Geum-joo’s been repeatedly told that she is an attorney in all but name by everyone who cares about her. She’s had people go out of their way to pave her path to success, and yet, at the point when Geum-joo finally sits down to take the test that will decide her fate, it all comes down to her and her convictions. Maybe she’s finally found a reason to fight for a new life for herself.
Episode 11: “Imagine, the Defendant’s Eyes”
Bok-geo sends Geum-joo off to give her bar exam, telling her that she has to rescue him as “Attorney Cha.” Geum-joo reaches the exam location just as the gates close. She tries to climb over, but the guard is adamant about not letting her in. Geum-joo pleads that this is her last chance, and just as the guard begins to looks sympathetic, Hye-joo walks up beside him.
She’s been invited by her law school professor to oversee the exam, and asks her step-sister if she’s been playing Bok-geo—maybe her plan was to go back to him and claim she couldn’t take the exam because she couldn’t get in? Just as it begins to look as if Geum-joo will miss the exam yet again, Hye-joo asks the guard to let her in.
Geum-joo asks her why, and Hye-joo says that she didn’t want Geum-joo to be able to blame her failure on anyone but herself this time. Hye-joo admits that part of her wants Geum-joo to succeed so they can meet in court someday, but just as Geum-joo softens towards her, Hye-joo ruins the moment by saying that it’s not like she’ll be able to finish the test anyway.
Detectives arrive at K-Fact’s office and begin questioning the staff. Reporter Baek quietly goes around cleaning files off laptops and getting rid of sensitive information. Suk-woo gets a call and excuses himself to go find a quiet place to take it. It’s Bok-geo, and the quiet place is his personal office. Bok-geo directs Suk-woo to open his laptop and gives him the password “AttorneyMaGetLost.” Pwahaha.
As the exam begins, Geum-joo takes strength from her handcuff bracelet. When the exam coordinator walks by and asks her what it is, she explains that it’s her lucky charm.
A flashback takes us to the last night of Ji-ah’s life. Bok-geo suggested they communicate through an app from now. Ji-ah was in a car with CEO Lee’s candy-sucking henchman and asked for a lollipop from him so she could surreptitiously remove the wrapping to put in her pocket. When the henchman left the car for a moment, she quickly scribbled something on it and stashed the pen away before he got back in.
Bok-geo used the app’s GPS to locate Ji-ah, whose corpse he found floating in the lake. The next morning, detectives found Bok-geo’s lost button in Ji-ah’s stiffened grip.
In the present, CEO Lee directs Prosecutor Choi to confiscate everything in K-fact and give him anything that seems important. Reporter Baek has already gotten rid of everything except whatever is on Bok-geo’s laptop—but as soon as Prosecutor Choi arrives, he spots Suk-woo leaning over said laptop inside Bok-geo’s office.
He runs up and tries to barge in, but Suk-woo quickly holds the door shut while pretending that it’s jammed. As they shout at each other through the glass, Bok-geo cleans out his laptop remotely through his smartphone. He gives Suk-woo the green light when he’s done, and Suk-woo lets Prosecutor Choi stumble in, acting like he was only trying to help.
Bok-geo calls Geum-joo from a coffee shop during her lunch break to ask if she’s eaten yet. He quizzes her on what is written on the note he put in with her food, which tells her not to eat and run (and includes two hearts, heh).
Bok-geo guesses that her next paper is on civil law and observes that she’s weakest in that area. At Geum-joo’s protest, he tells her to look over the paper carefully, because a question will jump out at her. If she gets stuck, he says, she should solve that one first. Before hanging up, he says that he has one more thing to tell her.
Geum-joo begins to hyperventilate once the next exam starts. Then she looks over the paper and spots something that calms her down. It’s a question that asks what is not a good example of employer-servant relationships. Geum-joo wonders if Bok-geo somehow had a hand in this, as she confidently writes down the answer. During the exam, Hye-joo walks past her testing room and spots Geum-joo calmly writing her answers.
