With two lawyers going head to head and trading blows through underhanded tactics, Hyena lives up to its name as our two leads fight over scraps left by the other. Untangling this intricate web of deceit, back-stabbings and drama can be a little complicated at times and certainly commands your attention but both Geum-Ja and Hee-Jae are intriguing enough to keep you watching to find out what happens next. It also helps that this week’s episode steps it up a notch and delivers its strongest hour yet.
We begin episode 3 of Hyena with Geum-Ja returning to the hospital to find Hee-Jae landing a coup in securing Jung-Hwa as a client given she’s about to testify against Chan-Ho, whom Geum-Ja is currently representing. He goes on to tell her there’s a lot of different charges being stacked up against him and hands over his book, watching as she storms away, throwing his book in the trash and allowing Geum-Ja to revel in the thought of starting a war.
Chan-Ho however is not so enthused, telling Geum-Ja she needs to bring Jung-Hwa back. It’s all too much for her and as she returns home and screams to the heavens as things go from bad to worse for her. Getting her thoughts together, she decides to speak to Chairman Ha in a bid to help Chan-Ho.
Woo-Seok meets with Geum-Ja and together they head in to see the Chairman at his house. Unfortunately she’s not the first to arrive, as Hee-Jae reveals himself from the shadows with Jung-Hwa. Things inevitably become awkward as they all sit together and share a silent lunch. Geum-Ja seizes the opportunity to gorge herself on the food available before the talk turns to business at last.
In a bid to try and impress the Chairman, she suggests hiring BTS for his upcoming birthday party. Impressed, he agrees to indulge her and as Hee-Jae and Jung Hwa leave, Woo-Seok confronts her and asks just what her end-game is. She refuses to tell him though and coolly shrugs off Hee-Jae’s attempts to taunt her outside. Out of earshot, Geum-Ja turns to Woo-Seok and gives him strict instructions to pass on to the Chairman, who rings him immediately after.
Back at work, Mr Ma confronts Hee-Jae and berates his actions, accusing him of giving out secrets and admitting he needs to report what he’s done to Mr Song. After a quick bow, Hee-Jae leaves as Mr Ma speaks to Song with his suspicions that Hee-Jae is working behind their backs. He’s having none of it though and tells Mr Ma to dispel with any rumours, dismissing him from the office.
Keeping things confidential, Hee-Jae informs his partner that he’s doing all this for the good of the company, before the Chairman visits Chan-Ho and sees the state he’s in, consumed by a heady cocktail of drink and drugs. After hitting him several times, the Chairman leaves and meets with Geum-Ja, admitting that he hates people like her; lawyers that are only interested in money. She bites back though, telling him if it wasn’t for her then his son’s life would be falling apart.
The Chairman’s intention with this party, however, is to show Hee-Jae and Jung-Hwa happy together and as they keep talking, Geum-Ja has renewed focus. As we cut ahead, we see her using a secret contact – Joo-Ho – to secure Jung Hwa’s phone records for her. With that in her grasp, she contemplates whether there’s something within these files she can use.
With all of Jung-Hwa’s photos pinned up on the wall following a particularly interesting talk with one of Jung-Hwa’s contacts, Geum-Ja hones in on one picture in particular and tries to work out the pattern on one of the tables. This brings her straight into the path of an old friend who owns a bar Jung-Hwa frequented, Seo-U. After obtaining what she needs, Geum-Ja heads off to see Jung-Hwa, with solid evidence she hasn’t been completely faithful to Chan-Ho.
The day of the party arrives and both lawyers head in with their clients as festivities get underway for Chairman Ha’s 70th Birthday Party. BTS aren’t there unfortunately but something far more shocking is – Chan-Ho and Jung-Hwa arriving at the party together. As they walk down the stairs together, Hee-Jae’s entire plan turns to ash as he watches in shock at what’s transpiring. Even worse, Geum-Ja texts him and lets him know personally that Jung-Hwa has decided to drop all charges.
This brings us back to the hospital where we see exactly what persuaded Jung-Hwa after all. Her affair – with Chan-Ho’s half brother no less – is threatened to leak and enough to persuade Jung-Hwa to drop the charges against Chan-Ho.
As the episode closes out, and the party draws to a close, Hee-Jae finds himself covered in champagne and embarrassed as Geum-Ja arrives with a napkin, telling him she’s sad to see the look on despair on his face. As a sly smile crosses her face, the episode comes to an end.
This intense rivalry between the two lawyers is the glue that holds the entire show together and the reason you’ll inevitably come back for more tomorrow. While a lot of the courtroom drama feels quite ordinary for this genre, the chemistry and relationship between Geum-Ja and Hee-Jae is anything but. Both characters are strong personalities and seeing them clash and grow across the entire season, while still holding a hidden respect for one another, makes this such an intriguing conflict to watch unfold.
Given this case appears to be wrapped up for now, I’d imagine we’ll see a new case come to fruition tomorrow and this cat and mouse game resume between our two protagonists. Whether that actually happens or not remains to be seen but as far as Korean dramas go, Hyena is certainly establishing itself as a very interesting proposition this year and a real dark horse law drama worth keeping an eye on!