Joseon Attorney: A Morality – K-drama Episode 5 Recap & Review

The Brutal History of Cheongsam 1

Episode 5 of Joseon Attorney starts with Ji-sun visiting Yeon-joo. Ji-sun is not particularly happy with Yeon-joo for interfering with the lawsuits of the people and worries about the consequences of her actions. Nonetheless, Yeon-joo is determined to keep at it and asks Ji-sun to treat her like a stranger.

It is at this point that we learn that they are engaged and Yeon-joo blames Yoo Je-se for the death of her father. She has no intentions of honouring their engagement and asks why Ji-sun would bother to. However, it is clear that Ji-sun still has feelings for her. Through a flashback, we see how their love story started when they were kids and how he is the anonymous helper at the merchant’s house.

After their meeting, an officer informs Ji-sun that Je-soo was found dead in his cell. On his way to view the scene, Ji-sun runs into Han-soo. Han-soo comments on how Je-soo was murdered and his death made to look like suicide. Ji-sun also arrives at the same conclusion after inspecting the scene.

He rushes to confront his dad who explains that it had to be done to save Hungu’s reputation. Ji-sun points out that murder is a crime. His dad tells him that it is one of the things he can get away with in Joseon. He also warns Ji-sun to drop the case because it will only lead to someone else suffering. His dad is prepared to make someone else take the fall and be his scapegoat.

At Hanyang, Han-soo gets back to the boat he left at sea and plans his next move to find the bundle lady. The woman who left the bag which caused his family to be framed for a crime they didn’t commit. He finds Dong-chi looking for him as he stole a key from Je-soo when he was arrested. His wife gave them consent to check his belongings.

They head to Je-soo’s room and find a safe. Inside, they find documents detailing everything Je-soo did for Hungu. They also find money, land deeds and the expensive artefact that started all the family trouble when a mysterious lady left it behind.

They assume that if they can track how Park Je-Soo got his hands on the artefact, they can find the man who ordered the hit on his dad. They go through the ledgers and discover that he got the artefact from the current Governor of Cheongsam.

In the meantime, the King secretly pays Yeon-joo a visit to the merchant’s house and gives her some of his personal money to finance her plan to use Han-soo to defend the poor in court. On his way out, he runs into Han-soo and Dong-chi who are fleeing from Choo-Sal and his gang. Yeon-joo and Lady Hong rush to save Han-soo and Dong-chi. Han-soo is once again endeared with Yeon-joo’s kindness to him. In the meantime, Jo Cheol-Joo reports to Lord Choo that he was unable to capture Han-soo.

Han-soo and Yeon-joo head to Cheongsam and on the way, Han-soo hires Yeon-joo as his assistant. This was Han-soo’s old town so he has a lot of painful memories as he journeys to Cheongsam. His first stop is his old home where he remembers the happy times with his family. He asks Yeon-joo to dress as a man and they come up with a plan to impersonate a secret investigator who is rumoured to visit the town soon.

Magistrate Son Jong-Seok from Cheongsam quickly decides to get on the good side of the secret investigator and warmly welcomes Han-soo. Han-soo and the magistrate have a private talk over a  meal and Han-soo asks for more information on the artifact he gave Je-soo. The magistrate admits it was a bribe as he wanted to impress Je-soo and rise in the ranks. The magistrate agrees to tell him where he got the artefact from and Han-soo and Yeon-joo leave to meet Lady Park.

On the other side of town, a young woman kills Lady Park at her house. By the time Han-soo and Yeon-joo arrive, Lady Park is dead and her killer is seated beside her dead body. Han-soo is unsure whether he should thank the young lady for killing his enemy but is curious why she did it. The young lady though tries to kill herself but Han-soo manages to stop her.

In no time, they are surrounded by angry villagers who are eager to punish the killer. The village head stops Yeon-joo from heading to the government office to report the crime. He also orders for the young woman, Young-Sil to be taken away by the villagers. Han-soo remarks about how nothing has changed in the village and they are also arrested and locked up in a shed.

A day later, the three are still locked up and Young-Sil explains that she killed Lady Park because she defamed her. Lady Park wanted to match Young-Sil with a rich man who had paid for her services. However, Young-Sil turned the man down and married the man she loved. Lady Park didn’t take the marriage news well and set out to get revenge.

