A Powerful Voice
Episode 12 of Law School begins with Man-Ho grabbing Assemblyman Ko round the neck. Eventually he charges out the bathroom, hurrying down the hallways as Joon-Hwi follows.
Yang stays behind with Ko and tells him Man-Ho had absolutely no intention of killing him. Tellingly, Man-Ho falls down the stairs just like Seo did, prompting Joon-Hwi to catch up and ask him about the pen. The ex-convict remains frazzled and eventually leaves without saying anything.
Back in the courtroom, statements get underway for Ye-Seul’s case. Yang hands out images of Ye-Seul’s injuries for the jury and others in attendance to view.
He lifts his shirt and shows off a bruise of his own from Man-Ho, turning his attention to the jury and proving that Ye-Seul was hit harder than he was. Well, according to Yeong-Chang’s statement a mugger assaulted his girlfriend.
That’s not true of course, but he keeps up this pretense when they step out the car, hugging Ye-Seul and revealing that he’ll never do this again. It’s all for show and typical abuser behaviour to be honest. We know this guy is completely unhinged.
Next up is a very difficult statement from a doctor regarding whether Ye-Seul was a victim of rape. They continue to spill their thoughts, until Prosecutor Jin spins this into a mutually consensual video because of their own “sexual tastes” This prompts Yang to immediately spit his water all over him, apologizing and claiming he choked on the man’s bullsh*t. Wow.
In the room next door, Eun-Suk gives her statement and brings up the court case for Yeong-Chang. Specifically she mentions how Assemblyman Ko has hired Song, the child support evading lawyer, to represent his son.
That certainly doesn’t look good and it’s just the sort of scandalous news these journos are looking for. It sends them into an uproar and they hurry next door to the adjacent room.
Joon-Hwi takes to the witness stand and recalls his incident from that evening, including how he took Ye-Seul to the hospital. Prosecutor Bae is clever, and brings up how close they must have been for this to occur.
In fact, he steps straight into her trap as she mentions his unclear testimony and the statement he handed over to Ye-Seul. She spins this into a completely fabricated story about keeping her in check, with her fainting directly linked to Joon-Hwi rather than Yeong-Chang. It’s incredibly intense, and eventually sees Sol-A’s mother call for a recess.
During these 30 minutes, Joon-Hwi confronts Jin and tells him the new facts surrounding the case. He brings up the needle injection and the shoe size being 275 instead of 270 too. Jin refuses to accept these new facts and brushes it aside like it’s nothing.
Joon-Hwi continues to fight on with the other students though, teaming up to uncover exactly when Ye-Seul viewed the video for the first time. As court reconvenes, Joon-Hwi is told to reveal whom he has affection for in the group chat.
We don’t see that though, as the courtroom makes a big scene with Yeong-Chang brought in on his hospital bed to stir things up. Ye-Seul freezes and struggles to get her words out. In fact, she even tries running too.
This goes against her, and it’s worse when Yeong-Chang starts speaking about how she was cheating and how he’s a tragic victim. Ye-Seul is frozen in fear, and as Yeong-Chang passes out, he’s wheeled out in this low blow move to feign sympathy for this abuser.
In the wake of this, Yang stands up and decides to resign as Ye-Seul’s lawyer. He wants her to defend herself instead, and immediately pushes her to do just that.
The big point here comes from the text of “yeah” instead of “yes”. It’s not using honorifics and denotes closeness. “Not everyone gets angry when they’re shocked or when their pride is hurt” Prosecutor Bae says, and stops herself as she realizes Yang has referenced his own past relationship with her here. She’s stepped straight into this ironic statement and suddenly realizes why Ye-Seul hasn’t spoken up.
Yang tries to dehumanize the situation, using classroom methods to get Ye-Seul to open up and speak her truth. Eventually she does, with tears running down her cheeks as she speaks.
Adding to this is dashcam footage from the car nearby on the evening of this incident. Professor Yang actually figured out a bicycle had this footage. After hearing Ye-Seul’s statement, Ye-Beom hands the flash drive over to Prosecutor Jin.
The video is examined but the nature of this self-defence is sketchy. It’s difficult to tell. With court adjourned for the day, Yang heads home where Man-Ho happens to be waiting for him. His attack on Ko breaks on mainstream news, prompting him to hold the prosecutor up with a needle to his neck.
The Episode Review
Law School returns with its best episode of the season, a solid chapter that dives into the horrors of abuse and how difficult it is for victims of this to speak up in court.
Seeing Yeong-Chang paraded in front of the court is enough to throw Ye-Seul off her game as she remains frozen in place. Some people watching this will question just why she hasn’t been able to speak up but victims of abuse will tell you it’s not as easy as that.
While in a relationship of this nature you believe everything is okay. That it’s normal to be struck in the face or told that you’re worthless because they “love you” and this is normal behaviour.
It’s indoctrination in its most toxic form and abuse victims are made to feel like they’re the ones who have done something wrong. It’s not until Yang speaks to Ye-Seul in the third person, dehumanizing the situation and allowing Ye-Seul to actually have the confidence to speak, that we see the truth come tumbling out.
It’s a really powerful way of demonstrating this and Law School does a great job with this. It also seems like Man-Ho is going to become public enemy number 1 now after the pictures of him have spread, but this seems like an easy distraction from what else is going on.
So far Law School has been a bit of a mixed bag over the weeks. However, there’s no denying that this has been a brilliant chapter; a sobering, harsh reality-check and an excellent hour of drama. More of this please, Law School!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|