this side quest, we finally return to the main boss of the game. That being, of course, the Cultural Heritage case with Mr Kim. Young-Woo steps up and breaks down the financial aid and the help this temple is receiving. She asks about the budget breakdown and whether it would be possible to check the money but her question is deemed sarcastic by the judge and the defendants, taking everyone aback. Even worse, the Cultural Heritage Act is pretty much a surefire thing so it doesn’t seem like they have much of a leg to stand on.
A frustrated Young-Woo heads to the hospital, asking Myeong-Seok for legal counsel. However, his ex-wife Ji-Su is there and naturally, Young-Woo brings up their awkward ties together. Uh oh! Watching the two attorneys chat, Ji-Su realizes exactly why she left him in the first place. She always felt lonely and wasn’t happy as a result.
Hearing this, Young-Woo speaks to her father and points out that she wants to be someone who makes Jun-Ho happy but isn’t sure whether she’ll actually be able to. Speaking to Ji-Su, she contemplates whether this whole ordeal will just make Jun-Ho feel lonely when they’re together.
Off the back of this, Young-Woo speaks to Jun-Ho and doesn’t think they should date. Annoyingly, she doesn’t actually tell him why she thinks this and instead, gets distracted when Jun-Ho tells her something that Abbot said about “being blinded by what you see.”
As she begins rattling on about the case, completely oblivious to how heartbroken Jun-Ho is, she begins walking away. Poor Jun-Ho is left dumbfounded over Young-Woo’s comments.
In court, Young-Woo points out that the highway is public property. Using this argument, Young-Woo deduces that Mr Kim can’t be charged because he used public property and there’s not a charge for using land owned by the local government, linking back to public transit. The judge nods in agreement and as a result, Young-Woo wins the case for the team. However, there are bigger problems afoot.
Young-Woo decides not to ride with Jun-Ho home, thanks in part to the uncomfortable atmosphere with Jun-Ho. While Young-Woo leaves, Min-Woo encourages Jun-Ho to drown his sorrows in alcohol. Min-Woo believes that visiting Seung-Hui and overhearing them speaking is the reason for the break-up.
While Jun-Ho ends up passing out at home, Min-Woo and Su-Yeon chat on the balcony. Su-Yeon is confused by Min-Woo’s newfound niceties and eventually Min-Woo learns that she likes him. While the pair stare at one another as if it’s the end of the episode, Young-Woo and the others end up seeing them and decide to head back to the karaoke there were visiting, with Geurami deciding that her shattered heart needs music to liven her up.
With the Hwangjisa ticket booth closed and free passage now allowed on the road, the gang stop by the temple at Hwangjisa one more time. Myeong-Seok speaks to the Abbott about the future of the lot of land. In fact, he decides they should get the local government involved and turn this into a foundation.
As it’s difficult to communicate with the government, Myeong-Seok decides that as they’re a law firm, they can help him out. Hanbada has a dedicated team that can straighten this out and get them the help they need. The Abbott decides to think it over but for now, he joins the other monks to share food.
Funnily enough, the noodles taste just like the ones Haengbok Noodles used to serve. And then it clicks. A place “where the mountains and waters are nice.” Yep, it turns out the chef here is actually the same one from Haengbok Noodles!
Young-Woo decides that, as attorneys, they can help out and stand by his name and claim unfair competition and the litany of laws and rules around that. Everyone rallies around this cause, with Myeong-Seok standing proudly as he hears his staff helps this man out.
As Myeong-Seok tastes the noodles and smiles, mentioning how good it tastes, Young-Woo watches Myeong-Seok’s smiling and happy face. Eventually it comes time for everyone to head home, where the attention turns back to Young-Woo’s parental ties.
Reporter Lee shows up to see CEO Han and tells her that Young-Woo is Su-Mi’s daughter. He knows this to be true… and Han even confirms it to him! She promises to tell him everything on one condition – he needs to publish the article right before Su-Mi’s confirmation hearing. He’s also forbid from speaking to Young-Woo until after the article is released too. A sly smile crosses her lips.
The Episode Review
Episode 14 is all about the character subplots, as we take a proverbial deep breath before next week’s final two chapters. Young-Woo ends up breaking up with Jun-Ho, which is quite the heartbreaking resolution to their issues, while Min-Woo and Su-Yeon are suddenly shipping each other, which feels like it’s come out the blue.
However, in reality there have been a lot of subtle scenes hinting toward the fact these two could get together. They’re quite similar and we’ve seen some awkward moments between them across the episodes thus far. Is it enough to redeem Min-Woo for his actions? You guys will have to be the judge of that one! Personally, I can understand why Min-Woo has acted in the way he has, especially after learning about the hyper-competitive work field in South Korea, as well as Min-Woo’s struggles back home.
Speaking of struggles, Myeong-Seok’s past and his dedication to work end up causing one heck of a moral dilemma for Young-Woo who sees a piece of herself and Jun-Ho’s future in the way these two interact. Realizing that Jun-Ho will always be second best to her work (and, well, third best if you count whales and dolphins!) it seems she’s done this to try and save him the bhurt further down the line.
Either way, the case basically plays second fiddle to this character-driven ensemble again, with everything here hearing up for a dramatic final two episodes to come. Will our characters find happiness? We’ll have to wait and find out!