Episode 7 of Juvenile Justice begins with Won-Jung reeling over his son being found out. Eun-Seok is adamant he needs to tell the truth but instead, he ushers them away and decides they should talk at the office instead.
The next day, Eun-Seok remains determined to find out the truth about Won-Jung. However, she’s interrupted by the court schedule being changed.
Won-Jung is already in his robes, ready to go to court. He also hasn’t bothered telling the Chief Judge what’s happened either. Instead, Kang berates Eun-Seok for crossing the line at the hospital and suggests she put her robes on ready to join him in court.
With the evidence skewed in favour of the defendants, and Kang refusing to allow prosecution witnesses to go forward, he instantly dismisses the idea of this being challenged. However, Eun-Seok undermines Kang’s compromised position and calls a recess for an hour.
Behind closed doors, Eun-Seok challenges Won-Jung’s decision and calls him out for rushing through this trial. She demands he speak to the Chief Judge but instead, he scoffs at the notion and reminds her that she has no evidence to back up the claims.
Eun-Seok is shocked, realizing that her superior is compromised, and tries to make sense of what’s happening.
Tae-Ju decides they should stop kicking the hornet’s nest, echoing back what Won-Jung originally said about prosecuting based on evidence rather than hunches. It’s a recurring theme throughout this show and this episode brings that conflict to center stage.
There are bigger consequences to what’s happening though, and with the school allowing the kids to drop out and those who are left to retake their tests, the entire system has been compromised.
The ones who will suffer the most are those left to pick up the pieces, while the kids who have dropped out get a leg up on the competition.
In order to change that, Eun-Seok is dead-set on trying to find evidence or a witness to use against Won-Jung. So naturally, Eun-Seok gets the Chief Judge involved and confirms that Sin-U actually confessed himself. So there is proof – right from the source. The Chief decides to deliberate over this for a day, while Won-Jung demands an explanation.
Eun-Seok calls out how hard he’s been working on the juvenile reform law. Five years he’s been working on it, believing he would be good at it but Sin-U’s confession has crushed that.
Eun-Seok holds her own though, pointing out the proverb: “Don’t steal a candle to read a Bible.” In essence, if the purpose is good but the means to get there is corrupt, then it’s all for nothing.
The start of all this for Won-Jung stems from his journals and specifically how each of these cases have had regrets he’s carried with him, all the way through these 22 years. “Just admit it, offenders need punishment, whether they be a judge or a child.” Eun-Seok’s confession is met with a teary-eyed Won-Jung silently walking away.
Won-Jung decides to admit to what he’s done, remorseful over his actions following the chat with Eun-Seok. News of this obviously leaks to the press too, who catch wind of what’s happened.
Won-Jung has a storm rain down on him, just like the Assemblyman predicted he would. He’s kicked out the by-election and he’s forced to attend a serious disciplinary hearing.
Sin-U meanwhile, is given 120 hours of community service and 2 years of probation. Off the back of this being resolved, Won-Jung leaves the office with his head held high.
Tae-Ju follows though and carries his things to the car. He brings up the old case from the past, the one involving the judge who helped him out. It turns out, it was actually Won-Jung.
Won-Jung recognized him right away and was incredibly proud of Tae-Ju, who obviously came all the way from juvenile prison to becoming a leading ju-dge. And just like WonJung did all those years ago, he bends down and helps tie Won-Jung’s shoelace, thanking him for being in his corner.
When he leaves, Won-Jung laves a note for Eun-Seok. He tells her he doesn’t resent her for what happened, given she was speaking the truth, and thanks her for her hard work.
With Won-Jung gone and a lot of hostility and hatred leveled toward the Juvenile Criminal Division, Eun-Seok warns Tae-Ju that things could start to get difficult for them. And just as she says that, the new head judge is running late and won’t be there, leaving Eun-Seok to front a particularly nasty traffic incident case.
The trouble is, one of the names that crops up as part of this case is Kwak Do-Seok. This kid, if you’ll remember, is one of those that Tae-Ju was proud of for turning his life around during episode 1. And now it seems like he’s front and center of this case.
The four kids on trial, led by Nam-Gyeong, claim that they weren’t aware that Do-Seok didn’t have a licence. Do-Seok is in a critical condition in hospital though and according to his mum, the kids were bullying him.
Eun-Seok and the others will need to get to the bottom of this, meaning Mrs O (the wife of the man critically injured as a result of their reckless driving) needs to wait longer until they get a definitive answer.
While Do-Seok slips into a coma at the hospital, Mrs O gives birth to her baby. Meanwhile, Eun-Seok is confronted by the brand new head judge, Na Geun-Hee, whom she has history with.
The Episode Review
What is Eun-Seok’s history with the new head judge and how far back do these two go? We’ve already seen snippets of issues for Eun-Seok’s past but most of this series has kept that under wraps and guarded from view.
The cases themselves are interesting and varied, although the decision to suddenly smash straight into another case midway through this episode feels like a bit of a tonal misstep.
We’d literally just started getting into the gritty details of this exam paper scandal and now we’ve got a hit and run incident instead.
While these two cases are interesting on their own, it’s questionable that they’re both included in the same episode. It feels like haphazard editing in truth, almost as if there should have been two 30 minute episodes rather than an hour long chapter stitched together.
However, Juvenile Justice continues to deliver decent drama and that, coupled with the solid acting and thought provoking ideas, make this a really solid watch.
|You can read our full season review of Juvenile Justice here!|