Why Her – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Episode 1

Episode 1 of Why Her starts with police sirens blaring outside a law firm as an envelope is seen laying on the ground signed with the name of Lawyer Oh Soo-jae. A woman dressed in white walks to the restroom. This woman is Oh Soo-jae who wipes drops of blood off her face, exiting the building barefoot, discarding her heels in the trash. 

The next scene opens with Song Mi-rim at the TK Law Firm office who reprimands the attorneys at the firm calling them out for sending incorrect reports that she is left to correct on their behalves.

In his cabin, Lawyer Choi Tae-kook is joined by lawyers Min Young-bae and Oh Soo-jae. Assemblyman Lee In-soo calls Tae-kook but the Lawyer declines the call. Just as Tae-kook is getting seated, he asks the two lawyers to discuss the case of Hansu Bio. 

Assemblyman Lee In-soo barges into the room reprimanding Tae-kook for ignoring his calls. Soo-jae makes for the exit and gestures for Young-bae to leave too but the Assemblyman asks Soo-jae to stay behind. 

In the conference room, Soo-jae, Mi-ram, Assemblyman In-soo, and his aide gather. In-soo narrates an event from the assembly meeting where he was caught joking about common people being extremely poor and destitute with his microphone on. 

Back to present time, Lawyer Soo-jae asks In-soo to apologize but he insists that he was only mumbling to himself. Soo-jae shows In-soo a video of the masses protesting against In-soo’s comment as he is running for President. 

The Assemblyman asks Soo-jae for her advice on what his next steps should be when the lawyer reveals a hidden recorder where the protester can be heard trying to manipulate In-soo’s situation to get a house for himself.

Soo-jae uses her connections to convince the protestor to back down and asks Assemblyman In-soo to apologize to the public. Back in his cabin, partner-lawyer Young-bae is on a call with his wife, Professor Jung Hee-young to whom he states that he will be promoted as the managing partner of his firm soon.

In the meeting room, Soo-jae, Mi-rim and the associates prepare for the trial of the chemical factory – Hansu Bio, and that of a young boy, Yang Ji-ho. On the day of the trial, Soo-jae leads the Hansu Bio case by claiming that the witness Cho Moon-yong had been lying about the air pollution emission data with photos as proof.

After a short recess, the court is back in session when Soo-jae begins to examine why exactly Yang Ji-ho fell ill. Soo-jae claims the reason for Ji-ho falling ill was not related to the Hansu Bio-Chemical Industry. Ji-ho’s mother interrupts the case and tries to gain public sympathy from the courtroom audience. 

Outside, Mi-rim is seen rushing to the courtroom on a bike with a file in her hand. At the session in court, the plaintiff’s attorney claims that it was the chemical pollutants from the factory that had caused little Ji-ho to develop a pulmonary illness.

Mi-rim enters the courtroom and hands the document to Soo-jae. Soo-jae presents the medical reports as evidence in court. The lawyer claims to read out a certificate that states Ji-ho’s illness and the chemical emissions from Hansu Bio had no correlation whatsoever. 

After the plaintiff argues that the reports could not be held accountable, Soo-jae mentions that it was Ji-ho’s doctor that signed the report. Soo-jae then asks for Ji-ho to be escorted out of the room as she had something important to reveal. The plaintiff protests and Soo-jae reveals that Ji-ho was adopted.

Soo-jae adds that the plaintiff and his family were abusing their adoptive children and were trying to generate a profit. The plaintiff’s lawyer asks for evidence to be presented and just as Soo-jae is about to hand it over to the judges, Ji-ho’s father claims it to be fake.

While in court, Ji-ho’s mother starts assaulting him in front of the judges. Soo-jae wins the case on behalf of Hansu Bio. On the way out, one of the three associate attorneys asks Soo-jae how she knew Ji-ho was adopted. The associates get a lesson on how they should see the unseen in any trial case.

The next day Soo-jae enters the office and the board members talk about Soo-jae’s attitude when she was a rookie associate. At the meeting, Tae-kook and the board members gather to vote for the next managing partner of TK Firm. The board members claim that their vote is for Young-bae and claim that Soo-jae should not be considered for the position as she did not attend college and was a woman.

