The Good Wife: Episode 12
I don’t know how many times I can keep saying that this show just gets better and better (or how that’s even possible, considering how excellent it’s been since the first episode), but it does, and so here I am, saying it again. After all, sometimes bold statements like that are what’s needed in order to win a case — or a heart.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Myung-hee meets a tall, handsome, and charming stranger at an art gallery who seems more interested in her than any of the paintings. There’s definitely some reciprocal flirtation going on, and he invites her to dinner with him, hoping to spend some time with her before she finds out too much about him. She questions if his profession is legal, but, unfortunately, it is — he’s a process server, and he hands her a summons.
Lawyer Son meets with the M&J lawyers to discuss the pharmaceutical settlement. He offers $10 million to be distributed among the victims — provided M&J cancel their lawsuit. It’s not as much as they were hoping, but he reminds them that there’s no such thing as punitive damage in Korean law, so it’s the best they would be able to hope for even if they go through the court.
Hye-kyung reminds him that they also want the company to remove the drug from the market and issue an apology to their client. But Lawyer Son says they can take the offer or leave it — his clients aren’t going to agree to anything else.
Suspicious, she asks him if there’s more to this settlement than he’s letting on. But Lawyer Son just reiterates that no one really knows what goes on between a married couple. As she should know — after all, isn’t her relationship with her husband different than what people really think?
Grandma is spoiling the kids with snacks as she tries to eke out some information about what’s going on. The emotional manipulation is overwhelming as she sighs over how much their father misses them and is so sad to be in such a small apartment away from them (hey, Tae-joon had to learn from someone, right?).
The kids rally around, though, and insist that they’re doing fine. Whatever is going on is between their parents is strictly between them. Still, it looks like Grandma might be getting to them.
Dan’s investigation into the settlement reveals that before their meeting, Lawyer Son went to see Han-na’s mother’s psychiatrist, and then requested that he be put on the witness list. They’re surprised to realize that Han-na’s mother was seeing a psychiatrist, but apparently it was a secret to everyone.
Joong-won thinks they can get the witness dismissed by claiming it’s illegal for a doctor to disclose private conversations with a client, and then notes Hye-kyung’s distracted reaction. He can tell there’s something strange going on with the way she’s ignoring Dan.
Seo-yeon shows up unannounced at the law firm, and at first Hye-kyung is worried something happened to her daughter, but Seo-yeon’s just desperate to know if her parents will be getting a divorce. Hye-kyung gently explains that she and Tae-joon need time to figure things out, just the two of them.
Once she realizes Grandma has been filling her daughter’s mind with worries over what parent she’ll have to choose in the divorce, Hye-kyung tells Seo-yeon that Grandma isn’t privy to all the details. She also asks her daughter to keep her notified whenever Grandma stops by the apartment.
Hye-kyung then goes to David Lee’s office. He reassures her that everything she tells him will remain strictly confidential, and she reveals that she’s separated from her husband and wants to know what her options are should she want to file for divorce.
Her first question is about child custody. Because her children are teenagers, they will be old enough to decide which parent they want to live with. That means Hye-kyung better try winning them over if she wants them to choose her. Oh, and grandparents have no say in the matter, either.
However, David Lee recommends that she hold off filing for a divorce until the drama around her husband’s scandal and trial starts to die down. Instead, she should just stay separated and try to decide if she really wants to get divorced.
Myung-hee shows Dan her summons to appear in court for a parole hearing. She defended a rapist ten years ago, believing he was innocent, but it turns out he was guilty. Even though she still defended him, she wasn’t able to muster up the same enthusiasm, and he blames her for his thirteen-year prison sentence.
Dan understands that the summons is actually a threat — Myung-hee is to testify on his behalf at the parole hearing, or worry for her safety in three years after he gets out. She points out that no matter what Myung-hee decides, it’ll be a headache either way, so she recommends taking care of it as soon as possible.
