Joseon Attorney: A Morality – K-drama Episode 12 Recap & Review

Owner of The Land

Joseon Attorney: A Morality episode 12 begins with Han-soo drinking his troubles away in a tavern. He hears a baby crying and sees Choo-sal struggling to soothe her. He takes the baby and realizes it is crying because it needs a diaper change. he walks with Choo-sal and the baby to the merchant’s house, asking Choo-sal to explain his situation.

Choo-sal tells him that he used to be a farmer along with his brother, ​​Jung Woo-Soo. He and his brother hoped to own their piece of land and they started tilling a wasteland, hoping to make it fertile land. According to the Joseon law, if a peasant farmer cultivates a wasteland for three years and makes it fertile, they get to keep the piece of land.

Choo-sal’s brother had an accident while cultivating the land and Choo-sal blamed himself and ran away to the city. His brother got better and continued to till the land. He didn’t let his injured leg deter him from his dream to be a landowner. After nearly three years of hard work, the land finally started bearing fruits. Jung Woo-Soo was beside himself with happiness but it was short-lived; Won Dae-Han saw the land and decided to make an underhanded deal to get the title deed. He declared the land as his own and even went ahead and fenced it. Woo-Soo tried to stop Dae-han’s men and was killed in the process.

His furious wife decided to cut the crops on the farm but she was spotted and arrested. Their young baby was brought to Choo-sal and he doesn’t know what to do so he asks for Han-soo’s help. Han-soo is happy to help and teach Dae-han a lesson.

He starts by pleading the case to Ji-sun, and the latter helps him plan for his argument in court. Ji-sun agrees that Dae-Han claimed the land unfairly but doesn’t think it will be easy for Han-soo to win the case. Dae-Han is a powerful man and he has other rich landowners on his side as well.

Han-soo is also aware that Je-se will come out swinging to help Dae-han who he treasures. Nonetheless, Han-soo is ready and willing to cause trouble so Ji-sun allows the case to proceed to Court. He later informs Yeon-joo about Han-soo’s plan and tells her they should stay out of the case.  He is worried that the lawsuit will affect most landowners of the land and Yeon-joo is one of them.

In the meantime, Dae- Han is urgently informed that Choo Sal is suing him. He finds it outrageous that a mere peasant would dare sue him and he takes his anger physically on Choo Sal. He later goes to Je-se and asks for help stating that if he loses the lawsuit, it will set a bad precedent for other landowners who also got the title deeds unfairly. Most of them are from Hungu. At first, Je-se doesn’t care much about the lawsuit until he hears Han-soo is involved.

On the other hand, Han-soo and Dong-chi visit the land in question and act like he is Dae-han’s son. They interrogate the original land owner and they learn that there are no faults to find with ​​Jung Woo-Soo’s rights to own the land. However, they are forced to escape quickly once Dae-Han arrives at the scene. They quickly go back to Hanyang and gather all the friends of ​​Jung Woo-Soo who helped him till the land for the past three years.

They all testify that ​​Jung Woo-Soo never neglected the land or his duty to the government. Han-soo asks them to bare witnesses in Court but they are hesitant. They are sure that Dae-han will win the case and don’t wish to become his enemy. Han-soo tries to make them see that if they win this, all their lives as peasant farmers will get better. The only thing Han-soo has to worry about is the land deed.

At Court, Dae-Han’s lawyer brings up a fake deed and claims ​​Jung Woo-Soo didn’t till the land religiously for the past three years under the law. Han-soo points out that ​​Jung Woo-Soo still had 45 days before his lease term was up but Dae-Han unfairly secured the land before ​​Jung Woo-Soo’s contract was over. Han-soo calls on ​​Jung Woo-Soo’s friends to testify but they betray him and side with Dae-Han out of fear. Han-soo is shocked but still holds his own by causing commotion between the farmers and the landowners. Dae-Han mocks him and tells him to change the law if he thinks it is unfair.

After the first hearing, Choo Sal loses his cool but  ​​Jung Woo-Soo’s friends explain they had no choice because their family members were kidnapped. Thankfully, they are released after the court hearing.

Night rolls by and the former courtesan inform Han-soo they want to throw a birthday party for the kid. Han-soo is still angry that Yeon-joo lied to him about her birthday but he also realizes something about the case. He discovers he can prove that Dae-Han faked the certification of the land deed because he got it on February 1st which is a national holiday. Government offices are normally closed on such days. Han-soo is overjoyed as he has the upper hand now.

At the palace, Lady Hon checks on Yeon-joo and asks if she is worried about the case as she is a landowner. Yeon-joo says she has no issues with whatever the outcome will be. She wants Han-soo to win the case and help the farmers. Lady Hong informs her that Je-se will help Dae-Han and Yeon-joo hatches up a plan to distract Je-se. She pays him a visit along with Ji-sun and officially informs him of her intentions to marry his son. At the same time, Han-soo arrives and asks to see Dae-Han’s land certification again. Je-se offers to get it himself as Ji-sun entertains Yeon-joo.

Once Han-soo realizes that Je-se is onto him, he understands that Je-se will change the day on the land certification paper. As expected, Je-se changes the day from 1st February to 7th as Han-soo waits and spots Ji-sun and Yeon-joo. Je-se also gives Yeon-joo a wedding gift in front of Han-soo to spite him. He tells Yeon-joo that he plans to change the law and he is approving her marriage to his son.