Next, the partner attorneys are in the conference room discussing their recent cases and attorney Young-bae wishes to take up a different case than Hansu Groups. At the same time, Tae-kook is in a meeting with Assemblyman In-soo and Hansu group’s chairman, Han Sung-beom. The three talk about considering Young-bae to be the managing partner for TK Firm. 

Soo-jae secretly calls Tae-kook, their boss, and exposes Young-bae for taking bribes from the other case parties. She states that she will be taking over the Hansu Group cases and Tae-kook agrees.

Next, Soo-jae is in the conference room with Hansu Group’s Han Ki-taek. She alleges that some documents on the case file had been missing. Soo-jae signals Mi-rim who sends a message to men who drop by at Hansu Group’s office unannounced behind their backs and collect all their documents without permission. 

Ki-taek gets a call from the office and he rushes back to his office along with his team. Mi-rim claims that Ki-taek’s attitude means that he certainly is guilty to which Soo-jae states it is public knowledge that he is guilty of breach of duty and embezzlement. 

At Tae-kook’s meeting with the Hansu group chairman, the firm owner claims that he had the situation under control but Assemblyman In-soo panics about something related to the cruise. Tae-kook states that he would be promoting Soo-jae as the managing partner so as to avoid her from becoming disloyal to the firm. 

The same evening, at a Women Lawyer’s ball, the female attorneys talk badly about Soo-jae making it as a managing partner by exploiting the Hansu Group case. One woman congratulates Soo-jae. As she is conversing with the female attorneys, Hee-young, the wife of Young-bae sarcastically calls Soo-jae out for kicking her husband out of the Hansu Group case. 

Soo-jae diffuses the situation by bringing up Hee-young’s private life. Soo-jae moves to an empty room and is greeted by SP Partner’s CEO Yoon Se-pil who claims that he has a tip on Hansu Group and states that Soo-jae must find it out. 

The next day, Soo-jae enters the office and is seen wearing the same pair of heels and a white dress from the beginning of the episode. Mi-rim congratulates her with a bouquet and jokes about how the entire office is shocked about Soo-jae’s achievement. 

Soo-jae is amused too and enters Tae-kook’s office. Tae-kook congratulates her and hands her a file for the case of Assemblyman An Kang-won that startles Soo-jae.

The firm owner explains that Kang-won was accused of rape by a female hostess – Park So-young. He informs Soo-jae that he has handled the issue with the Hansu Group chairman by keeping double-faces with the chairman.

Tae-kook asks her to treat him to a meal at a sashimi restaurant as Soo-jae leaves the room. Soo-jae and Mi-rim look into the documents about So-young when Kang-won calls Soo-jae.

Soo-jae declines the call and explains the case to Mi-rim. Mi-rim states that So-young could be the victim of rape but Soo-jae claims that she could also be doing this to extort money from the Assemblyman.

Kang-won calls Soo-jae again the lawyer meets the Assemblyman in his car in the parking lot. Kang-won claims that the allegations against him were untrue and that he was being framed. Soo-jae laughs and claims that his clean public image was all a hoax. 

Kang-won asks her why she dated him in the past and Soo-jae claims it was funny for her to see the Assemblyman spend money on her. She also brags about the heels she was wearing that Kang-won purchased for her. 

As his lawyer, Soo-jae asks him what he would like the result of the trial to be. Kang-won states that he wants to keep his political career alive. Soo-jae asks him to get on his knees and beg for Soo-jae to help him. He does so and Soo-jae asks him to pretend that they never met personally.

Soo-jae returns to the conference room and notices that So-young is wearing the same heels as her. Soo-jae asks So-young about the incident and the hostess claims that she was a victim. So-young yells at her lawyer for keeping silent and he states that they have Kang-won’s DNA to prove  So-young was raped. 

Soo-jae argues that this could also mean that both So-young and Kang-won had consensual intercourse. After So-young accuses Soo-jae of siding with a man, Mi-rim reveals a video of other hostesses talking about So-young’s tactics of luring men in the past.

So-young is enraged but Soo-jae further calls out the hostess by bringing up her family. So-young’s attorney tries his best to save her case but is beat by Soo-jae’s quick wit. Fearful of losing the case to Soo-jae, So-young threatens Soo-jae with suicide.

Mi-rim suggests that she thinks So-young was telling the partial truth and Soo-jae reminds her that Kang-won was their client. As all the attorneys are on their way home, Soo-jae is the last to leave. 

