The Devil Judge – K-Drama Episode 4 Recap & Review

Family History

Episode 4 of The Devil Judge begins with the TV presenters buzzing over Yo-Han’s successful trial. The ratings are high and the backstage utterance of “we are a team” to Jin-Joo is the cherry on this satisfying cake. This also causes chaos for Young-Min, who finds himself reeling and unsure how to prepare for his next trial.

In the wake of all this, Kyung-Hee meets with Yo-Han and tries to encourage the judge to let up the relentless pursuit of his son. Well, Yo-Han gives her an ultimatum – he’ll let her son go if she admits the truth about a crooked case she was involved in 19 years back. Kyung-Hee tries ringing the Social Responsibility Foundation but comes up short – she’s on her own.

Back at the mansion, Elijah notices Ga-On in parts of the mansion, looking at family photos. After a particularly unpleasant meeting, Elijah discusses Yo-Han’s persona and how he’s putting on a front. She’s convinced that he’s hiding who he really is, and likens him to a cat hunting mice.

This plays on Ga-On’s mind that night, especially when he’s invited out to a big function with Yo-Han. This is hosted by thee Social Foundation where Ga-On meets Sun-A and various other representatives of the company. They’re all quite touchy-feely with him, taking photos and admiring his good looks.

Yo-Han saves his chaperone for this and meets a variety of high-powered men, including the President and Chairman. This function though is all for the Dream House project, which Sun-A is quick to speak up about as the function begins.

Jeong-Hak is introduced next, discussing benevolence which sees all these fat cats laughing. They obviously don’t care, and their play about the public is just a smokescreen. Now Ga-On can see this upfront and in all its ugliness.

Unhappy with his performance, Sun-A takes Jeong-Hak aside and strikes him across the ace. She forces him to repent by smacking his head repeatedly on the floor. She calls him a dog and forces him into submission.

Back at the party, Yo-Han laughs along with the others as they all revel in their corruption. Ga-On can only watch in disgust, taking a short recess to compose himself in the bathroom.

Outside, Sun-A waits for him and talks about the fire from those years back. She mentions how Yo-Han had cancelled the donation Isaac originally made and had a doctor’s note advising he was unable to make sound decisions.

Given his brother had just died, this seems like a pretty suspect move. It also casts even more doubts in Ga-On’s mind, especially late on when Yo-Han drives back and laughs maniacally after lurching to the side.

Kyung-Hee finds herself stuck in a difficult position and unsure how to deal with the rowdy crowds – and her son’s situation in court. Kyung-Hee has no choice but to hold an emergency press conference and tell the truth about what she was involved in all those years back.

The second live trial for Young-Min then begins but the defence take a different stance this time, bringing up Young-Min’s child psychology reports.

On the back of this, Yo-Han settles on the idea of… flagellation as a punishment! For those unaware, this means physical violence, which is pretty subjective. The public even unanimously vote in favour of 30 floggings. To top it all off, this is broadcast in front of the whole nation too.

This comes right off the back of Kyung-Hee’s statement, which sees the whole family go down for this. Even worse, as the Minister of Justice she’s the one who has to sign on the dotted line for this to go ahead.

Well, go ahead it does and it’s a difficult scene to watch. For some anyway. Others revel with every blow, applauding and cheering this new world order. Ga-On inevitably heads back to the mansion and confronts Yo-Han, calling him cruel and questioning him about Isaac.

We then cut back to the church fire. The fire spreads quickly, spewing out from the back and engulfing the place in flames. The Social Foundation guys are all there, including the chairman and Elijah too.

Isaac noticed the fire from afar and tried to head inside. All the others trampled over Elijah and the family, pushing them aside as they simply saved themselves.

Watching from the wings is Yo-Han, who’s forced to watch as Isaac sacrifices himself to save his sister in the wake of a flaming pillar falling on him.

Unable to move his brother, Yo-Han is forced to leave Isaac behind as he saves Elijah. The rage in his eyes is clear to see as all these horrible men and women sit around with hot drinks and blankets. Not one of them tried to help.

The Episode Review

The Devil Judge bows out with an excellent episode, one that finally shows just what Yo-Han is fighting for and the disdain he feels for the Social Responsibility Foundation.

The clever way he’s managed to embrace their culture while also sarcastically laughing along and enjoying their sick little games is something that hasn’t been initially clear until this final flashback.

Interestingly, the show has instead taken the perspective of Ga-On, as he slowly starts to piece together what happened in the past. The whole “Chinese whispers” game comes to mind here, as all these different helpers and neighbours have differing ideas about Yo-Han and believe he’s not being his true self.

Well, that much is true but it’s a much more positive message than one may be expecting. Yo-Han is  obviously torn up about the past and desperate to get revenge on those who have wronged him.

The methods themselves are still questionable though, especially Young Min’s uncomfortable public beating, but now Yo-Han’s motivations are clear to see. It certainly sets the rest of the season up for a lot of drama to come.

The Devil Judge has been an excellent watch so far and the ending hints that we’ve got lots more drama to come in the weeks ahead. For now, keep this one on your radar – Devil Judge could just be a dark horse contender of k-drama of the year!

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