Juvenile Justice – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Ugly Face Of Domestic Abuse

Episode 3 of Juvenile Justice starts with the protestors continuing to push for the Juvenile Act being abolished. Kang takes to the TV stations and compromises, suggesting it should be increased to 5 years rather than 2, but vehemently refuses to entertain the idea of abolishing the act completely.

Meanwhile, Eun-Seok ends up with quite the shock as Yu-Ri stumbles through the doors to the office. She and Tae-Ju hurriedly phone an ambulance, bringing her in to be checked out.

While she’s on a stretcher, Tae-Ju updates Eun-Seok on Yu-Ji’s rough upbringing. She’s currently on probation with a history of theft and prostitution. Usually the judges phone her every night but this time she wasn’t picking up. She never actually showed up to work either, which only compounds the concerns.

While Tae-Ju heads home, Eun-Seok sticks around to ask her some questions. When she notices her wounds, Eun-Seok gives her a day to think it over and get back in touch. Oh, and Eun-Seok has also covered the hospital bills too.

Eun-Seok is smart though and believes these injuries are a result of domestic violence. This is something she echoes during a big seminar with all the other judges, pointing out how stifled the current system is to dealing with domestic violence – and how that needs to change.

Eun-Seok decides to follow up on this and heads to Yu-Ri’s workplace, asking her about the girl’s behaviour and mannerisms.

Yu-Ri is only accustomed to doing 7 hour shifts by law, but that leaves several hours unaccounted for. However, one of the women at the salon takes Eun-Seok aside and points out that a strange man used to arrive at the salon and take Yu-Ri away. Could this be the person responsible for the abuse?

Eun-Seok heads back to see Yu-Ri but she’s discharged from hospital, eventually picked up by her grandmother. She seems pretty flustered when she wheels Yu-Ri away, seemingly knowing more than she’s letting on.

Eun-Seok quickly figures it out. She visits the care home and learns Yu-Ri would show up almost every day. Despite being rude and smelling of cigarettes, she’d still make an effort to bee there for her grandparents. Her resentment toward her grandmother is partly because of her excuses for the abuse Yu-Ri suffers from, which she’s well aware of.

Eun-Seok soon realizes that the abuser here is actually Yu-Ri’s father, which also reinforces who the strange man who showed up at the salon was. As he shows up at the police station to file a report, Tae-Ju believes Yu-Ri should be protected. When he relays these concerns on to Eun-Seok, she decides to charge Yu-Ri and lock her up.

Meanwhile, Kang meets with Assemblyman Eom, where they discuss the upcoming by-elections. The Assemblyman believes he’d be a great fit for the National Assembly. This leaves Kang with a difficult decision to make, given he’s served 22 years at the courthouse.

Yu-Ri disappears from hospital that night, leading Yu-Ri and Tae-Ju on a wild goose chase to try and find her. The thing is, Yu-Ri is actually off meeting a boy named So-Hui, who’s part of a runaway gang. She wants to try and make a fresh start but she’s blindsided and beaten to the ground after having her money stolen by these kids.

When Yu-Ri is found and taken to the Convalescent hospital, Tae-Ju shows up and tries to convince her to take out a restraining order against her father.

Eun-Seok is far less forgiving though and shows up with orders to have her arrested again given she’s broken the terms of her probation. Tae-Ju is absolutely furious, but that’s partly because he too suffered from abuse growing up.

The next day, the court case for Yu-Ri goes ahead. Interestingly, Eun-Seok actually spoke to Yu-Ri prior to this and locked her up on purpose. She wanted this to go to trial so she could properly prosecute the abuser and allow Yu-Ri to go home.

Part of this comes from Detective Ko investigating Won-Sik, Yu-Ri’s father, which includes audio footage of him beating Yu-Ri down with a baseball bat. Tae-Ju listens to all of it, complete with white knuckles.

Won-Sik pounces on his mother when he learns her confession is what started all of this, prompting Tae-Ju to jump in too. Given his history, Tae-Ju pins Won-Sik down and begins choking him. As Won-Sik struggles to breathe, Eun-Seok shouts his name to make him stop.

The Episode Review

Domestic violence is one of the most under-reported crimes and it’s also the most difficult to prosecute, as evidenced in this chapter. Yu-Ri has been through absolute hell and seeing her plight makes for a really tough watch.

The flashbacks were incredibly difficult to sit through near the end of this, while the case is woven nicely through the 50 minute chapter, zigging and then zagging through various different theories and ideas.

In that respect, Juvenile Justice works really well and it brings up some difficult themes and ideas that should be a more focal point of discussion than they currently are.

This is arguably the best episode of the season so far, and with a stacked cast and some excellent acting to boot, Juvenile Justice is shaping up to be a very good Korean drama.

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You can read our full season review of Juvenile Justice here!


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