Joong-won studies his $8,000 bottle of wine — a gift from the pretty law student. Myung-hee gasps at the price and declines his invitation to drink it with him, saying she’s too intimidated to appreciate it. He should find a friend to share it with. The first “friend” that he thinks of is Hye-kyung, though. Instead of calling her, he puts the bottle away, still unopened.
Hye-kyung finds her mother-in-law holding court with her friends and of course talking about Tae-joon. She requests to speak to her in private, and Grandma notes that Hye-kyung looks angry. That’s because she is — she tells Grandma that she’s not allowed to come over uninvited. If she wants to visit the kids, then she must call Hye-kyung first.
Furthermore, she has no right to try and take the children away from her. But Grandma insists that Tae-joon deserves to raise his children. Hye-kyung cuts through her boasting of how great her son is, telling her that Tae-joon is someone who took bribes and had an affair — does she really think someone like that deserves to raise their children?
Grandma defends Tae-joon, calling Hye-kyung crazy. Realizing that she won’t make Grandma see the truth about her son, Hye-kyung finally warns her that if she wants to see the grandkids, she must ask permission first.
Tae-joon calls Joong-won, asking if they can meet today. As Joong-won is on his way out, Hye-kyung tells him that the judge in the pharmaceutical case wants to meet with them. Joong-won says she’ll have to go without him because he’s meeting with a prosecutor right now. When she asks which one, he tells her it’s Tae-joon.
Concerned, she follows him into the elevator, warning him to be careful. He reassures her it’s just about a case Tae-joon is working on that is related to one of his clients. But Hye-kyung tells Joong-won that she and Tae-joon have separated, and Tae-joon might have the wrong idea about Joong-won. The way they look at each other during this scene makes me extra angry that she never received his second voicemail.
When she gets back to her desk, she calls Tae-joon, asking to know why he really called Joong-won. Tae-joon says he’s just trying to be a good prosecutor, but she warns him that their problems are just between the two of them.
Myung-hee, Hye-kyung, and Lawyer Son meet with the judge. He’s there to reprimand Lawyer Son for calling in a new witness this late in the trial, and Myung-hee says that the witness shouldn’t be allowed due to doctor-patient privacy laws.
But Lawyer Son says the law allows for revealing information if it’s in the best interest for the public, which this trial is. Finally, the judge agrees to allow the witness, making arrangements for a closed court so the information will remain private for his and the jurors’ ears only.
Tae-joon tells Joong-won that their meeting right now is completely unofficial. It’s to warn him that he believes Joong-won has bribed judges, and Tae-joon is there to ask him for help in getting rid of the corrupt judges. Joong-won denies that he’s ever given or accepted bribes, but Tae-joon says that he’ll not press charges if Joong-won reveals what judges he’s bribed.
Joong-won continues to deny it, informing Tae-joon that no matter how hard he investigates, he won’t find proof of what he’s looking for. Tae-joon warns him that it won’t look good if his wife’s boss is found to be corrupt, but Joong-won asks him if he’s deliberately targeting him.
Tae-joon then asks about Hye-kyung, and Joong-won says she’s doing well. Tae-joon asks if she’s doing well at work, too, but Joong-won just smiles and asks if he was thinking of some other situation. This meeting seems to have been more about what wasn’t said, but at any rate, the gauntlets have been thrown down and battle lines are drawn.
Once she returns the office, Hye-kyung brusquely tells Dan to investigate the witness. Dan tells her she wants to explain what happened between her and Tae-joon. She says it meant nothing to her, and it was before she met Hye-kyung. In fact, until she met her, she’d forgotten the whole thing happened.
But then when she got to know Hye-kyung, she realized how much she enjoyed working with and talking to Hye-kyung. That was when she felt bad about what happened. Hye-kyung angrily tells her that she shouldn’t have tried to befriend in her the first place. Dan simply says that they were friends, and she’s never had a friend before.
