Episode 8 of Juvenile Justice begins with news of Do-Seok’s coma spreading across to Nam-Gyeong’s attorney. He’s pretty confident that they can pin the blame on him but was he really responsible for this?
Tae-Ju, of course, has quite an emotional stake in this case given how much time he spent helping to reform Do-Seok. While Tae-Ju sobs at his desk, Eun-Seok listens from the doorway.
Now, the issue here stems from who’s telling the truth. According to Nam-Gyeong, Do-Seok was driving recklessly and they thought he had a valid licence. Do-Seok’s mum though claims the kids were bullying Do-Seok and forced him to drive in order to avoid another beating. So who’s telling the truth?
Do-Seok’s probation officer claims that Do-Seok just stopped coming to the training sessions after a few weeks However, the officer is also quick to point out he’s a Taekwondo black belt and over 6 feet tall too. Was he really being bullied?
Something doesn’t sit right here, and while Eun-Soo directs traffic, organizing for just the kids to stand trial next and to scour their social media accounts for clues, Tae-Ju goes rogue and begins asking around about Do-Seok at the car rental place.
Geun-Hee is furious when she finds out, and tells Eun-Seok to teach Tae-Ju a lesson when she finds him. When she shows up, Tae-Ju confirms there was someone else there with him when Do-Seok showed up to rent a car.
It seems like this girl could be a key witness but that’s going to be a lot harder given all the kids have scrubbed their social media channels, deleting absolutely everything to make sure they can’t be incriminated.
However, someone drops off a USB stick at the station. Within this, it shows footage of Do-Seok being beaten up by the kids, willingly letting them beat him down. This seems like Do-Seok’s mother’s claims are true.
Eun-Soek implores Tae-Ju to stay level-headed, reminding him that getting emotional right now is not going to help anyone.
Eun-Seok studies the footage and learns that this is not fabricated. It would appear that the kids were blackmailing Do-Seok, as he mutters “you said you’d delete the photos.” With this footage, Eun-Seok plays this in court for the different kids.
The truth here is that one of the girls in the group, Mi-Ju, actually had some incriminating photos used against her by Nam-Gyeong and the other kids.
Do-Seok jumped into the group and tried to help, determined to get the photos deleted for her. Only, the group started to bully him too, with things escalating and getting worse and worse.
Mi-Ju showed up at the rental place to stop Do-Seok who remained dead-set on helping her photos be deleted. He did all of this for her, and now – with the photos actually deleted – it could have cost Do-Seok his life. However, it’s already cost a life.
Remember the motorcyclist that Do-Seok and the kids hit? Well, O Gyu-Sang has passed away. In doing so, this is no longer a protection case and has escalated to the Prosecutor’s Office, meaning it could be tried as a criminal offfence.
Geun-Hee sees this as a “trivial case” and implores the judges to start rocketing through this given juvenile cases are all about speed.
The next day, Geun-Hee fronts the court case as the kids decide to team up and implicate Do-Seok for the driving. However, photos of bruises hint at a sustained period of beating while the footage of Do-Seok being beaten up only reinforces this.
Sergeant Kim, the guy from the drunk driving checkpoint, also claims that the kids were tense – especially the girls.
As Geun-Hee calls a recess, she decides to wrap up the case completely. In doing so, she goes easy on the kids and claims there’s not enough evidence and decides that they’re all innocent.
There’s no justice for Do-Seok or the poor man who died as a result of this. EUn-Seok calls out Geun-Hee’s attitude and motivations later on, specifically over her nonchalant attitude and how she’s rushing through these cases.
Given the kids’ reaction, cheering and whooping over getting the all-clear, Tae-Ju feels sick to his stomach while Eun-Seok reminds them that they’ll carry this with them for the rest of their lives.
One person here who clearly can’t deal with the guilt is Mi-Ju. While the other kids are nonchalant over what’s happened, she sinks to her knees and begins sobbing loudly outside court.
Tae-Ju is also torn up over this outcome, while Eun-Seok bitterly reflects on the cold, hard truth of law. After all, evidence is what makes or breaks cases and without that, there’s not much to go on.
When Eun-Seok shows up at work the next day, there’s a new case to work on – a gang rape case. However, the boy in charge of this is called Hwang In-Jun and Eun-Seok has history with this boy. She’s shocked, and stumbles backwards from the table, eventually passing out.
The Episode Review
So it seems like Eun-Seok’s past is coming back to haunt her and maybe now we might actually get some clarity over what’s happening with her and what’s shaken her to take such a cold stance to juvenile cases.
However, this episode also shows that there aren’t always happy endings to cases. In fact, Geun-Hee’s cold, impassioned look at cases and trying to speed through them is indicative of everything wrong with the law, although to be fair evidence is obviously the most important part of gaining a conviction.
Seeing Do-Seok stuck in a coma and all these kids cheering and shaking hands, managing to get away without so much as community service, is a sickening outcome. Could Mi-Ju come forward and admit what’s happened? Even if she doesn’t, she’ll have to carry the guilt of what she’s done for the rest of her life.
Although perhaps a tad overlong, Juvenile Justice continues to deliver decent drama, with a really shocking and well written episode.
|You can read our full season review of Juvenile Justice here!