Sob. Is this supposed to be a good-bye?
Yay for redemption! Muahahahahaha. This drama has taken the forgiveness scenario to its next level in such an endearing way that I can’t help but loving it this super duper much.
My song for today might be the most personal choice for my recaps. If you’ve seen The Classic, you know that this song is invariably related to the rain. That’s the vibe I got from this episode: rainy. Like, you’re happy with the refreshing water, but the dark clouds and wet weather make you a bit sad and melancholic. Or perhaps it was just that I was in some bipolar state of mind when I watched this. Also, the lyrics are appropriate, so it was such a win-win situation, that I had to use it.
SONG OF THE DAY
Deli Spice – Me to you, you to me [Download]
No, kaedejun, since he’s the culprit, they were no lies. But wait, it’s not what you’re thinking! The story is as follows…
Fifteen years ago, Ma Sang-tae had his company in a proto-stage, and wanted to expand it no matter what. He was handling a redevelopment project when they encountered some problems with the victims of the demolition. Dong-geun was in charge of the negotiations, but he had no good news for Sang-tae: those people wouldn’t settle, even when they got paid (after being paid, the redevelopment was approved, so they wanted more money). Since In-woo’s father was kind hearted, he couldn’t see Yoo Myung-woo’s (victims’ representative) manipulative strategies. It seems like Mr. Yoo was no clean weed, he had charges for assault; so Sang-tae wonders why Mr. Seo can’t handle such a punk. Yoo Myung-woo was in for corruption and shady deals, using both the people and the company.
And here we got the real link between the crime and that politician. Which was… Non existent! He was Sang-tae’s political connection for business purposes, and Myung-woo’s strategy to request for money: exposing to the media that relation would damage their public image. That’s why Sang-tae complied and went to the demolition site with that briefcase. Then… BAM! Stupid Myung-woo mentions that he had no real evidence of that hidden connection, so yeah, Sang-tae says, in other words, goodbye, crazy bastard, see you in hell! Myung-woo’s second mistake leads to his death: he starts a fight for the money, he chokes Sang-tae who in return pushes him, slips and in a second, he was a corpse (he hit his head with a rock). Terrified, Ma Sang-tae leaves the crime scene (bad CSI work here!).
Hye-ri is shocked. Was it an accident, dad? He tells her that if all of this had been kept undiscovered, he would’ve died with the secret. Hye-ri protests – it was an accident, he should’ve confessed and an innocent person wouldn’t have died. Sang-tae didn’t want to lose what he had achieved, so he lied when he found out that Dong-geun had been arrested. He says that he’ll confess, but he wants her to go abroad to protect her from being humiliated because of his mistake. No studying abroad, please, we have our share of clichés complete with the wrist grabbing!
Sang-tae: Do you think I’m admitting this because I’m scared of a newbie prosecutor like you?
He tries to hide his real motives, but his face tells he’s really suffering from this.
The moment in which Ae-ja enters the scene includes hardcore crying from Hye-ri, Sang-tae saying that he’ll confess and that he’ll tell the good news to In-woo. Not fun at all. Ae-ja faints.
Meanwhile, In-woo is washing the dishes when he remembers both his mother’s and Hye-ri’s mother’s love for him. That’s it. His growing guilt is making him realize that Ae-ja is as kind as his mother was, and it’s just as unfair to destroy her life as it was for his mum.
Back to fainted Ae-ja, she’s now asking if the fact that they have broken up and that he’s with a new woman means that he’s some kind of player (LOL). When blood starts going through her brain again, she has the revelation: Seo In-woo is an innocent victim of these unfortunate events.
After this hard family evening, Hye-ri exits her house and has a touching hallucination. She sees teenager In-woo’s spirit, which has been haunting this house since the muffin incident. She asks if he’s hungry; he is.
Hye-ri: To you, I offered a muffin and you didn’t eat it. If I knew it was like this… If I had known why you were standing here… I would’ve told my dad myself. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry… But you, why didn’t you tell me? “Your father’s Ma Sang-tae, right? Your father killed someone and framed my father for it. So don’t brag to me by offering muffins. It’s despicable!” Why didn’t you say that?
