Saying and Doing The Right Thing
Episode 15 of Extraordinary Attorney Woo begins with a guy called Jin-Pyo working at Raon. He leaves the office late that night after receiving an email from a colleague regarding a covering letter. Unfortunately, he learns too late that the attachment he’s just opened is actually malware and he’s compromised the financial records of millions of users. For those unaware, this is called Spear Phishing.
Over at Hanbada, Young-Woo sits at the entrance as usual, but when she sees Jun-Ho, she hurries out the door…. and straight to the hospital to see Myeong-Seok, who’s about to go into surgery. She immediately meets his mother, who’s dumbfounded to find the attorney there. “Please come back alive!” Young-Woo calls, as he’s taken into the theatre.
Su-Yeong rings Young-Woo and tells her to hurry back to the office – they have new clients. This links back to the earlier opening we saw, as this corporate case gets underway. Raon is a huge company and over 40 million users across Korea use them.
The malware attack was targeted through the computer, undetectable by anti-malware software thanks to its format being in a .doc file. The police believe the hackers could well be part of North Korea’s RGB. The fact that the word “program” is spelt incorrectly seems to hint toward this being the case.
However, this also means it’s going to be nigh-on impossible to find the culprit inside North Korea. Not only that but the company are facing a 300 billion won surcharge on them due to not safeguarding the personal data of customers.
After the morning meeting, Su-Yeong and Min-Woo sit together at lunch but Jun-Ho is sitting by himself… for a couple of minutes anyway. He’s still the heartthrob of the office and he’s surrounded by women. As for Young-Woo, she ends up eating in her office.
Su-Yeong heads up to see her, berating Young-Woo for not giving Jun-Ho a proper reason for breaking up. Young-Woo deflects her questions and counts down the seconds to the end of lunch so she doesn’t have to discuss it further.
With Attorney Jang Seung-Jun in control of the case, Young-Woo contemplates what to do to try and win this. She even seeks counsel from Myeong-Seok (who survives his surgery thank goodness!) He simply tells Young-Woo to talk to her colleagues.
In the courtroom, Jang doesn’t make a great first impression, jumping into discussing exactly what a spear phishing attack is. Unfortunately, it’s all wasted time as there’s no jury here, only reporters and the lawyers, and these guys know all about this already. The judge urges him to get on with it.
The case here largely relates to the 300 billion won penalty charge for the phishing scam. The fact that the company made so much money last year – in excess of 30 trillion won according to the defendants – plus financial information for 40 million Korean residents were leaked, justifies Raon paying this fee.
Unfortunately, as the courtroom is full of reporters gobbling down these quotes, the media outlets run with stories discussing how out of touch Raon actually are with their users, given they’re squabbling over the amount they need to pay. Naturally, the comment sections of these articles are even worse.
Jang’s decision to pick on the fact the penalty surcharge is larger than the usual 100 billion given to some companies is clearly a bad move and puts Hanbada on thin ice.
In court the next day, Su-Yeon is chosen over Young-Woo to lead the charge. She argues that there is no causation between not setting up an idle timeout and the hacking.
Apparently there was a keylogger within the malware which the hacker installed. This means the hacker would have figured out the ID and password of the computer sooner or later. The defendant shrugs this off, claiming it’s irrelevant due to the legislation and laws around personal data changing.
In-Cheol, the CEO of Raon, gives an impassioned plea but the stress of it all is just too much for him to bear. Instead, he brandishes a cyanide pill and swallows it. As he passes out and begins foaming from the mouth, Young-Woo panics. Jun-Ho sees but decides against interjecting, given what’s going on between them.
Of course, the Raon CEO being rushed to hospital like this is big news and as a result, the attorneys are hounded outside by a flurry of reporters. Thankfully Hanbada survive but there are additional points to note here, courtesy of Young-Woo’s latest lightbulb moment.
Now, it turns out Mr Choi checked his email and downloaded the file on January 18th at 11.48pm. This means the hacking started a day before the Act on the Information and Communications Network (the one the defendant was mentioning is irrelevant) was revised. Young-Woo brings this to Jang but he loses his temper with Young-Woo given how brash she is and kicks her off the case. Young-Woo is flustered and hurries out the door.
Outside, Su-Yeon speaks plainly to Min-Woo, encouraging him to put down his tactics and politics for a bit to actually see Young-Woo as their friend and colleague rather than his opposition. Su-Yeon admits she likes people like that.
As for Young-Woo, she heads home but runs into Jun-Ho, who happens to be waiting for her. “Why can’t we be together?” Jun-Ho says, as Young-Woo finally speaks the truth.
She brings up what his sister said back on Jeju and how she believes Jun-Ho is going to be lonely with her. Jun-Ho can only listen in stunned silence as Young-Woo heartbreakingly describes why they can’t be together.
The next day, Su-Yeon takes Young-Woo’s idea about the revised act to the courtroom, completely going against Jang’s argument. Jang is not happy with his colleague and promises to kick her off the case if she continues. So Min-Woo stands up and speaks instead, finishing Su-Yeon’s argument and gaining the good graces from the Judge. The Judge promises to take all of this onboard in his final decision. Jang is angry at his subordinates going against him but swallows his pride all the same.
Off the back of this, Raon actually wins the lawsuit! As we zoom out from the TV broadcast though, we see who the hacker is. It’s Tae Su-Mi’s son!
The Episode Review
The penultimate episode to Attorney Woo sees Min-Woo’s redemption arc almost come full circle, albeit in a rather rushed way and a bit of a cliched reason (trying to get the girl.) However, his character has been flawed from the beginning and understanding more about him and what’s driven Min-Woo to try and succeed in this field is certainly welcome.
At the same time though, I’m a little concerned that everything else we’re currently juggling in this drama is going to feel rushed and wrapped up hastily as a result.
We’ve got Myeong-Seok’s cancer, Young-Woo and Jun-Ho’s relationship, Gwang-Ho’s father woes, CEO Han’s scheming, Su-Mi’s son’s hacking and Su-Mi’s upcoming promotion, not to mention Young-Woo’s potential sabotage at Hanbada at the hands of Min-Woo.
All of this is then mixed in with individual cases each chapter, setting things up for one of two possibilities. We either rush through and resolve all these plots hastily or we’re on course for an open ending and a possible second season.
Either way though, Extraordinary Attorney Woo has been an enjoyable watch up to this point and this case was easily one of the best of the whole season. Let’s hope tomorrow’s ep is an extended one and everything is wrapped up nicely. We’ve been burned quite a lot with bad endings this year, fingers crossed Extraordinary Attorney Woo doesn’t follow suit!