Hye-kyung points out that lying and deceiving isn’t exactly friend-like behavior, and Dan apologizes. She’s never really been afraid of being hurt or hurting others. Remorse never meant anything to her, but with Hye-kyung, she doesn’t want to see her get hurt on Dan’s behalf.
But Hye-kyung is still angry at the thought of being used, of being the fool who discussed her private life with one of the women who had an affair with her husband. She tells Dan that, in order to survive working together, they should just pretend like they don’t know each other. But Dan says that she’ll quit instead.
She immediately goes to Joong-won, telling him she’s quitting. He assumes it’s just one of her ploys to demand a raise, and sits back in surprise when he realizes that she’s being serious. He tells her that he was actually considering her for a promotion, but Dan reminds him of one of her hiring conditions — to be able to quit whenever she wants.
She doesn’t explain what happened, just that her past has finally caught up with her. She promises to at least stay until he can find a replacement. Oh, and did he know that Hye-kyung and Tae-joon are separated with little chance of reconciliation? She hopes he doesn’t have any regrets this time.
Myung-hee’s out grocery shopping, and as she looks through the produce, she’s startled to find the handsome process server suddenly appear. She suspiciously asks him if it’s just a coincidence that he’s there, and he swears it is — he’s actually there to serve paperwork to someone else. Aw, Myung-hee’s so cute as she giddily smiles to herself while watching him serve a very reluctant client.
Lawyer Son questions Han-na’s mother psychiatrist, who reveals that she was afraid her husband was trying to kill her. She told him that she thought he was seeing another woman. The psychiatrist apologizes, explaining that he thought it was just a delusional disorder at the time, not really believing it would come true.
He also adds that, in his professional opinion, it’s not unusual for a couple to have deep emotional turmoil — passionate love can so easily turn to passionate hate. Gee, I wonder if Hye-kyung knows anything about that.
As Hye-kyung prepares to cross-examine the psychiatrist, Han-na nervously grabs her arm, begging her to leave it alone. Noting Han-na’s distress, Myung-hee tells the judge that they didn’t have time prepare for this witness and requests an extension.
Back at the law firm, Han-na admits that she thought her father might be having an affair. But because he was so good to her mother, she just assumed she was wrong. She’s now worried that this lawsuit was started for no good reason, and asks about the settlement. Hye-kyung tells her that if they give up now, then the pharmaceutical company wins — the drug will remain on the market and possibly cause others to commit suicide, too.
But Han-na’s sacrificed enough already for this trial, and now she’s done. As Hye-kyung follows after Han-na to try and convince her to stay, Dan tells Joong-won that she’ll find a way to make sure the psychiatrist’s testimony will be excluded — no matter what. He can think of it as her parting gift.
Hye-kyung begs Han-na to keep going for the trial — to think of her family and friends. But Han-na says that her parents’ honors are already tarnished, and if she continues with the trial, it will only get worse. Hye-kyung reminds her that if she stops now, then that will be the memory everyone has of her parents — but if she continues, she can give them the justice they deserve.
Han-na confesses that she didn’t know her father was on antidepressants in the first place. Even though she thought he was having an affair, she didn’t try to find out if it was true because everything seemed fine and her parents seemed happy. But apparently she didn’t know anything at all. That’s normal, though, as Hye-kyung points out that everyone would rather take happiness than face the truth. But avoiding the truth won’t change anything, and she’s confident that Han-na will one day understand her parents.
Hye-kyung reports back to Joong-won that she’s convinced Han-na to stick with the trial. She wonders if they should have settled though, just to wrap everything up, but Joong-won, in his unending confidence, says there’s no point in settling when they can just win the case.
He offers her a drink, and he pours his fancy expensive wine into a couple of coffee mugs. Hye-kyung asks how his meeting with Tae-joon went, and Joong-won says he just gave a statement regarding a case. He told Tae-joon that she was doing well, and Hye-kyung sighs, wondering if she made the right choice for her children.