At this point, we all know that In-woo is a stalker, but his real presence there surprised me. His timing is always excellent!
In-woo (voiceover): Because I thought you would cry. If I saw you cry, I felt that I wouldn’t be able to hold it and cry as well.
Then, he just goes away.
Park Ae-ja is completely shaken by In-woo’s real story and motives for pretending to like Hye-ri. Ma Sang-tae plays the unworried guy, but Ae-ja can’t stand it – he killed a person! He defends himself saying that it wasn’t on purpose.
Now it’s In-woo’s time to show us his perfect timing skills AGAIN! Hye-ri arrives to that apartment complex and calls In-woo, who happens to be… YES! Right behind her, but in no mood for cute playing moments, he just hangs up and asks what’s up. Onto the forceful kiss spot to talk a bit, then!
Hye-ri: I’m sorry, Lawyer Seo. No… Mr. Seo In-woo. I’m sorry. Because of my father, your father, in my father’s stead, was framed for a crime and suffered. I’m sorry.
Really formally (why? Guilt makes you go formal?), Hye-ri informs that her father admitted committing the crime. He can see she’s trembling, but she continues with what she was saying – it wasn’t on purpose and she believes her father. These are unknown facts for In-woo which make him look puzzled. So, in brief words, the scenery that Sang-tae’s confession for assault leaves is this: either,
- It’s proved that it was actually assault in which case, as the limitation statue has already run, he’d go free as a bird. Or,
- It can’t be proved that it was assault, and he’ll be charged for murder. In this case, he’ll receive a jail sentence of 7-15 years.
Next day, messy Ae-ja breaks into Hye-ri house and starts hitting and shouting and crying and stuff you do when your life is crumbling. It’s so sad to watch this, they’re both going through an extremely hard period in their lives, and as of now they have no exit, no choice, no nothing but to see a dark future approaching fast.
And it’s the third chance for In-woo show us his timing in this episode. It’ll turn out to be enlightening and crucial for future developments! He was passing by with a bowl of bloodwine or something, when he saw the girls fighting. He doesn’t intervene though, he just listens to Ae-ja’s reprimands for Hye-ri’s investigation. What kind of daughter doesn’t take her caring father’s side? Sang-tae wants them to go abroad quickly before all of this is known and Hye-ri to quit her job. Why didn’t she ask In-woo to let it go? Why didn’t she beg for it? Oh, God, Ae-ja looks so out of control.
Hye-ri: I wanted to! Do you know how much I wanted to? I wanted to ask him to forgive my father. But when I saw his face, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t possibly say anything.
Ae-ja: It’s because you like him, right? That’s why you’re taking his side, aren’t you?
Hye-ri: It’s not like that, mum. It’s because I know. Because of dad, he… I know how he lived, I know what he lost. Without a mother… without a father… 15 years.
Ae-ja comes back to her senses; she now understands how her daughter suffered because of this situation, of her newly found love and her father’s mistake. But, what about them now? What will Ae-ja do? Hye-ri will quit being a prosecutor and will defend her father as a lawyer. Crying, they merge in one heartbreaking hug.
That must hurt, uh, In-woo? He has quietly listened to their conversation, he has seen them breaking into a million pieces and is hesitating. Is this what he wanted in the first place? Is this what his father wanted? To see this family like this? Something is his plan went terribly wrong. It’s not in the plan itself, it’s not the investigation or the facts. While being so concentrated on facts, he forgot about the feelings, both his and his victim’s.
Uuf, if you had your heart overwhelmed by this heavy moment, here’s your refreshment stop, featuring Jung-sun and Se-joon. Jung-sun finally has embraced her womanly attractiveness, and is using beauty creams. Cute. Her mum and Se-joon’s daughter have taken away all of her clothes and left just a uniform with a skirt. Woot! She has no choice, she either goes with the skirt or a jean.
