The Devil Judge – K-Drama Episode 5 Recap & Review

Right & Wrong

Episode 5 of The Devil Judge begins with Yo-Han suffering from another nightmare, this one involving similar flames and Isaac standing over him. Bolting upright, it now becomes clear that Ga-On looking similar to Isaac is reason enough for him to show disdain toward the young lawyer. Despite this, Yo-Han agrees to let him back onto the bench.

Minister Cha shows up at the prison, where the flogging is still underway for her son. She keeps up an icy facade for all those in attendance though, playing up the role of minister well. A single tear betrays her, especially when she sees the state of Young-Min’s back. She encourages the officer in attendance to take good care of him and leaves.

Kyung-Hee attends a TV interview where pictures of Young-Min’s injuries are broadcast out. Kyung-Hee originally claims that this punishment is just but when she struggles to hold back her emotion, the public sentiment seems to turn.

When Yo-Han finds out, he turns his attention to the Dream House project. He’s dead-set on hitting the Foundation right where it hurts. Meeting his contact out in the parking lot, unbeknownst to him someone on a motorbike happens to be listening from afar.

Elsewhere, Ga-On and Soo-Hyun continue to investigate the past. Soo-Hyun learns that the names of those who were present at the fire have actually been covered up. Regardless of what’s happened though, Soo-Hyun reminds him that no actions can remain unpunishable by the court.

Another day, another live court case; Judge Ga-On is back and presented as a celebrity. Speaking of which, the culprit here is Seok-Hoon, a celebrity who abused his power to sexually abuse girls. The prosecution suggest he be given 20 years in prison and be treated to remove all sexual impulses. In other words, they want him to be physically castrated. It’s immoral but the rapturous applause across the courtroom seems to hint otherwise.

All of this though is a ploy to make Yo-Han look bad. Whether he agrees to this or not, he’s going to be placed in a difficult situation so for now, he decides to go over the statements and take a recess.

While Ga-On and Elijah play outside with the cat, Yo-Han awakens and overhears them together. It’s a brief segment, but one that soon paves way for him heading out for breakfast with Jung-Ho. En-route, he notices a flashy motorcycle outside. It could well be the same motorbike as the one from the parking lot.

Anyway, he doesn’t dwell on this too much as they go for food. After though, Ga-On notices the kids “playing” outside and imitating the flogging. Online, there’s a whole swarm of people on both sides of the argument too. Yo-Han notices this and contemplates just what to do next.

The court resumes and the arguments continue on both sides of the debate. Jin-Joo even speaks up and mentions her neighbourhood and upbringing. It definitely throws the prosecution off their game while Ga-On remains quiet.

Yo-Han charges Seok-Hoon with 20 years in prison but tellingly doesn’t allow the castration to go ahead. Ga-On is shocked and watches as Yo-Han walks away. Now, this entire scene is actually a fake-out dream sequence, and although the real court does come to the same agreement, the sentencing is a little different.

Seok-Hoon is tasked with attending a site that specializes in rehabilitating sex offenders. This means he’ll be exported off to Texas, which explains Elijah’s earlier spat while on the phone. This prison is full of offenders and they all express the same deviance that Seok-Hoon once did on his victims. It’s clever, and something that completely catches the Foundation off-guard.

That evening, Yo-Han receives a note encouraging him to meet down by the docks. When he shows though, Yo-Han is knocked out by that motorcycle rider. He awakens chained to a chair, as Sun-A shows up and berates him. She calls him pretty and suddenly kisses him on the mouth. Yo-Han doesn’t kiss back though, as he remains frozen on the spot.

The Episode Review

Well that wasn’t sexual harassment at its finest! Sun-A planting a big old kiss on Yo-Han was incredibly uncomfortable and if it was any more awkward we’d be looking at a Sisyphus: The Myth scenario.

Away from that though, The Devil Judge continues to deliver intriguing drama, this week turning the focus to audience perception regarding physical abuse. If anyone has ever browsed social media after someone has been arrested, you’ll know how vicious and outright twisted some of these comments can be.

I remember reading one a few months back where this guy was arrested for domestic violence. One of the comments suggested he be tied down and have acid slowly dripped on his head along with needles in his fingers. The comment had over 100 likes.

The point is, these sort of punishments may sound just on paper but they also bring up a much wider discussion around morality and whether violence justifies cruelty and torture. The Devil Judge tackles that head on  and while it’s not quite as thought provoking and deep as it could be, the show does do well to play with these ideas.

It’s also clear that Yo-Han’s past has more than a few skeletons hiding in the closet and the ending hints that we’ll starts to see more of those released over the upcoming weeks. For now though, The Devil Judge bows out with another solid episode.

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