Yeon-joo is surprised but Je-se maintains that Ji-sun has outstanding talent and that a man like him should have an important post in the government. However, he says that Han-soo has a better chance of breaking off the upcoming wedding so he won’t be bothered to change the law. Ji-sun apologises for his father’s behaviour and Yeon-joo says it is okay.

Han-soo is still angry with Yeon-joo and only makes hurting remarks towards her. He also tells Ji-sun that his father distracted them with the wedding talk so the date on the document can be changed. Ji-sun leaves to check the document and sees Han-soo was right. With Ji-sun gone, the Princess tells Han-soo that he was simply a tool to her. Ji-sun returns and overhears their conversation, saying that he is okay with being used by the Princess.

With the certification date changed, Han-soo is once again cornered and needs to come up with a new strategy. ​​Jung Woo-Soo’s wife is also having a hard time in the cell and is not allowed to nurse the baby. Han-soo bribes the guard to let the mother feed the kid. All this stresses Choo Sal further and he blames himself even more. Choo Sal is already starting to lose hope too, so Han-soo asks him to hang in there as he comes up with a plan. He turns to Jo Cheol-Joo for help.

Han-soo visits the land and spends the day doing chores that Jung Woo-Soo’ would do daily to till the land. It is not an easy job but he learns something. Han-soo hears of Jo Cheol-Joo’s plan to break the law and forge another document to beat Dae-Han in his game. Jo Cheol-Joo wants Choo Sal to register the land under the palace treasury. That way they get to keep the land and part of the crops plus they are exempted from paying taxes. Han-soo is against the idea and even more so when he learns it originated from the princess.

He tells the Princess how he spent the day working as a farmer and shows her all the calluses on his hand and back. He points out that he wants to come up with a long-term solution that will help all farmers in the future. The Princess is however concerned about handling Choo Sal’s case first and defeating Dae-Han before Han-soo is hurt by Hungu.  They get into another fight and the Princess asks Han-soo to stop being all words and come up with a plan soon.

The King is also following the land lawsuit closely and calls Left State Councilor Choi Soo-Yong for a private meeting at night.  He asks Left State Councilor Choi Soo-Yong to help him balance things in the Royal Court and support him.

The next morning, the court hearing proceeds and the landowners show to support Dae-Han. They keep making hurtful statements towards the farmers.

Han-soo announces before the judge that he will drop the lawsuit and return everything to normal. It turns out that Han-soo sent Choo Sal and a few men to remove the embankment which will lead to the land being flooded.

After seeing the flooded land, Dae-Han is furious as everything is gone. Ji-sun tells him that he must hire servants and cultivate the land from scratch per the law.  Dae-Han is not pleased as it will be a huge expense and inconvenience. The law states the land can’t be left like that and Dae-Han mistakenly admits to Ji-sun that he stole the land.  Left with no other option, Dae-Han gives up on the land and it is returned to Choo Sal. Choo Sal is grateful and Jung Woo-Soo’s wife is also released. The case leads to Je-se being heavily criticized by the Hungu members.

We also learn that Han-soo played a trick on Dae-Han and showed him the wrong flooded land. Jung Woo-Soo’s land still has the crops he cultivated and they didn’t lose anything. Ji-sun is awed by Han-soo’s mind games. The Princess is also happy that Han-soo kept his word and sings his praises to the King. They are both glad that Han-soo is using the law to protect the people and after the case, Jung Woo-Soo’s wife and Choo Sal celebrate the kid and decide to name him Han-soo.

At the celebration, Han-soo sees a present from Yeon-joo and finds a letter inside. He quickly rushes out and thanks her because their fight forced him to handle the matter better. He also tells her to stick to either being cold or nice to him. He is tired of the on-and-off cold shoulder she keeps giving. Later that evening, Dong-chi tries to talk to Han-soo about why he is angry at the Princess.

He also reads the letter Yeon-joo left alerting him to Je-se’s next move. According to the King, there was an issue about the new commissioner being raised in Eun-soo’s bar. Dong-chi is impressed with Yeon-joo’s determination to get revenge. Han-soo is distressed that the Princess forsook herself to get the letter to him.

He says she is just like his mom and Eun-soo. He wonders if he should pay Eun-soo a visit at her matrimonial home and if she is doing well. Ultimately, he decides to wait to complete his revenge before seeing her. Han-soo pays tribute to his family, while elsewhere Eun-soo packs some clothes at her place.

The episode ends with Han-soo visiting Eun-soo’s bar to follow up on the Princess’s tip. Eun-soo spots him and quickly hides her face from him. Ji-sun appears from inside the room and Han-soo questions why he is at the bar in the morning. Eun-soo hurriedly grabs Jisun as her hands shake and implores him to quickly go inside.

The Episode Review

Han-soo is still angry with Yeon-joo but still worries about her endangering herself for him. I think deep down he still loves her but is unable to get past the pain of her betrayal. Hopefully, he will soon.

It looks like next week Eun-soo will be in trouble. I wonder what Je-se is planning and what he intends to do about Ji-sun’s marriage. Things are about to get more intriguing in this revenge drama!

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