Jung-sun: A jean? I’m not Prosecutor Ma.
Okay, she doesn’t want to carpool with Se-joon, and we get a glimpse of extreme puritanism here! It’s not even a mini skirt, prosecutor Jin! Come on! Bin has warned her father about this skirt issue, leaving Jung-sun no place to hide: she has to go with him. Se-joon says that her legs are pretty, but her walking style sucks, embarrassing her so much that she slips and he has to take her in his arms… Aaawwww. They were made for each other, weren’t they?
At the office everyone is surprised, and Hye-ri is super happy for her!
Refreshment stop is over. Now, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s continue our journey.
In-woo is missing in action. Jenny, in panic, grabs some documents from his desk, which’ll end up in Hye-ri’s boss’ hands.
Where was our wounded boy? By the lakeshore with those cleats. He asks repeatedly “Father, what should I do?”. I’ll take only the importance of this scene for his next steps in the story and move on. See, I’m not digging In-woo’s melodramatic scenes. Give me some smiles and I’m sold, pal!
Hye-ri allllmmmmoooossttt resigns but hell, no! She’ll continue there, she’ll fight. When she goes out, she remembers her mentally younger days, while she was innocent and outrageous, with her car and style. She’s about to irk me with more melodramatic stuff but In-woo’s magical appearance saves the day. He’s happy now, and carrying food! She tells him that they’re no longer in the position to be able to eat together (boooooo!!!) but he promises good news if she has lunch with him (yaaaay!!!)
They go to the Se-joon’s sandwich scene spot.
Hye-ri: Do you by chance get sick or a fever if you don’t get to do what you want?
It took you 15 episodes to realize that, sweetheart!?
Hye-ri: The same spot and the same sushi. You insisted that we come here.
He wanted to vent his frustration. Ha-ha-ha. Onto the good news, smart guy! We’re dying here! She’s avoiding his eyes, his words and their current confusing situation, so he pushes her wondering if they can’t talk like common people anymore. When she finally looks at him, he tells her to stop seeing each other (Are you joking? You call this good news??!!). He’s not finished, he proposes to cover up the case, he knows that it’ll be difficult to prove that it was assault whether he believes in her father or not.
Too late to retreat, Lawyer Seo. Those documents have reached The Boss’ hands with Jenny’s note.
Jenny’s note: A current prosecutor’s father is linked to a murder case from 15 years ago. There’s a risk of concealment, so please reinvestigate the case carefully. Enclosed are materials and evidence related to the case.
In-woo, after arriving to his office, asks Jenny to book an airplane ticket. What? Jenny is like, MAD AT YOU, BOY, but he claims to be sick of Korea. They go to their fancy balcony, where a sick-of-this Jenny expresses her skepticism regarding Sang-tae’s story. In-woo tells her that he’s proved himself to be a caring father and a man who keeps promises, they might have been wrong in their judgment. Is he wishing her, the girl who was by his side, to gleefully accept this New Forgiving In-woo? Because she won’t, she worries about his father’s innocence. New Forging In-woo is actually caring about Sang-tae, who might not be able to prove that it was assault but an homicide. Why is he so important?
In-woo: He’s Hye-ri’s father.
BANG! He’s sure his father wouldn’t want him to live like this, there’s no one in the world who would want the person they love to suffer in misery – his heart would be in pain.
In-woo: Putting Hye-ri’s father in front of the court with my own hands, with my own hands making Hye-ri quit being a prosecutor, with my own hands shaking up the lives of her entire family and turn around… The rest of my life… I don’t have the confidence to live it properly.
At this point I was literally shouting at the screen. WAY TO GO, IN-WOO! WOOOO! You wanted redemption, here you go, world! The redeemed hero style will never get tiresome. Jenny doesn’t see it that way, though, and looks pissed by New Forgiving In-woo’s pussy attitude.
