The Good Wife: Episode 15
“Once a cheater, always a cheater.” So says David Lee, the divorce expert, and if you think Hye-kyung being forced to face her past mistakes is reserved strictly for her choice in men, well, you’d be wrong. But it also gives us a chance to see how far she’s come since the beginning, both professionally and personally. It also gives us a chance to see her wear those gorgeous pink stilettos one more time before the show ends.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Tae-joon hides the divorce papers in his desk drawer as the rest of his staff arrive in the morning (and Joon-ho brings him coffee!). He may not be thrilled Hye-kyung’s decision to divorce, but Hye-kyung, for once, seems to actually relaxed and happy as she goes about her work.
The joy is short-lived, however, when Myung-hee discovers that a previous client is suing their law firm. It’s a divorce case that Hye-kyung worked on when she was first hired, and she and David Lee managed to get their client Jung Yoo-jung got a generous settlement — a third of her venture capitalist husband’s company, as well as sole custody of their child.
Myung-hee tells her to look into it, and then also asks if she’s made her decision about Joong-won. All she wants to know is if Tae-joon will indict her brother, and Hye-kyung admits that he likely will. Aw, but it might be worth it considering the way she and Joong-won exchange happy glances from across the office.
David Lee insists that lawsuit against the firm is ridiculous. Jeon Dong-mn is claiming that M&J faked evidence against him to force his wife Yoo-jung to decide to divorce him, and then M&J sold one of his companies at a loss when it came time to split the assets. The only reason they won the divorce settlement (which the husband didn’t originally want to do) was by investigating him and photographing him kissing another woman.
Since it was Yoo-jung who hired M&J, and they came to the agreement she originally wanted, they’ll need to ask her if she knows why her ex-husband is suddenly suing them. David offers to call her but Myung-hee interrupts, telling Joong-won to take care of it. Instead, she wants to know if David purposefully hired the woman in the photo in order to trap the husband, but he swears he did no such thing.
Hye-kyung is delighted to see Soo-hyun and her cute baby at the office, but is surprised when Soo-hyun reveals that she’s actually representing Yoo-jung. Their ex-client and her new client is now suing the law firm for $10 million (the supposed worth of the company that was sold) — oh, and she’s also reconciled with her husband.
Joong-won grumbles that Soo-hyun had promised to lecture at the law school until her child was grown, but she says it’s too hard to resist a juicy case that could net her client $10 million (and give her a hefty commission in return). Soo-hyun and a petulant David exchange a few pleasantly-masked barbs at each other, but Soo-hyun is confident that she’ll win since she can prove that M&J falsified the evidence used to convince Yoo-jung to get a divorce.
She gives the M&J lawyers a chance to talk over her offer of a settlement, asking Hye-kyung to keep an eye on the baby while she goes to the bathroom. Hye-kyung pulls out the phone that was left in the baby carriage — and set to record audio — and politely hands it over to Soo-hyun, since she wouldn’t want to “forget” it. Soo-hyun is impressed that Hye-kyung is growing wiser to the sneaky ways of the legal world.
When Myung-hee and David start to argue about lawsuit, Joong-won and Hye-kyung quietly excuse themselves and retreat to the his office, taking Soo-hyun’s baby with them. Hye-kyung finds it suspicious that Soo-hyun is being so upfront, assuming that they’re missing something. But Joong-won knows they followed the letter of the law in the original divorce case, so there should be no real grounds for complaint.
Hye-kyung remembers it clearly — not only was it one of her first cases at the firm, she wanted to make sure Yoo-jung won against her husband who cheated on her. That brings up the subject of Tae-joon, and when she offers to help Joong-won with the Tae-joon’s investigation, he reassures her that he’ll handle it. Soo-hyun returns just then, marveling at how the couple with her baby seem like one big happy family. Don’t jinx it!