Geum-joo thinks back to the last piece of advice Bok-geo had given her: He’d told her to envision herself standing in a court as an attorney. Geum-joo takes a moment to imagine this, and sees both Min-ah and the homeless boy, Gyeong-hwan, in the court. They tell her that they trust her. Then she looks out into the audience and spots Bok-geo (who’s suddenly sporting a goatee).
In her mind, he’s telling her to imagine the eyes of all the people who are looking only at her. Geum-joo thinks to herself that she hadn’t known why she had to become a lawyer before, but now she knows that she can never betray the eyes of those she must defend.
The Golden Tree team sits in their office and worries about Geum-joo, since no one knows where she is. Then a news report about the national bar exam makes Attorney Goo wonder if she’s taking the exam after all.
Geum-joo goes straight to the crime scene after her exam and is taking pictures with her phone when a policeman asks her to hand it over. Geum-joo quickly claims that the victim was her cousin, and is so convincing that the man lets her take more pictures, going so far as to stand as her lookout as she does it. That’s where Suk-woo finds her.
CEO Lee meets his henchman and hands over a thick envelope as reward for his exemplary murdering and framing skills. The henchman asks him if he’s done with the cleanup work, but CEO Lee says that there’s one last thing he has to do for him.
Suk-woo and Geum-joo sit at the park and discuss Bok-geo’s case. He asks her if she believes in Bok-geo’s innocence, and Geum-joo says that Bok-geo’s personality is too gradual and slow to commit a crime of passion. Suk-woo points out that the problem is Bok-geo’s history with the victim. He says the prosecutor’s office will focus on the fact that Bok-geo had to quit his career because of Ji-ah’s perjury.
He also brings up the button, but Geum-joo explains that he had lost that button earlier. Suk-woo refuses to hear the details, but tells her that he’ll help exonerate Bok-geo quickly because he doesn’t want to compete with someone sitting in jail.
The two visit the police department with offers of coffee for the officers. They wait outside while the detectives have a discussion on the evidence available. One of the higher officers wonders if the button isn’t a suspiciously convenient piece of evidence. Another inspector answers that they can think of only two explanations: either Bok-geo didn’t have time to break her grip after rigor mortis set in, or—… (We don’t get to hear the second theory.)
When the meeting breaks, Geum-joo and Suk-woo ask one of the detectives about the case findings, but all he tells them is that things aren’t looking good for Bok-geo, since all circumstantial evidence points directly at him.
While everyone else is frantic over his manhunt, Bok-geo chills at a department store, trying out different looks to make him not stand out. He observes ruefully that in this kind of a situation, it’s a crime to be so good-looking.
He ends up going for the goateed look and surprises Geum-joo by meeting her in broad daylight. He takes her to a burger joint with his wanted posters hanging all around. As Geum-joo worries that he’ll be recognized, Bok-geo points out that hardly anyone has ever been caught because of a poster unless spotted by someone who knows them already.
Bok-geo walks with Geum-joo and says that being a fugitive is rather fun, since he finally gets to go on a date with Geum-joo. She asks him if he knows who Yoo Tae-ho was with in Min-ah’s video. Bok-geo tells her that it’s someone she’s close to, and she guesses accurately that it’s Hye-ryung.
As Geum-joo drives back, she remembers the threatening call she got before Min-ah’s case, and how later, Hye-ryung had extended her a seemingly genuine offer of friendship. Back at Bok-geo’s place, Min-ah confirms that the woman she saw that night was Hye-ryung.
Hye-joo meets Hye-ryung and suggests that she adopt her husband’s illegitimate child. She argues that by sacrificing a little, Hye-ryung could gain an advantage in the settlement of her divorce case as well as control of the Oh Sung Art Center.
Hye-ryung asks Hye-joo how far she progressed with Bok-geo. Hye-joo admits that she showed interest in him while he was someone who could make her look good, but now that he’s a fugitive, she no longer has any interest in the man.
Editor Go and Reporter Baek tail Hye-joo and CEO Lee until they spot the duo transporting a covered painting in a suspiciously covert manner. Reporter Baek takes pictures of them.