Joong-won pours her some more wine, and Hye-kyung compliments it, asking if it’s expensive. He says it is, and then tells her that it was about $80 for the bottle. Sure, if you drop a few zeros. He watches her leave and his longing gaze continues to kill me.
Dan calls, letting him know that she’s got enough evidence to get rid of the psychiatrist. Yeah, a whole backseat full of evidence. Joong-won tells Myung-hee they’ve got some big intel to discredit the witness, but using it would be illegal.
At the trial, Hye-kyung cross-examines the psychiatrist, asking why he waiting until the trial was nearly over to contact Lawyer Son. He explains that he only just discovered the deceased was his patient. Hye-kyung suddenly changes tactics, asking him about the sexual assault cases at least two of his prior patients have charged him with.
He squirms a little but insists he’s innocent. Lawyer Son objects to the line of questioning, and this time Myung-hee steps up to ask if he recorded his sessions with Han-na’s mother. She requests the recordings be submitted as evidence and when the judge asks the psychiatrist about the recordings, he nervously explains that last night a thief broke in to his office last night and stole all his files and recordings relating to Han-na’s mother.
Thanks to Dan, we know he’s telling the truth, but everyone else — including the judge and jury — seems to think that’s a pretty convenient excuse. Myung-hee presses the issue, pointing out there’s no way to verify the psychiatrist’s claims. Lawyer Son asks for an extension so they can figure out who stole the records, but the judge is annoyed by how ridiculous this trial has been and dismisses his request. He’ll allow enough time for the lawyer’s final arguments and then the jury will decide.
Lawyer Son requests a recess to discuss settlement terms, and Myung-hee seems satisfied that they’ve won. Hye-kyung sees Dan sitting in the back of the court, and it seems like she might have an idea how those files mysteriously disappeared from the doctor’s office.
Myung-hee is thrilled that the pharmaceutical company is meeting all their demands, and Joong-won is also thrilled that they’ve made enough commission to put the firm in the black. Hye-kyung walks Lawyer Son out after signing the settlement agreements, and he tells her that he’s had fun and hopes to see her again soon.
She tells him not to be disappointed about the results of this trial, but he just laughs, pointing out that Hye-kyung is nowhere on his level. In fact, she actually lost. The pharmaceutical company was more concerned about making sure there wasn’t any bad press to damage the launch of their new antidepressant (with fewer side effects). In fact, they were willing to pay as much as $30 million — twice what was agreed on in the settlement.
But Lawyer Son tells her that even though she lost, he can tell that she’ll be a lot of fun to go up against next time. Dazed, Hye-kyung just watches him walk away.
Dan’s found a potential new place to work, thanks to her friend (girlfriend?) who works in the Prosecutor’s Office. She happily tells Dan that they need a new investigator, and they really wanted her since one of the companies they’re investigating is M&J.
That stops Dan in her tracks, and when she sees who she’ll potentially be working for, she turns on her heel and walks away. Angry, she asks her friend why she didn’t tell her that she’d be working for Tae-joon. She immediately returns to M&J and marches into Hye-kyung’s office, cooly apologizing for the fact that she can’t quit just yet.
The pretty law student calls Joong-won to invite him to dinner to meet her father, but he excuses himself because he’s too busy. He then thanks her for the wine — he shared it with a friend, and suggests that next time, the “three” of them should have a beer together. Well, at least he’s being kind of clear that he’s not interested, especially since his “busy” plans mean getting a celebratory beer with Hye-kyung.
Myung-hee tells Dan that she’s decided to be honest in her testimony at the parole hearing, even if it only postpones her problem for another couple of years. She’s surprised to see the handsome process server at the firm, and she asks if he’s there to serve someone or if it’s just coincidence. Actually, he’s there to drive her to the parole hearing, and then take her dinner afterwards, if she wants.