When Joong-won meets up with Dan later, he thanks her again for helping find Hye-kyung’s daughter, and then asks how Tae-joon’s investigation is going. Now that he and Hye-kyung have decided to be together, Joong-won’s determined to stand and fight fairly for his honor. His normal confidence seems muted as he wonders what will happen if he loses, but Dan just admires the fact he’s acting more like a human being and less like cut-throat lawyer.
Since no settlement is reached, the lawsuit against M&J goes to trial. Soo-hyun brings her baby to the courtroom, which doesn’t not amuse the judge, although it would seem it generally does get her some sympathy points from other judges. The first witness is Yoo-jung, who declares that her husband told her that the woman he was caught kissing was someone who was hired by M&J in order to seduce him and get evidence for divorce.
She says that she only went to M&J for advice, since her marriage wasn’t doing well, and David told her that divorce is the only option. He showed her the photo of her husband kissing another woman, and told her to get as much money out of the divorce as possible.
He also told her that there would be no point in trying to reconcile with her husband because he’d just continue to cheat on her. However, she originally did want to reconcile with her husband, a fact which Soo-hyun declares to be proof that M&J forced her client into an unwanted divorce.
Prosecutor Park and Joon-ho have looked through all of Joong-won’s trials, and while they agree that there seems to be some suspicious activity, there’s only circumstantial evidence that the judges might have been bribed. Prosecutor Park recommends they stop the investigation, because if they go further, it will only get unwanted public attention once it’s made known they’re investigating his wife’s firm.
But Tae-joon is adamant that this has nothing to do with his wife and has everything to do with the integrity of the justice system, and orders them to dig deeper.
Soo-hyun puts David on the stand, asking if he paid the woman in the photo to purposefully seduce Yoo-jung’s husband. He firmly denies it, despite how many ways she tries to rephrase the question. He seems genuinely affronted that Yoo-jung is suing him, and from his seat in the witness stand, he chides her for ignoring his friendly advice.
Suddenly a woman stands up in court — it’s the woman from the photo, and she testifies that she was told she would be paid if she seduced Yoo-jung’s husband. David requests a recess since the were not aware of the witness and need time to prepare. He’s bewildered by the fact the woman would commit perjury, insisting he never paid her.
However, it turns out M&J did pay her. In order to get evidence to help Yoo-jung gain full custody of her child, Dan had originally hired the woman to flirt with Yoo-jung’s husband and ply him with drinks, so she could get evidence of him driving while intoxicated. She was surprised to see him kiss her instead, and so that’s the evidence she originally handed over. Of course, Dan has buried the trail leading back to M&J, so the only proof Soo-hyun has is the woman’s testimony.
Myung-hee doesn’t trust David, and asks Joong-won if they should fire him after this lawsuit is wrapped up. He points out that David has been profitable for the firm, and if they let him go, it might cause issues with other lawyers. But Myung-hee knows that he’s specifically worried about Hye-kyung, and she tells him that she won’t fire Hye-kyung based on personal matters. If if affects the firm, however, she won’t be so lenient.
Joong-won reassures her that if it comes down to that, then he’ll be the one to leave. That’s not the answer she was expecting, and as she leans back in surprise, Joong-won calmly tells her that he thinks being with Hye-kyung is the best decision he’s ever made. He’ll also make sure to take care of the lawsuit with Tae-joon and do his best to keep the rest of M&J out of it.
Hye-kyung’s kids head off to school, and after she specifically warns Seo-yeon to check her phone and answer it whenever she sees her mother calling, Seo-yeon grumbles that she knows. That nice “unnie” already told her to make sure she keeps her mother updated of her whereabouts.
Hye-kyung asks who she’s talking about, and Seo-yeon hesitates, since she was told not to mention it, but finally reveals that Dan was the one who found her that day and brought her back home.
This surprises Hye-kyung, but doesn’t seem to do much to thaw her animosity towards her coworker. Although she doesn’t completely ignore Dan’s polite nod when they meet in the court house parking lot later that morning, so I suppose that’s something. But Dan’s only there to get information about Ji-yeon (the woman in the photo) and her car.