Feeling a bit confused by In-woo’s constant changes of mood (now I want revenge, now I don’t, now I kiss you, now I pass by as a stranger, now hate me, now don’t), Hye-ri is trying to understand what the hell is going on when… DING DONG. Jenny is here! And she’s not for a tea party.
The girl’s chat ends as it starts: as a disaster of godzillistic proportions. Jenny’s theory is that Hye-ri told In-woo that she liked him in order to weaken his resolution to clear his father’s name. She doesn’t understand her straightforward personality and tells her that she dislikes her. Hye-ri becomes frustrated but then Jenny drops da bomb: In-woo is returning to America empty handed because of her, because of his love for her. But then, what has Hye-ri lost? She is in the same position than before (technically speaking, of course. Her spirits are destroyed, but Jenny is no psychologist), while In-woo gave up everything to go to Korea.
Jenny has a point. I get what she’s saying and I somewhat agree. In-woo has done some nasty stuff, but that doesn’t change the fact that his father died and he spent all of his life thinking about that, enduring lot of hardships while she was having an easy life. I just can’t hate Jenny, she still sees through Old Revengeful In-woo’s point of view.
In-woo is packing, Hye-ri calls him and they meet. Hye-ri makes this proposal: she’ll help him prove that his father was innocent if he proves that the death was accidental. Will she report the case regardless of the suffering it’ll cause her? She doesn’t care; she has to help him – why would he forget about his father’s innocence? Well, he has finally left his father in the past, while hers is still alive and means everything for her; he can’t do it, he doesn’t want to have this pinch in his conscience throughout his lifetime.
Hye-ri: If that’s how it is for you, it’s worse for me. Way worse.
In-woo: Don’t be foolishly sympathetic and just close your eyes to it.
They start a “I’ll hate myself more” game: me; not, me; me; not, me, etc. Eventually, she changes the focus, and tells him that if they let this go, she’ll never be able to love her father, enjoy her clothes, job or shoes like she does. Her only strength for doing this crazy investigating-my-father thing, is her confidence in Ma Sang-tae. If that’s the truth, it’ll be proved no matter what (Hello, girl, you’re talking to the guy who lost his father due to lousy CSI people). The irony that his father’s truth wasn’t discovered pops up in the conversation, but it had to do with her father lies, so it should be different now.
So, IT’S ON! She informs her family. At first, Sang-tae doesn’t believe his daughter’s commitment to the case, but then, when Ae-ja comments how awesome In-woo is, he tells her that his daughter is better. HA!
At Hye-ri’s house gate, In-woo is waiting for her. He accepts her request, she’s grateful and I’m craving some law bonding moments!
Informing time hasn’t ended, now it’s time for her to give this news to her boss. He thinks she’s crazy or is being threatened – reopening a 15 years old case? He doesn’t know if this is a good or a bad thing, and was pondering upon it after receiving evidence on it. Uhm, what? Hye-ri is rightfully surprised.
Ma Sang-tae is discussing this matter with Director Min when In-woo arrives. No, Lawyer Seo In-woo, he’s here as a referral from Ma Hye-ri.
Okay, ridicule to the nth degree and I’M LOVING IT.
Sang-tae: Is this a generation gap or are you two cool because you’re young? You and Hye-ri, how are there such people?
Yes, they’re cool. Cool and young. Like diet coke and mentos, an explosive combination.
Ma Sang-tae doesn’t understand a thing – weren’t they supposed to be enemies or is he reading the wrong script? In-woo tells him that he’s not happy doing this, but Hye-ri and him made this crazy agreement to save both fathers and he’s the one who knows the case as the palm of his hand (perhaps even more than Sang-tae himself), so it’s logical for him to be Sang-tae’s lawyer (also because he luuuurrrrvveeesss her and can’t bear her pain). Everything will be cool from Sang-tae’s side as long as In-woo remembers their previous “leave my daughter” promise. In-woo will remember it, he’s Dong-geun’s son.