Over their beers, Hye-kyung wonders if, even could she go back in time and change things, she would still have regrets. She’s decided that, from now on, she’ll follow her heart, since it seems like there will be regrets no matter what. Joong-won offers the advice that someone (aka Dan) gave him, which is to just go for what you want right away, no excuses, and then sort out the consequences afterwards.
She asks if he’s still dating the pretty law student, and Joong-won says he’s not ready to see anyone else right now. Hye-kyung studies him thoughtfully, then asks why he left her that voicemail. He tells her it was because he likes her, but she’s confused, because she only heard the first one, where he said they shouldn’t be together.
He tells her he left another one, asking her to meet him and they could make a plan in person. He said he’d wait for her call. He’s affronted when it seems like she doesn’t believe him, and she says their timing has always been off. He suggests that they can reset their timing to be on the same page now, and he takes out his phone, setting the timer for thirty seconds.
The seconds tick down and they sit, silently staring at the phone, but at the literal last second, Hye-kyung hits the stop button. Joong-won takes her hand.
They go to the front desk and Joong-won is surprised to find out the hotel is completely sold out, except for the costly royal suite. Undoubtedly feeling his timing to continue to tick away, he says he’ll take it and hands over his credit card. As they get on the elevator to take them to the top of the hotel, they discover that some kid has pushed allllllll the buttons.
The elevator stops at every single floor as they slowly make their way upstairs. It’s just the two of them in the elevator, and Joong-won gently takes Hye-kyung’s hand, followed by a quick kiss. As the doors continue to open and close, they lose themselves in their embrace and hungrily kiss each other.
By the time they reach the hotel room, Joong-won sighs in exasperation because the key card isn’t working. Of course. He tells Hey-kung he’ll be right back to get it fixed, but she just grabs his wrist to take the key from him, and manages to unlock the door. She opens it and Joong-won follows her into the hotel room.
Instead of butterflies in my stomach, I think they must be hummingbirds. No one is going to judge me if I rematch those last few minutes of the episode over and over and over again, right? To finally have that tension between them released and in such a wonderfully shot and edited scene makes me so happy. Although, I’m pretty sure the use of elevators in this show is going to kill me. First it was the elevators of lost chances, where Hye-kyung and Joong-won would just miss each other as one is leaving and the other arriving. Then it was the elevator ride down, filled with realizations and secret longing. And then, most gloriously, the elevator ride up, filled with unfettered kissing and the release of pent-up of aforementioned secret longing.
Myung-hee gets a love interest, too! Although I’m probably just happy to see her outside of her legal life. She goes to art galleries! She shops for groceries! She’s a real person who does more than run a law firm! While the parole summons may seem like a minor thing (perhaps just to introduce that Clark Gable lookalike love interest), I did enjoy seeing her anguish over figuring out how to respond, and regret how she handled it in the first place. In a way, I felt like I got a glimpse of Hye-kyung in another ten years, since I could definitely see her believing in her client, only to be horrified to realize he’s actually a habitual rapist after all and then losing her will to defend him (and no doubt being secretly glad he got those thirteen years in jail). So much of this episode helped to ground Myung-hee as a well-rounded person who does so much more than sit at a desk and worry about how to pay her staff, and I am grateful.
As much as I could gush about the women on this show (and I could probably do that all day), I find myself appreciating Joong-won more and more. I loved that he never once held it against her that she really mentioned his voicemails (even though he didn’t know she only received the first one). He gave her the choice, and by his estimation, she made it clear they won’t be together. He respected her space and did everything he could to make sure they maintained a proper employer-employee relationship. But as soon as he found out — directly from her — that she was separated from Tae-joon, he decided to take his chance. It’s pointless to pine from afar when you can get a direct answer, even taking the risk that it might not necessarily be the one you want to hear.
I feel like I ought to be concerned about Tae-joon’s determination to prove Joong-won is accepting bribes and exert some sort of control over him, but given the choice about worrying over that or rewatching kisses, well, I think it’s pretty clear what choice I’m going to make.