Ji-yeon is put on the stand, and David reveals that they’ve never met before, so then he asks how she knows that M&J hired her to seduce Yoo-jung’s husband. She was just told through her work to specifically seduce him, but it could have been anyone who requested it. He particularly wants to know how Soo-hyun’s clients tracked her down in the first place. Did she, perhaps, contact Yoo-jung’s husband directly?
Soo-hyun keeps leaping up to object, but David points out it’s awfully suspicious that Ji-yeon suddenly appeared as a witness, and this might have more to do with the $10 million than the divorce.
As the court recesses for the day, Soo-hyun sweetly informs Hye-kyung that she’ll be the next one on the stand, and she’s not the type to lie under oath, now, is she.
Ji-hoon is at his father’s office to work on a school project, and as he takes pictures, he cautiously asks if he can show them to his mother. She once said that he looked best when he was tracking down criminals — which is what he’s doing now, right?
Tae-joon agrees, but tells his son that sometimes, in order to do the right thing, you have to do the wrong thing first. Naive Ji-hoon thinks that’s somehow wrong, and you should only do “right” things — especially if one is a prosecutor and can have the power to tell people to do “right.” Oh, you sweet, innocent child.
David plops a contract down on Hye-kyung’s desk — a little present for her, just a little document he’s put together in case she decides to get divorced that will help her get the best settlement possible. It’s really just an excuse for him to bring up her upcoming testimony, and she smiles, reassuring him that she’ll handle it. Besides, she’s already given Tae-joon her divorce papers.
Hye-kyung finds Dan in the break room, and the younger woman instinctively moves to leave the area but Hye-kyung asks her if the photos are real. Dan reassures her that they aren’t doctored. Hye-kyung then starts to say something else, but then changes her mind and walks away.
On the witness stand, Hye-kyung affirms that she only was responsible for the paperwork in the divorce case, and that they did not hire Ji-yeon to seduce their client’s husband. But Soo-hyun points out she was also emotional help for Yoo-jung, comforting her in her distress since she could relate to the feelings she was going through at that time (y’know, when her husband’s scandal was still top news).
Hye-kyung defends the firm, declaring they only did what the client wanted them to do (settle the divorce) and now the client is suing them for the decision that was made in the past. Hye-kyung pointedly looks at Yoo-jung as she says that there won’t be much of a future unless they take responsibility for their decisions.
Lawyer Oh is concerned about Tae-joon’s investigation into Joong-won. He thought things would improve if Tae-joon became more powerful, which is why he’s been supporting him so faithfully. But now Tae-joon is too focused on revenge, turning Hye-kyung into his enemy. He warns Tae-joon that he won’t have many supporters left if he keeps this up. After Lawyer Oh leaves, Tae-joon studies the divorce papers Hye-kyung gave him.
He waits for Hye-kyung in the parking garage, since he assumes she wouldn’t want to see him at home. She tells him that next time he can just call her, and then mail the divorce papers after he’s signed them. He asks if she wants him to stop investigating Joong-won, and she warns him that whether or not he stops the investigation, she’s not going back to him. If he does continue, then she’ll fight like hell against him.
Tae-joon asks if she has any feelings left for him, and she sighs as she informs him that this isn’t about her feelings, it’s about his unjust investigation. She’s fighting for her company and those who are wrongfully suffering because of her. If Joong-won is guilty, she’ll take responsibility.
He accepts this answer and leaves, telling her to say “hi” to the kids for him. But as soon as he reaches his car, he calls Lawyer Oh, asking him to trust him one last time. He then calls Prosecutor Park, ordering him to quietly put as many people on Joong-won’s case as possible. This isn’t personal — it’s about removing corrupt judges. Yeah, keep telling yourself that, buddy.
Alone in the spare room, where Tae-joon used to sleep, Hye-kyung sits and quietly thinks to herself. Then she calls for her children, telling them she needs to discuss something with them.