Editor Go summarizes their findings for the K-fact and Golden Tree teams. Their case has three main aspects: the attack on Min-ah, the sex parties hosted by CEO Lee, and Hye-ryung’s extramarital affair captured on video. Reporter Baek says that with CEO Lee holding all the cards, he now controls Hye-ryung.
The two villains of the piece meet in CEO Lee’s office, where Hye-ryung tells him that if Bok-geo had found the clip first, she would have been teaming up with him instead. CEO Lee laughs at Hye-ryung’s assumption that Bok-geo would compromise his scruples, and tells her that she was fortunate that he was the one to acquire the video. The two shake hands.
CEO Lee calls a meeting of Oh Sung family members, and quickly establishes his new authority by putting Han Ji-eun in her place. She realizes that with Hye-ryung’s new settlement, power had shifted out of the hands of the Oh Sung family and into CEO Lee’s.
Attorney Goo, Suk-woo, and Geum-joo discuss their helpless position. They can’t ask for access to any of the evidence gathered by the police while Bok-geo is a fugitive, since they have no defendant.
Prosecutor Choi updates Hye-joo on the proceedings in the case, and speculates that CEO Lee’s determination to pin this on Bok-geo makes it seem likely that this is about more than just the “Food Talk.” Hye-joo remains noncommittal.
Geum-joo pays Hye-ryung a visit at her office. She hands over the compensation she won in an art forgery case that Hye-ryung had given her firm. Hye-ryung tells her to abandon Bok-geo and join her team, but Geum-joo tells her that she didn’t dream of becoming a lawyer just so she could someday live as a steward of the Oh Sung family. As she gets up to leave, she tells Hye-ryung that thanks to her case, she got to study art a little. She adds that Hye-ryung’s eyes are trash since they’re as bad at recognizing original paintings as they are at finding good lawyers. Burn!
CEO Lee gets into his car and finds Bok-geo quietly waiting in the back seat. He tells Bok-geo that he should turn himself in, and Bok-geo responds that he will once he’s ready to stand trial. But then Bok-geo asks CEO Lee if he isn’t curious about who between them will be on the defendant’s seat.
Geum-joo gets back to her office to find Prosecutor Choi there with a search and seizure warrant as he confiscates confidential files and papers. She threatens him with five hundred lawsuits for all the clients whose privacy he was trying to violate by removing the files from the Golden Tree office. Suk-woo and Attorney Goo arrive in time to find the office in chaos and Geum-joo struggling to keep hold of important papers. They face-off with Prosecutor Choi until the man leaves without taking any of the documents.
Later, Suk-woo meets Bok-geo in a quiet park. Bok-geo tells Suk-woo about his own confession to Geum-joo to repay Suk-woo’s transparency. He then hands over papers that would transfer his properties and assets to Geum-joo in case something were to happen to him. When Suk-woo asks if he thinks his life is in danger, Bok-geo brushes it off and says that he’s just showing off his money to win Geum-joo’s favor.
Ji-ah’s autopsy results come out, and Hye-joo is alerted by Prosecutor Choi. Bok-geo’s driver meets him on a double-decker tourist bus. Bok-geo tells him that he suspects the man who was following Geum-joo is a fixer hired by CEO Lee and that he might be responsible for Ji-ah’s murder as well. He asks after Geum-joo and if her exam results are out yet, but his driver chides him for not being more concerned about the autopsy report.
Prosecutor Choi manages to sneak out the report for Hye-joo to look through. While he’s off buying coffee, she notices something in the results that surprises her, and she tears off the page before he returns. It’s clear by what he says that he doesn’t see any difference between the report and what the preliminary investigations had suggested.
Bok-geo’s driver meets someone who tells him to come back (to the NIS?), since “they” don’t want to be unnecessarily involved in this case. The driver asks for some more time since he feels close to everyone at K-Fact and wants to see how the story unfolds.
Bok-geo talks to Geum-joo on the phone as she walks to her meeting with him. He’s waiting with flowers and waves at her from across the street. Unfortunately, he’s already been sighted by the police, and men from the prosecutor’s office arrive on the spot. As Prosecutor Choi and his men begin to close in on him, Geum-joo spots them and warns Bok-geo.