They must talk about the case now, and In-woo has an interesting question – how did Sang-tae know that Dong-geun was arrested when it wasn’t reported in the newspapers? Could it be that who helped him was… Congressman Kim? So, his connection to this case existed, after all, but it was one of concealment, not murder. Sang-tae tells In-woo that he called him that same night and told him everything that had happened.
Prosecutor’s office is on fire. Jung-sun and Se-joon are paired to handle Mr. Ma’s case. They go to Hye-ri and face this situation: while Jung-sun is a bit uncomfortable, Se-joon is his old stiff self affirming that he’ll do what it takes to find the truth.
When In-woo arrives home, twister Hye-ri greets him with a whole lot of questions about his meeting with her dad. He tells her to go in and chat, but she asks if he took notes, since she can’t look at the case’s files. She can ask Prosecutor Jin to let her take a look at the files! Hey, girl, you’re annoying the hell out of me! There’s no need to look at those files according to In-woo, being this nervous won’t help her! WHO IS NERVOUS? MEEE?? MEEEEE????
They go to his house, but it’s awfully empty! He’s been packing, you know (sob), so they can use it as an office. There’s a box on a table containing all of the files, his drawings copying the photos, notes; everything related to the crime, organized by him.
In-woo: This is the kind of scary, meticulous, persistent person I am.
That’s not what she was thinking, she was actually touched by the fact that he’s doing all this for her. Tough boy won’t admit it, let’s stop with the sentimental crap and get to work!
Law bonding moment! Even when succeeding in this case will mean that he has to leave her for good, I liked how they worked together. They’re two smart people who have personal interests in this case as an added bonus, so the energy they irradiate while discussing the details is really intense.
They have two goals in this investigation: one, to prove that her dad didn’t mean to kill that person, and two, to prove that Yoo’s dead was due to assault. There’s no proof supporting Sang-tae’s version, and they need Congressman Kim’s testimony, but he won’t do it since corruption is involved. Hye-ri must find the way to make him talk. In-woo expresses surprise – the little girl is growing up! That remark will trigger Hye-ri’s memory, when the boss mentioned that the case had been reported, and makes her wonder…
Hye-ri: By any chance… Doing this with me right now, it’s not a revenge plot or something, right?
In-woo (frustrated): WHAT?
Slap in the face, bro! This chick still has some doubts about your honesty.
Hye-ri tries to correct herself, saying that it’s not that she suspects him, but something strange happened. And you know that strange equals to Seo In-woo. He admits that he did dirty tricks before so it’s natural for her to suspect him, but this time, he’s sincerely helping. He asks what’s going on, she won’t tell him and instead, continues with the case… There’s breach in your hull, In-woo. He senses it and proposes a break.
They drink beer on a bench and cheer each other up. You know? This scene was the cloudy one for me. They’re going through so much pain, and even when they get along this well (now that he’s not being a stalker and has left his revenge path), they are conscious that this case might be the end for their relationship. You get that melancholic feeling right here, on the bench, drinking beer (or whatever they’re drinking).
Meanwhile, Se-joon and Jung-sun are interrogating Ma Sang-tae, who denies having killed Mr. Yoo. As for the witnesses confessing, it’s funny because they didn’t want to talk before, and then they confessed for In-woo’s sake. Now, the tables have turned, and their statements go against him. Store lady says that she saw blood stains all over Sang-tae’s pants; Man-chul, who also saw those stains, admits having lied about the alibi and receiving the land; and finally, Mr. Shin says that he saw Ma Sang-tae leaving the scene, but that he had paid his hospital bills and gave him the briefcase with the money, so he left everything as it was.
There’s a prosecutor’s meeting to talk about the progress of the case. While they can’t prove that it was an assault, they can’t prove it was a murder, either. Se-joon thinks that, given that the statute of limitation is almost run and they have no time for a proper research, they should go for murder and decide later in court. The fake alibi, the running out, the constant lies, are all incriminating factors. But then, any frightened person would do the same thing! Furthermore, they have no substantial proof that it was murder, according to Min-suk. Since the prosecutors are divided, they decide to vote. But they don’t have a final result, Jung-sun is unsure and doesn’t vote.
