A Tale About Sodeok-Dong 1
Episode 7 of Extraordinary Attorney Woo starts with a big planning committee discussing the potential for a highway to pass through a small town. This straight path would essentially split Sodeok-Dong into two neighbourhoods, with the townsfolk in uproar over this development.
Gyeonghae-Do is carrying out business as they see fit and after the garbage incineration plant was built and the subway too, the residents of this town have had enough. Essentially they’re trying to force them out through pollution – both noise and air.
With Sodeok-Dong on a green-belt stretch of land, none of the residents have been properly compensated. They’ve made hundreds of calls and they’re at their wits end now. The only solution is to go to trial.
Naturally, they bring these concerns to Hanbada Law Firm. They want to set up a lawsuit seeking revocation of the road zone decision. Given they’re not experts on road construction, Myeong-Seok decides they need some time to think this over and look at the logistics of the case.
In order to learn more, Myeong-Seok organizes the troops to talk to different experts, including civil engineers and planners, who all agree that this road is a tricky situation.
Going around and looping the road doesn’t seem like a solution; an underground road is not cost effective; all other options aren’t particularly favourable. Unfortunately, all of this collides into a lack of alternates to this route and as such, a lawsuit may not be possible.
Still, these men want to defy the authorities and even offer to pay handsomely to cover the charges, even if they lose. In order to show more, the Hanbada gang are encouraged to travel along to check out Sodeok-Dong in all its beauty.
Befotr they leave though, Young-Woo points out that the “good looking couple” should sit next to each other in the car. That being Su-Yeon and Jun-Ho!
Together, the group are shown around Sodeok-Dong. It’s a beautiful town, full of charming residents, farm land and a quaint, peaceful way of life. They meet a number of characters too, including Heung-Min the football player and President Teresa who helps out the old ladies given they don’t have a public bathhouse there. Not only that, but the town has a natural monument in a large tree.
As the gang head up to check it out further, Young-Woo slips over and rips her cardigan. Without missing a beat, Jun-Ho takes off his jacket and lets her wear it instead. There are no more incidents on the way up, although it’s clear Young-Woo’s high-heeled footwear is not hiking appropriate.
At the top, there’s even a violin player to greet them! Shout out to all those who watched Do You Like Brahms, which feels like a neat little Easter Egg for Park Eun-Bin here.
This trip has its intended purpose, as Myeong-Seo organizes the troops, renewed fire in their bellies to tackle this in court. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of details about this case are massive, with stacks and stacks of papers that occupy the whole of Myeong-Seok’s office.
Young-Woo ends up pulling an all-nighter, while the other workers all try to look through the details over several days.
In the office though, Su-Yeon realizes Jun-Ho is being super attentive to Young-Woo and asks her why she’s acting oblivious. “Jun-Ho likes you, Young-Woo.”
Young-Woo has convinced herself that’s not true, pointing out how Jun-Ho hurriedly changed the subject when she interrogated him last episode. Young-Woo also brings up her autism and how Su-Yeon is a good looking woman so it’s difficult for Young-Woo to compete. Su-Yeon tells her to stop being weak-minded and walks away.
In court, the Hanbada team get their first glimpse of Attorney Tae Su-Mi. She’s known as the “king” and is going to be the prosecutor for this case. She’s also in line to become a candidate for the Minister of Justice and has arrived at court to oversee proceedings.
When the case gets underway, Myeong-Seok brings up the different routes but the prosecution have a number of handy animations, including the judges dressed up and heading out for a drive through town. All three routes are animated, exaggerating the issues and turning everything into a bit of a joke.
Tae Su-Mi then brings up regional chauvinism, which entices the residents to suddenly stand up and hit back. Unfortunately Su-Mi catches them out and brings up how it seems like a monetary issue for them given they could get compensation. Despite being the opposition, Young-Woo can’t help but be impressed.
Unfortunately, construction goes ahead as scheduled and the townsfolk are enraged. Myeong-Seok agrees to try and speed up the court to make a decision but it appears the suspension of activities hasn’t actually been filed yet.
Young-Woo brings up how they’ve violated the process of the Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment. It would seem that Gyeonghae-Do have made a mistake and as such, Myeong-Seok believes they should lead with this argument. Given Tae-Su’s presentation, Myeong-Seok decides to use an emotional strategy instead, rather than flashy visuals.
Woo Gwang-Ho is worried about his daughter, Young-Woo. After seeing her looking deeper into Tae Su-Mi, he visits CEO Han to express his concerns. He’s unsure whether Young-Woo has a job there specifically because of Tae Su-Mi. Seon-Young is incredulous, and their conversation is eventually broken up.
When he leaves the CEO’s office, Gwang-Ho runs into Young-Woo and Min-Woo. Putting two and two together, Min-Woo realizes that Young-Woo may well have got this job because of her connections.
Court re-joins again and Myeong-Seok brings up the environmental act. Unfortunately, Tae-Su is ready for that too and brings up how it’s not illegal, given there’s a clause involving finding the best route for roads. Young-Woo suddenly realizes that’s not right and stands up, pointing out out how there’s a piece of evidence to contradict that.
Thanks to Young-Woo’s brilliance, she brings up the statement of: “The Basic design and the implementation design have already been completed, thus the decision of the road’s route cannot be changed.” This seems to do the trick, and Tae-Su is certainly impressed by Young-Woo’s work.
Su-Yeon, realizing that Jun-Ho has feelings for Young-Woo, offers up her seat with Jun-Ho. When they drive off, MinWoo opens up about how Youg-Woo has got this job through connections with the CEO. Su-Yeon shrugs it off and brings up the CEO position being inherited. Min-Woo wants to fight back and decides that she’s weak and should be attacked just like everyone else, regardless of her autism.
Meanwhile at the office, Young-Woo wants to test whether her heart beats fast when she touches Jun-Ho and whether she likes him. So Jun-Ho gets close to her in the office and as they stare into one another’s eyes…the episode comes to an agonizing close.
During the epilogue, Young-Woo heads back to see her father. He brings up how CEO Han Seon-Young is his friend and they were close in school. He also brings up how she got the job at Hanbada because of his connections. Young-Woo is absolutely crushed and brings up how she doesn’t like him interfering in her life and tells him to stop.
Unfortunately, things are about to take a turn for the worst, as Min-Woo signs in anonymously to the Hanbada forums and decides to write about the “corrupt hiring processes” at the law firm.
The Episode Review
As we reach the middle of this drama, things are really starting to heat up now. What’s particularly interesting here is just how deep the drama is and how defined all the characters are. The idea that Young-Woo is self-aware of her autism and isn’t sure whether Jun-Ho would favour her over Su-Yeon is a really nice inclusion and seeing these two women grow closer is certainly welcome in the midst of this.
By comparison though you have Min-Woo. Yes, he’s the antagonist of the show and definitely self-centred but in a roundabout way you can understand his frustrations.
Now, I’m not advocating his abhorrent behaviour but we’ve all been there in a job, frustrated that someone has favourable treatment over another because of their connections. That’s not the case here, at least not that Young-Woo is aware, but from Min-Woo’s perspective it is.
Min-Woo may be acting deceptively, but he’s already made it clear that he wants this job no matter what. I do hope though that we see more of his past and understand why this job is so important to him that he’d go to these levels to undermine Young-Woo.
The cases are largely secondary in this series but they’ve still been enjoyable to watch play out. This two parter involving a road being built through a small neighbourhood reinforces that whole underdog story that we all love so much, and leaves everything wide open for tomorrow’s follow-up episode.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo has certainly been one of the more extraordinary dramas this year, and if this continues, we could be looking at a best show of 2022 contender!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|