Just then, our resident driver/NIS Agent turns up in a black SUV and screeches to a halt before them. Geum-joo jumps out of the way and falls on the street, while Bok-geo gets into the getaway car.
But even as Prosecutor Choi and the others think he’s escaped, the car backs up and slides a door open in front of Geum-joo. Bok-geo holds out his flowers, and as Geum-joo reaches up to take it, he gets off and bundles her into the backseat.
Geum-joo points out that he’ll be caught soon and offers to go to the Prosecutor’s office with him. Bok-geo puts ointment on Geum-joo’s scrapes and tells her to just focus on Golden Tree and taking care of Min-ah. Geum-joo asks why she needs to focus on the firm at a time like this, and Bok-geo tells her that he doesn’t want the woman he likes to be in danger.
Geum-joo works through the night on what evidence she has been able to gather on Bok-geo’s case. In the morning, she cooks for Min-ah and looks sadly at the pictures of them with Bok-geo, all three smiling like goofs. She gets a call from someone whose part-timer looks like Gyeong-hwan, but it turns out to be a different boy.
Hye-joo studies the page she stole. It lists a plastic wrapper found in the stomach with a doodle on it (which looks a lot like a parrot). Hye-joo thinks back to the moment when she told Geum-joo that she wanted her to pass the exam so they could meet in court as equals. Hye-joo then calls someone and asks them to find out something for her.
An-na and Manager Hwang wait nervously for the bar exam results to come out. Attorney Goo tells them to get a hold of themselves since Geum-joo might fail, and they need to be strong for her. Suk-woo takes exception to the very idea of Geum-joo failing.
Geum-joo walks in, and everyone tries very hard to act normal. As Suk-woo asks her about some case, the office phone rings. An-na picks it up and tells Geum-joo that it’s for her.
Geum-joo listens to person on the other end before suddenly dropping the phone and beginning to cry. In bewildered silence, everyone watches as Suk-woo tries to comfort her. Then, finally, her sobs subside a little, and she looks up at the concerned, curious faces around her.
The thing I like most about this show is how they gradually built up Geum-joo’s reasons for taking the bar exam again after all this time. Initially, she was forced to move into the study dorms after her marriage ended and she has nowhere else to go. She may have had some vague ideas about taking the exam again, but no real incentive. Then Bok-geo offered her a bargain that required her to study for the exam as part of her contract. We have seen Geum-joo struggle with her identity, even though she’s proud of her accomplishments as a paralegal. At one point, Geum-joo even asked what was so wrong with remaining a paralegal.
But just because something is comfortable doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for more. It bothered Geum-joo that she was always on the outside. She was singlehandedly solving impossible cases, and yet, she was getting none of the credit for it. Between Hye-joo and Bok-geo, Geum-joo was repeatedly reminded of what she could achieve and how limited her position was right now. Repeatedly, Geum-joo was shown that she could help more people if only she had an attorney’s badge. So when Geum-joo finally sat down for the test and thought back to Bok-geo’s words, she realized that she had found a worthy reason to succeed this time.
Hye-joo is pretty much unredeemable by now, but I think there might still be an interesting trajectory in place for her. She is certainly going to be instrumental in bringing down Oh Sung. What remains to be seen is whether she’ll stay a pawn to be used by stronger forces, or whether she’ll take an active part in the fight brewing between Geum-joo and CEO Lee. Will the girl finally make a few good choices?
Bok-geo is remarkably calm for a fugitive, although he’s probably pretty used to having his life turned upside down by now. I like that he knows how the law works from the inside, and uses that to escape its reach. He does seem to appreciate the dangers of the game he’s playing, and I liked that he could share a bit of that fear with both Suk-woo and Geum-joo. At this point, I’m far more invested in the Bok-geo/Suk-woo bromance than Suk-woo’s unrequited crush on Geum-joo and his insistence on competing in a nonexistent struggle for her heart.
No matter how things pan out, I hope Suk-woo can remain a part of this fledgling family as Bok-geo’s little brother and Geum-joo’s apt pupil.
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 10
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 9
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 8
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 7
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 6
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 5
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 4
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 3
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 2
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 1