Hye-kyung is back on the witness stand, and this time Soo-hyun has moved past the divorce argument and is using evidence that the tech company they sold in order to distribute assets was sold at a deep loss. Hye-kyung repeats that she was only responsible for drawing up the documents, and Myung-hee calls for a short recess since they weren’t prepared for this new argument.
Myung-hee still can’t look at David without giving him the death glare. He pouts that he did everything on the up-and-up, and that it seemed best at the time to sell the tech company since profits are so unreliable from them. As the person who prepared the contracts, Hye-kyung recalls a conflict-of-interest clause that states the firm is not liable for mistakes made in the asset distribution.
This is a surprise to Soo-hyun, who scrambles to look through the contracts. Yoo-jung says she doesn’t know — she just signed what they told her to sign. The court takes another recess to look into the clause.
Except that Myung-hee can’t find it in their files. Hye-kyung insists that she knows there was a clause — she was there when Yoo-jung signed it, and she signed it as well. But it was her first week at the firm and she admits that she might have misfiled it, and can’t recall where she might have put it.
It’s not looking good, but then Dan and David burst in, the precious clause in their hand! They found it in one of Joon-ho’s desk drawers. Whew. Except when Hye-kyung looks at it, she realizes the signature doesn’t completely match hers.
In private, she tells Myung-hee of her suspicion that the clause has been fabricated, but Myung-hee confirms that Hye-kyung remembers signing the document (just not that exact one). She tells Hye-kyung that a witness just tells the truth as they remember it, and it’s up to the prosecution to poke holes in their evidence. To her credit, Myung-hee looks uneasy about choosing to use a potentially false document.
Joong-won reports that Soo-hyun turned down their offer to close the case, and the fact that she laughed at him and said she’ll see him court makes him assume that she’s got something on them, although he doesn’t know what it is.
Noticing Hye-kyung’s despondent attitude, he asks if she’s okay, and she tells him that she feels like she’s made a lot of mistakes, becoming a burden to her coworkers. He reassures that documents go missing all the time, and what that matters now is that they’ve found it. That’s not as reassuring as you might think, buddy.
Joon-ho’s by himself at the bar, drinking his sad, lonely glass of whiskey, when Chief Prosecutor Choi approaches him with an offer.
In the morning, the trial resumes, and Soo-hyun provides copies of the contracts to show that the signed clause was forged. As her witness, she calls forward Joon-ho. Hye-kyung and Myung-hee are both shocked to see him, knowing that nothing good will come from this. Soo-hyun shows him the two different signed pages from the contract, and he studies them carefully, then cheerfully admits they look exactly the same to him.
That’s not the answer Soo-hyun was expecting, and she asks if Joon-ho is perjuring himself because he works under Tae-joon and feels obligated to protect his boss’s wife. But Joon-ho says that he was recently transferred to a different department, and therefore has no reason to be loyal to anyone at M&J.
Afterwards, Hye-kyung thanks him for his help, but he says he only told the truth. He then reveals that the new department he transferred to is Chief Prosecutor Choi’s. I feel like there ought to be some underlying threat or warning there, but Joon-ho looks so cute and squishy, I can only assume he just wants to tell her that there’s no ill-will and he’s happy to have a job. That’s all it is, right? Right?
Soo-hyun and her clients arrive at M&J law firm, and Soo-hyun sweetly says that she’s currently getting the ink from the clause analyzed. But Hye-kyung has something to show Yoo-jung. It’s a photo of her husband kissing the other woman, except this is a more recent photo, taken by Dan just a couple of days ago when she was trying to get evidence that the lawsuit was just a ploy for money. Once the husband got the settlement, he was going to divorce Yoo-jung and run away with Ji-yeon.
He tries to argue that the photo was from before their reconciliation, when M&J tried to frame him, but Yoo-jung recognizes the shirt he’s wearing in the photo as one she gave him just last week. Slapping him in the face, she tells him that the lawsuit is over — she’s out.
Soo-hyun pouts that she lost (insisting she just wanted the money for baby formula, pfft!), but she admires the fact that Hye-kyung has become more fierce since she last saw her. It suits her. Hye-kyung smiles, admitting that she likes her new attitude, too.