As she walks out of the lobby, a woman falls on a glass structure from the top of the TK Firm and building and gives up her life. Soo-jae is left shocked as she notices blood splattered on her dress. She goes closer to inspect the victim who is revealed to be So-young.

Soo-jae gets back home and takes a shower. She takes some pills and drinks wine trying to put herself to sleep as she gets nightmares about the incident. The lawyer is too shaken by the incident which is why she stays back home. 

When Soo-jae eventually makes it to work, she is swarmed by reporters who ask her about the incident. Soo-jae curtly dismisses the reporters by calling them out. At the board meeting, the attorneys ask Tae-kook to kick Soo-jae out as their reputation has severely been damaged because of her. 

At that time, Soo-jae walks in and calls out each of the attorneys for disregarding her hard work of years over the incident. She calls out each of the attorneys for their awful behavior toward her in the past and threatens to hurt anyone that would come after her.

Tae-kook is left thinking about what Soo-jae just said as she leaves. Meanwhile, at a local sea-food shop, Ku Zo-gab and So Hyung-chil treat their customers to a meal claiming that their boss got into law school.

Tae-kook and Soo-jae are at the same restaurant having sashimi. Tae-kook tries to belittle Soo-jae by stating that she should remain loyal to the firm like a dog is to a master. He then asks her to go on a break and teach one semester at Seojung University. 

Soo-jae declines the offer but Tae-kook orders her to take a break. Soo-jae asks if she was the one who asked So-young to kill herself but Tae-kook insists that she had died because of Soo-jae. Right at that moment, Gong Chan walks into the restaurant and accidentally drops a box of fish on Soo-jae’s feet.

Chan immediately apologizes to the two and Tae-kook says it was okay but an angry Soo-jae gets us to strike the restaurant owner across his face. Chan apologizes another time but the lawyer slaps him a second time. As she tries to strike him a third time, Chan grabs her wrist in order to stop her. 

Soo-jae leaves the restaurant in her car and drives off to a bridge as she sobs in her car. The lawyer looks outside her car as it rains. She remembers being carried on her father’s back across the beach as a child.

An older Soo-jae recalls the death of her father and remembers her father’s dream of hoping for her to become a good lawyer in the future. Later that night, Soo-jae drives herself to the hospital and Joon-hee visits her in the room hours later. Chae Joon-hee, who is Soo-jae’s doctor tells her that she needs to be careful as she has arrhythmia.

Soon after that, Chan runs into Sujeong Law School. Chan is the last to enter the class and is seated on the last seat with other low-scoring students and Choi Yoon-sang who is asleep. The Teaching Assistant is trying to get on a call with the professor but she is late. 

Other than Yoon-sang who is asleep and Chan who is busy studying, all other students are shocked to see Soo-jae as their teacher. Chan notices Soo-jae and is shocked as he recalls their last interaction as she writes her name on the chalkboard. 

A bemused Yoon-sang wakes up and notices Soo-jae wiring the phrase, “Never let my client end up in prison,” as she walks out of the class. A much younger Gong Chan who is wrongfully accused is visited by a younger Soo-jae in the prison. Soo-jae is his new lawyer and tries to reassure him that she believed in him.

Back to present time, Chan looks at the quote on the board and rushes out of the class to see Soo-jae who is on her way out. Chan watches her from afar and states that he has finally met her.

The Episode Review

Why Her is going to reveal a lot of nitty-gritty details about politicians and the rich people in the world. It is fun to see a female attorney take the role of a leading lawyer who more or less is responsible for the success of an entire male-dominated firm.

Oh Soo-jae is not a typical K-drama female lead in any way and it” be fun to see an unemotional character like hers falling in love with an ever-so-young Chan.

Gong Chan is not as young as he looks and it is evident he has been through a lot worse than he lets people see. He met Soo-jae as a young lawyer when he was wrongfully accused and it could be possible that she was responsible of saving his life.

Chan would be thankful of Soo-jae which is why he probably wished to become a lawyer himself. Choi Tae-kook is the owner of TK Firm but he seems like a manipulative man and it will not be a shocker when he is revealed to be the main villain of the show.

The first episode did not show much of Choi Yoon-sang but it seems like he could be related to Taekook and desired Soo-jae for that reason.

Next Episode

You can read our full season review of Why Her here!


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