Wild Card VS Tactician
Episode 5 of Extraordinary Attorney Woo starts with a big board meeting for a revolutionary ATM machine. Fronted by Ihwa ATM, the idea here is to cut out embezzlement and financial crime. Essentially this serves as an “honest cassette”… but it’s already being used. The tech has actually been developed by a rival company called Geungang ATM.
Believing this to be the work of an insider leak and infringement, Hwang Du-yong’s pitch falls apart and he’s not happy. Not only that, but Geumgang have already put this out on the market – and they’re cheaper too.
This case goes all the way to Hanbada Law Firm, where it turns out Attorney Kwon Min-Woo and Young-Woo are going to be in charge of this. Min-Woo hands over a whole stack of papers for his colleague (see: rival) to sift through and immediately brings Young-Woo along for a meeting at 2pm, completely underprepared.
In the meeting, Young-Woo doesn’t make a great impression while Min-Woo immediately warms to the entrepreneur, Du-Yong, as they discuss where they served in the military and the details of what this cassette is.
These are details that Young-Woo can’t compete with and it soon becomes clear why she’s getting a hard time. It turns out that Min-Woo sees her as competition and given they’re both there on a 1 year contract, he wants to get an upper-hand over her and be accepted into the law firm at her expense.
At court that day, the plagiarism case goes ahead but there are doubts over the validity of this case, especially given the weights used in the cassette are different for each company. Right now, there’s not enough for the judge to go on either way, so he decides to set a later date for the next hearing.
Thar night, Jun-Ho and Min-Woo end up playing basketball together but Jun-Ho overhears Min-Woo badmouthing Young-Woo on the phone. Not only does he claim she has a “handicap” but he also mentions how he has to shoulder all the responsibility himself. Given Min-Woo isn’t playing fair, Jun-Ho ends up being rough with him on the basketball court.
Jun-Ho learns from Young-Woo that she has a hard time determining who is being deceptive or real. For her, she has to work super hard to try and pertain who is trying to play her, but sometimes she forgets and that perceives her to be gullible.
It’s a really touching chat and something that Young-Woo then takes with her through the rest of the episode, trying to work out if Ihwa are lying to them or not. Given Manager Bae has all the nervous ticks of lying and being deceptive – including rubbing his thighs and the tip of his nose – Young-Woo ends up coaching him on how to act in court.
This seems to work a little too well, as Bae robotically answers questions and ends up much more confident… and then breaks down crying. He talks about the blood, sweat and tears their company put into this and gives a big show for the courtroom. Given the guy has a history of theatre, Young-Woo continues to have doubts over the validity of his story – and who in the case is telling the truth.
The next day, Young-Woo receives a letter from the CEO of Geumgang. She tries to find Myeong-Seok but his office is empty. So naturally, the only solution here is to turn toward Min-Woo. Together, they read the letter. Within this, the CEO confirms that the technology was developed by an American company and was made public at the exhibition. Both Geumgang and Ihwa took it to make products.
However, Ihwa ATM submitted for model utility rights because they wanted to monopolize the industry. If the ban on production and sales is prolonged thanks to that injunction, it would put them out of business and Ihwa would monopolizing the marketplace. The CEO wants Young-Woo to be honest in court and act with integrity about what’s happening. Min-Woo brings up the coaching and Young-Woo’s own ethics, calling her a tactician and throwing doubts over the validity of this letter.
Now, the real wildcard in all this is Leader ATM’s cassette. Leader went out of business a year earlier (ironic really, given their company name) and it turns out Ihwa ATM are actually at fault here. As we soon see from an on-site verification soon after, Ihwa stole this idea from Leader ATM, meaning Geumgang get the rights and the court case is dropped.
However, the damage is already done. Du-Yong has already settled numerous contracts with the banks so despite losing this battle, Ihwa have actually won the war. But for Young-Woo, she’s not happy about being on the wrong side of the law this time. Young-Woo feels responsible for having Ihwa apply for model utility rights and filing for the injunction.
As a result of this, Young-Woo puts the letter received from Geumgang up on the wall; a reminder of that very deception she was a part of.
The final scene of the episode shifts across to Taesan Law Firm, where rumours are abound that the CEO actually had a child out of wedlock. Could this be Woo Young-Woo?
The Episode Review
Extraordinary Attorney Woo returns this week with a solid episode, one that brings up the very real implication of being on the wrong side of the law as a lawyer. It’s something that this episode portrays beautifully through Young-Woo’s eyes and it’s particularly heart wrenching to see this case re-contextualized at the end.
The final shot of the CEO walking away, downtrodden and defeated, was tough to watch, especially as the smug Ihwa CEO has got precisely what he wanted.
Young-Woo has been a great character so far in this series and there’s a lot more depth to her this time, framed around the theme of deception and what impact that’s having on Young-Woo.
The ending reveal seems to hint that Young-Woo is about to face a whole new challenge in the form of this CEO and whether she may be her mother, but it’s still unclear how all of this slots together right now. Attorney Woo bows out on a high, leaving the door wide open for tomorrow’s follow-up in what’s quickly shaping up to be one of 2022’s brighter K-dramas.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|