In the morning, news of Joong-won’s investigation by the Prosecution Office breaks, and Hye-kyung arrives at the office to find everyone scrambling as phones ringing off the hook. Myung-hee juggles phone calls from worried VIP clients. She tells Hye-kyung to go to the baseball field where Joong-won has his weekly game and to warn him of what’s going on.
She calls him to let him know she’s on the way, and he tells her there’s no need to rush. He’s busy with the game and it’s so crowded, anyway. Except that all of his usual judge and lawyer teammates, fearing the scandal of being associated with him, have suddenly discovered they can’t make it, and he’s the only one on the baseball field.
Chief Prosecutor Choi finds him alone in the locker room, and offers him a deal. He suggests that he and Joong-won team up to fight their common enemy, Tae-joon. Oh, and if he doesn’t help out the proseuctor, Joong-won will surely go to jail.
But Joong-won refuses. He’s not interested in working with the prosecutor, and not even the threat of prison will make him change his mind. As the prosecutor leaves, he runs into Hye-kyung on the baseball field. She just rolls her eyes at his snarky little “I didn’t know you liked baseball” comment.
Joong-won finds her waiting for him, and as he hesitantly brings up the case against him, Hye-kyung tells him that she’ll represent him.
First of all, let me just say that I find Yoon Kye-sang 1000x more attractive with his hair unstyled. So thank you for that, show.
On a less-shallow note, I’m loving the new Hye-kyung. She’s spirited and confident, even when faced with her mistakes. I genuinely felt her fear when she realized that she was about to cost the company millions of dollars due to a simple clerical error, and then likely lose her job she’s worked so hard to keep. But it must be nice to know that someone has her back, no matter how, ah, shady the means. (I’m just assuming it was Dan who actually forged her signature, because I feel like Dan and her morally grey view of right and wrong would be willing to do that if it meant saving the firm and helping Hye-kyung keep her job.)
Also, I’m super excited to see Hye-kyung officially go head-to-head against Tae-joon in the courtroom. I hope she destroys him, except I know that he must be a good lawyer (bribes can only take you so far, y’know). Tae-joon is still fascinating to me, although I don’t think there’s a chance he’ll be able to redeem himself. He’s thoroughly painted himself as the villain, set out to destroy the very thing that he wants simply because he can’t have it.
Except he seems to have lost sight of the fact that by publicly declaring war against her (or against M&J, which is essentially the same thing), he’s destroying his career as well. Perhaps in his twisted, egomaniacal mind that’s somehow romantic? Or maybe he just can’t believe that this person who, for so long, believed everything he told her and trusted him completely, now can see him for who he really is: power-hungry, selfish, and manipulative. The man who would let Hye-kyung take the fall for a car accident fifteen years ago so it wouldn’t damage his burgeoning career is not going to suddenly be reformed. His character definitely makes for compelling viewing, but as a viewer who just wants Hye-kyung to live happily ever after (with or without a man), I wish he’d release his toxic grip on her, once and for all.
But where Tae-joon seems to be hardening his heart, Joong-won seems to be softening his. I just love how shocked everyone is by his new attitude, surprised that he can actually be “human.” I don’t want him to go to prison, but I appreciate he’s not willing to be sucked into any under-the-table deals. Funny, though, that even as Joong-won seems to be determined to be an upright lawyer thanks to Hye-kyung, she’s starting to learn that it’s useful to be able to bend the rules a bit.
Although she still has her integrity, which is something I love about her. Honestly, the guys could both suddenly disappear and be locked up forever if it means that Myung-hee and Hye-kyung can work together forever and ever, with Dan (reconciled with Hye-kyung, of course) as their chief investigator. Maybe they could steal Soo-hyun and convince her to work with them, too. Now I’m sad there’s only one episode left, because I just really want to see more of these amazing women being awesome both in the courtroom and in their personal lives, while wearing gorgeous shoes that I dearly covet.
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