She started a rumour that Young-Sil is having multiple affairs behind her husband’s back. The affair caught a life of its own and by the time Young-Sil ‘s husband heard it, it was even more distorted. He ended up fighting the men gossiping about his wife and was killed in the fight. Young-Sil was heartbroken by her husband’s death and furious that the villagers abandoned her due to the baseless rumours.  Her husband knew they were false and his final wish was for her to continue ignoring the rumours but Young-Sil felt vengeful. She couldn’t take it and set out to kill Lady Park.

Yeon-joo and Han-soo understand how she feels but Yeon-joo still wished she hadn’t killed Lady Park. Han-soo, on the other hand, understands why Young-Sil took justice into her own hands. He asks Young-Sil to file a lawsuit and promises to defend her and get her a lenient sentence.  As they discuss, Dong-chi arrives to rescue them but he is too late as the villagers are behind him. The village head allows Young-Sil to leave with her mother but he has an ulterior motive.

Han-soo is against this and Yeon-joo tells them that Han-soo is Young-Sil’s attorney. The villagers are shocked to hear that Young-Sil has a lawyer who wishes to uncover the hidden truth about the crime. The village head insists that they will be no hearing but Yeon-joo remains adamant that they should uphold the national law and hear Young-Sil’s case. The village head informs her that he is the one with power in this village as the national government abandoned them long ago.

They don’t see themselves as citizens of Joseon and won’t follow the national law.  The villagers also argue that it will be an inconvenience for them to host the officials and soldiers who will show up to carry out the investigation. In the end, the villagers decide it is best if Young-Sil leaves since her mom already took the money they offered for her disappearance. Young-Sil and her mom take their leave and Han-soo, Yeon-joo and Dong-chi are kicked out of the village. The villagers tie them on posts outside the village and give them a stern warning never to return.

Han-soo is saddened that he couldn’t help Young-Sil and she will face hardships because of being marked as a heartless murderer. He is worried that the villagers will still come for her and Yeon-joo asks him if he will defend her then. She is certain that Young-Sil will never be forgiven even before the law and want to know which defence Han-soo will use in Young-Sil’s case. As they speak, Lady Hong arrives and saves them.

Night rolls by and Young-Sil and her mom hide in the forest. Young-Sil’s mom starts suspecting that Young-Sil is pregnant. Young-Sil begins to worry about her fate too as she doesn’t want to live in hiding. However, her mom thinks it would be wise for her to lay low as her case is hopeless. Young-Sil remembers that Han-soo promised to save her and heads back to the village after the fight with her mom.

In the middle of the night, the village head meets with the magistrate and his helper. Magistrate Son Jong-Seok is surprised to hear that Han-soo impersonated a secret investigator. On the other hand, Lady Hong manages to get a place for her team to get rest and some food. As they prepare their food, Yeon-joo thinks about how Han-soo spent the day protecting her and is moved.

In the meantime, Dong-chi and Han-soo sneak into Lady Park’s house to search for clues about who she was working for.  Dong-chi keeps teasing Han-soo about his moving speech about justice when he was defending Young-sil.  Unfortunately, they are found by the village head who remembers what happened to Han-soo. Their talk is interrupted by the village head’s daughter who informs him that Young-sil is back.

Before Han-soo leaves, the village head warns him to stay out of village business but Han-soo is curious why he’s against Young-sil saying her piece. The village head tells him that he of all people should know that the law can’t be trusted. Han-soo realizes that the village head knew his dad was framed and questions why he never warned his dad. The village head promises to tell him everything if he leaves quietly and gives him a red bead.

Young-sil goes to the government office and starts beating the drums to alert the villagers that she is back and wishes to be heard.

The Episode Review

Young-sil’s case is proving to be more interesting than I initially thought. She chose to come back because she trusts Han-soo to save her. She is hoping for a lenient sentence so she can carry her pregnancy to term and become a mom. Will Han-soo be able to preserve her life?

Speaking of Han-soo, will he leave quietly in order to know the truth behind his parents’ death or will he stay and fight for Young-sil? It is not an easy decision but he will have to choose which one is more important to him.

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