Congressman Kim is visited by In-woo, who’s in need of a testimony.
The news of Sang-tae’s case has reached the media, and the construction company’s deals are being cancelled, just like the creditors want their money back. You can sense that something is on the verge of disaster when the lights ain’t on. Oh, noes!
Will we get to see the sun after the clouds go away, kaedejun, pretty please?
Is it there something to say but that this episode was exclusive property of redemption? In fact, we didn’t get much more than that. Still, I’m happy with the way everything is wrapping up. While it’s extremely bizarre to watch In-woo defending his enemy (!!!!!!!!), this ridiculous detail was pointed out in the drama and was resolved satisfyingly: he’s stopped thinking about himself and his justice plan, he’s started to think from another people’s point of view. Hye-ri has become so important to him, that he’s now following her around and helping her with all his heart to clear up the mess he provoked. Another crucial issue is that he’s bumped into an uknown reality: the Ma’s are kind people. His plan was perfect until he started to be aware of that detail; it would’ve been easy for him if Ma Sang-tae was that classic despicable father who does everything to be powerful and control everyone’s life. Sang-tae is indeed a pitiful person, burdened by a hard childhood and his desire for a comfortable life for his daughter.
It’s strange how forgiveness is portrayed in this drama. I mean it in a good way, of course. The changes in the characters are believable, and that probably has something to do with the fact that there are no bad, evil, spiteful, crazy people here; they’re all willing to forgive others more than themselves. They all have felt guilt throughout their lives, and some are even now not letting go of their mistakes. That guilt, the same one that kept them stuck in the past, is their redeeming factor. In-woo has finally understood that his father wouldn’t have liked what he was doing; Ma Sang-tae has realized that what he did was wrong, even when he didn’t kill anyone; Hye-ri has seen In-woo’s suffering and can feel the unfair pain he had to endure while she had a somewhat happy and careless life. In their own ways, they’ve found the path to redemption through individual forgiveness. They can move on and face whatever comes because they have faith in each other. That’s why the bench scene was so powerful, too. In-woo and Hye-ri are meeting again, as honest people with no regrets, and need to reassure that everything will be okay. It’s so sad seeing this because they know that this case might mean their end, but they don’t retreat, they have to continue exploring this refreshing feeling of “nothing concealed”.
As for the crime, while I had thought about some crazy conspiracy (I’m a sucker for crazy conspiraciiiieeeesssss), it’s a relief that it turned out to be a lame accident. Even when it’s lame. If Ma Sang-tae would’ve had the murderer psychology, a happy, law bonding ending would’ve been surreal, when not impossible. The fact that Ma Sang-tae went from strict, cold businessman to broken inside guy said a lot of things about his character and helped me to understand why he did what he did (also, his redemption is more believable in this scenario). He’s extremely insecure, and doesn’t respect himself. He lives for his daughter and couldn’t allow himself to destroy her future, so he had to do it, he had to hide everything. Dong-geun wasn’t even in his plans, he was an unfortunate man who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Generally, the final 4 episodes of dramas tend to be draggy or boring or rushed. In many cases, the angst grows so stupidly fast, that it spoils the entire series. I found these last three episodes both fast paced and quiet. Quite a contradiction, isn’t it? Well, just as we’re reaching the end (sob), we get the best part of the story. The definitive growing ends here, in episode 15, especially In-woo’s, who’s stopped thinking like a teenager and now is able to get a full picture not so self-centered. All of the main leads have discovered themselves and are ready for some final adventures.
Now that everything is slowly going to its place and justice is in its way, I need my happy ending, okay? Give me my happy ending full of trees, cutey rabbits and colorful rainbows. Our couple deserves it.
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 14
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 13
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 12
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 11
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 10
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 9
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 8
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 7
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 6
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 5
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 4
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 3
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 2
- Prosecutor Princess: Episode 1
- Cinderella, Prosecutor, Taste: First episode impressions