The Team Leader
Hyena returns this week with another slice of law drama as both Geum-Ja and Hee-Jae continue to dance around their newfound positions. With the former now part of the company and on the cusp of being a team leader, Hee-Jae’s position continues to look precarious in the face of her arrival. While there isn’t a lot of case-work or back and forth drama during this hour, the episode does okay to set the foundations for a fiery set of episodes to follow ahead.
As Geum-Ja enters Song&Kim, episode 5 of Hyena begins with us jumping back in time and see her heading in to a meeting with Hyeon-Guk, admiring the lavish beauty of the room. Eventually she sits with them and he asks outright if she’d like to work at Song&Kim. As she looks over the contract, she deliberates over every part of the contract and tells him she needs time to think on the matter.
Eventually he forces her hand, using his cunning wits to convince her to take the contract and leave while Chairman Song watches from the wings. Having seen enough, he decides that she is the right woman for the job to lead “Team H” in the future.
Outside, Geum-Ja breaks her cool facade and picks out a lavish red suit for the upcoming meeting- the one that she’s currently in during our present timeline. This brings us back to the meeting as Geum-Ja and Hee-Jae both cast glances at one another while mathematical figures float in the air around them.
After the meeting, Song sits and talks personally with Geum-Ja, who asks him for a favour. He agrees to her terms but also goes on to mention that he needs to make sure she’s definitely on their side before fully investing in what she’s asking of him. After some niceties, he hands over a file for her next case and informs her she’ll need to cooperate with the team. A team led by Hee-Jae.
While she leaves, Seok-Gu heads in and tells him that Geum-Ja is not the right fit for their company and to reconsider his actions. Song remains firm though and tells him that she’s the one to lead Team H when the time is right.
Settling into her new office, Geum-Ja and Ji-Eun share food together as they talk about being part of the “Golden Empire”. However, she also tasks her assistant with looking into the individual members of Hee-Jae’s team to help her understand what she’s working with. Geum-Ja gains intel on all the other members of Hee-Jae’s team and, courtesy of a whiteboard, they contemplate the best way of using them to their advantage for the upcoming case they’re working on.
Hee-Jae and Geum-Ja head out for dinner together where things continue to be frosty between them while they talk. Hee-Jae implores her to leave the company but she mentions the D&T case she’s taking on, prompting him to spit his wine out incredulously and confront her once more regarding what’s going on between them. Things inevitably take a turn for the worse, and she manages to get under his skin once more as she leaves, heading back to Song&Kim.
Geum-Ja speaks to Hyeon-A and asks her to gather the information she needs for the D&T case, given she’s their new Team Leader. Next, she visits Chang-Wook and gives him some words of encouragement. Meanwhile, Hee-Jae heads off and speaks to his Father about his mistakes, gaining some words of wisdom in the process.
Eventually he’s invited into a meeting with Mr Ma and the others, with Hee-Jae congratulates him for his Father gaining a promotion before offering him a promotion. Hee-Jae rejects Mr Ma’s offer though, going on to sarcastically exclaim how ironic it is he’s offering this right on the cusp of his Father being promoted.
The next day, Hee-Jae asks Ki-Hyeok whether the team would accept Geum-Ja and is convinced she’s in over her head. Heading out, Geum-Ja tries to avoid Yu-Mi as she arrives in the office, eventually grabbing Hee-Jae and throwing him in the cupboard as she arrives. Blocking the door, Geum-Ja and Hee-Jae keep quiet in order to evade Yu-Mi while the rest of the lawyers nearby believe they’re making love.
As the episode closes out, Hee-Jae throws Geum-Ja off-guard as her tells her they were two people in love, allowing them to both stare at one another as the credits roll.
In terms of characterisation and plot development, beyond Geum-Ja getting to know a lot of Hee-Jae’s legal team and managing to wiggle her way into becoming team leader, there isn’t a whole lot else worth getting excited about here. This drama is an interesting enough watch, and the chemistry between Ju Ji-Hoon and the excellent Kim Hye-Soo is enough to see you through the slower segments, but beyond that there just isn’t a whole lot else that really stands out.
Hopefully tomorrow’s episode picks things up but right now the series is failing to hit those same highs the early episodes in this drama achieved.