The Devil Judge – K-Drama Episode 13 Recap & Review

Death in the Slums

Episode 13 of The Devil Judge begins with Yo-Han screaming to the heavens after K’s death. With Sun-A gleefully skipping away, he rings Soo-Hyun and asks for her help. Despite his best efforts, Yo-Han collapses on the ground breathing heavily. Of course, he’s injured too and eventually passes out.

Ga-On meanwhile, is saved from the ravenous horde of protestors in the district. Soo-Hyun shows up and saves him, bundling the kid into her car. However, the Foundation turn their attention to So-Yoon, injecting her and taking the girl away.

When Yo-Han returns home his heart sinks. Sun-A sits at the table with Elijah while her lackie discreetly shows off her gun. It’s a brief chat but one that gets the message across. Things just got a whole lot more personal.

Meanwhile, Ga-On and Soo-Hyun discuss the nature of the former’s ties with Yo-Han. As they hold hands, Ga-On leans forward and kisses his friend. Soo-Hyun gets freaked out though and leaves, frazzled after their kiss.

Speaking of frazzled, the whole country is turned upside down thanks to President Heo’s press conference. He sets up a 10pm curfew and emergency rescue attempts will be punished with the maximum sentence.

Ga-On knows this is a lie and approaches Judge Joo, who’s obviously the spokesperson for the Foundation. She refuses to believe this is all fake as Ga-On eventually leaves in frustration. Joo is intent on finding out the truth though and heads down to the slums herself. When she does, she sees the devastation gripping the streets and finally seems to understand.

Elsewhere, Yo-Han approaches Heo and implores him to stop everything. Heo scoffs at the notion, pointing out that the people who made Yo-Han also made him. It’s a stalemate in truth, although Yo-Han does hint that the live trial might be a viable option.

Heo plays him at his own game and decides to set up an emergency court for all things to do with the pandemic and current outbreak in the slums. And the judge? None other than Jin-Joo. Just to add insult to injury, she wants an inauguration where Yo-Han hands over the crown to her. Yo-Han isn’t exactly thrilled but he agrees to the terms nonetheless.

While Soo-Hyun continues to investigate, heading over to see a guy called Jung-Joseph, the judges all work together. After what Jin-Joo saw earlier on, she’s ready to work with them and take down the Foundation any way they can.

With a live stream set up, Yo-Han shows the truth of what’s really going on. Ga-On is even struck too, although all of this is captured on film. Soo-Hyun happens to see this and rushes to the scene. Choong-Sik is completely out of control, beating down a defenseless old man and leaving him a crumpled heap.

Heo eventually shuts off all the electricity to hide the broadcast, as the town is plunged into chaos. The app however, is still running, and the gang have the lights from their phone cameras. This is a metaphor, a way of showing that darkness will never beat light. And just like that, floodlights shine down on the slums to reveal the people are in unity with their cameras out.

When Soo-Hyun shows up she’s shot dead. Ga-On is shocked over how much her character has been wasted (as are we to be honest!) After professing her love to Ga-On, she collapses on the ground and passes away.

The Episode Review

The Devil Judge has really been a series of two halves. The first part of this show seemed to set itself up as a sort of spiritual successor to Taxi Driver. The live court trials were good, challenging ideas and producing some pretty clever commentary on the state of society. This second half though has sort of devolved down into more of a melodramatic revenge drama.

Now, there’s obviously nothing wrong with that and the show has undoubtedly been an enjoyable watch. Unfortunately Soo-Hyun’s character has been utterly wasted here. She set herself up as a competent detective early on but since then her arc has been pretty nonexistent. The only glimmer of development came from being with Ga-On but now that she’s dead, that’s over.

It could well be that the writers of this were torn between going the direction of a court drama and piling on the shocks and dramatic twists something like Vincenzo had in abundance. It’s still enjoyable but this episode does feel like we’re slipping further away from those live court trials into something else entirely. Will Soo-Hyun get his revenge?

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