Geum-joo is out to prove how committed she is to righting a wrong, determined to show the people that the law is meant to protect them. Unfortunately, the law can be corrupted, as our heroine knows all too well. It’s been a long journey for Geum-joo, but at least she’s made some friends along the way. But who among them will be by her side when she fights for a chance to win the most important case of all?
EPISODE 14: “When Losers Unite”
A shot is fired as two vehicles drive along a dirt road. Editor Go and Reporter Baek exchange concerned glances as he takes a call from Bok-geo’s driver, asking if they heard a gunshot.
Bok-geo’s driver sees Fixer’s car driving away, so he informs Editor Go that he will follow it while they search for Geum-joo. Editor Go and Reporter Baek discover Geum-joo unconscious and bleeding from a gunshot wound in her arm.
Fixer listens to Yoo Tae-ho’s recorded confession as the idol lies in the back seat, restrained. He promises money if Fixer will help him, but Fixer says that he has more money than Yoo Tae-ho. He toys with his captive, asking Yoo Tae-ho to guess if he will be spared or killed.
Suk-woo meets with a contact in Busan to ask about the drug dealer who confessed in the homeless girl case, specifically about why he was released. His companion hesitates to answer, so Suk-woo volunteers that the head prosecutor might have ordered his release.
In prison, Bok-geo’s given a newspaper featuring a picture of Geum-joo bleeding from her gunshot wound. He’s shocked at first, but then determination sets in.
Yoo Tae-ho’s fans are online, wondering why all of his concerts have suddenly been cancelled. They fear that he might be missing and debate whether to contact the police. Prosecutor Choi calls Hye-joo to ask if she knows anything about Yoo Tae-ho’s disappearance. When she plays coy, he asks if he is alive or not, but Hye-joo only laughs.
Manager Hwang and An-na wait for Geum-joo to wake up from surgery. When she comes to, Geum-joo admits to being thankful that she isn’t dead. Manager Hwang asks about what happened, triggering Geum-joo to remember the recording on her phone.
An-na tells Geum-joo that her phone wasn’t found at the scene of the shooting. Prosecutor Choi bursts into her room with a team of policemen, wanting to know what happened to Yoo Tae-ho. Geum-joo finds it curious that he didn’t ask about how she was shot first.
Geum-joo informs Prosecutor Choi that she was shot while getting Yoo Tae-ho’s confession. Raising his voice, he demands to know the whereabouts of Yoo Tae-ho, but Geum-joo answers that it’s up to the police to find him.
Prison guards run into Bok-geo’s cell and find him writhing on the floor. Meanwhile, Suk-woo runs through the hospital to Geum-joo’s room and throws his arms around her, forgetting that she’s hurt. He pledges to stay by her side from now on, even wiping a tear from his eye.
Geum-joo wonders where he’s been the past few days, and Suk-woo tells her that he went to Busan, promising to explain more once she is more recovered. Suk-woo admits that he’s been reflecting and realizes that not only can he not do without her, Geum-joo can’t do without him.
An ambulance speeds to the hospital with Bok-geo. He tells the guard that his doctor is at Seoul National Hospital, begging him to hurry.
Geum-joo informs Suk-woo about Yoo Tae-ho’s recorded confession, which was stolen by CEO Lee’s Fixer. Suk-woo asks if she gave that information to Prosecutor Choi, but she denies it, explaining that he is Oh Sung’s snitch. Suk-woo asks how they should proceed, and Geum-joo decides on a press conference.
Geum-joo is on her way to the press conference and stops so that Suk-woo can adjust the coat thrown over her injured arm. In the same hospital, Bok-geo spies her from a distance, and is both saddened and relieved to see her. He jumps out of his room and wastes no time in asking Suk-woo how he let this happen to her.
After assuring himself that Geum-joo is all right, Bok-geo warns her that she may not be so lucky next time. She refuses to be deterred and moves towards the press conference. Bok-geo declares himself an expert at interviews and removes her coat, explaining that she needs to make an impact by emphasizing that she was shot.
Fans of Yoo Tae-ho attend the press conference where Geum-joo identifies her assailant as Alan Baston, the witness who committed perjury to identify Bok-geo as Ji-ah’s murderer. When asked about Yoo Tae-ho, Geum-joo refuses further questions, explaining that she will reveal everything in a courtroom appeal.
Bok-geo and Suk-woo watch the press conference on television as Suk-woo tells him about Yoo Tae-ho’s missing confession. At Golden Tree, Manager Hwang, An-na, and Attorney Goo also watch the press conference, proud that Geum-joo has linked Ji-ah’s murder and Yoo Tae-ho’s disappearance to the homeless girl case.
Geum-joo uses the press conference to urge the court to accept the appeal in the homeless girl case. Yoo Tae-ho’s fans relocate to the courthouse, demanding the retrial to help find Yoo Tae-ho. Hye-ryung watches a report on the fans’ demonstration with Hye-joo, commenting wryly that Geum-joo is amazing.
Hye-joo thinks that CEO Lee may have gone too far in taking care of Yoo Tae-ho. Hye-ryung points out that Yoo Tae-ho met with Geum-joo to get back at her, forcing them to take action. Hye-ryung then hands over a list to that Hye-joo requested of people who have grudges against Oh Sung. She reviews the list in her office and reads about Kang Young-doo, who looks just like Fixer.
Hye-joo meets Fixer, asking how he took care of Yoo Tae-ho. He wonders why he should tell her, and she explains that she is turning the tables. She tries to find out why he became involved with Oh Sung in the first place, but Fixer walks away.
Hye-joo calls after him using his real name, KANG EUN-TAE, adding that she knows that he studied in France. Fixer turns around, telling Hye-joo to continue. She knows that his father, Kang Young-doo, lost a patent lawsuit to Oh Sung and committed suicide. Hye-joo pulls out a photo of Fixer Kang with his parents, explaining that he became involved because he wanted to see the takeover of Oh Sung.
Fixer Kang acknowledges that he underestimated Hye-joo. He understands that he can share all of CEO Lee’s secrets with her and make her the head of Oh Sung, but wonders what she can offer him. Hye-joo holds up her phone with the photo of the candy wrapper from Ji-ah’s autopsy report, promising to help with his revenge.
Fixer Kang approaches Hye-joo menacingly, accusing her of provoking him. She doesn’t flinch, proposing that just as CEO Lee killed his father using the law, they will use the law to ruin him. Later, Fixer Kang shows Hye-joo the video of Yoo Tae-ho and Hye-ryung as they toast to their new partnership.
Hye-joo visits Geum-joo at the hospital to hand over a USB that she claims to have stolen from CEO Lee. Geum-joo watches the video of Yoo Tae-ho and Hye-ryung as Hye-joo apologizes to Geum-joo for everything, assured that her sister understands that she had no choice. Geum-joo promises not to reveal that Hye-joo is her source, but worries that she may be in danger. Hye-joo promises to take care of herself before leaving.
Bok-geo’s driver meets him in prison and suggests that the source of the video might be Hye-joo. Bok-geo is worried that it’s a trap, but his driver knows that revealing the video will help with the retrial. Later, his driver watches the video with Editor Go and Reporter Baek at K-Fact, explaining that Bok-geo will determine when to reveal it.
Over at Oh Sung, Prosecutor Jung worries about the retrial request, since he closed the investigation in the homeless girl case. CEO Lee asks about the man who confessed and learns that it was a drug dealer named Lee Byun-dae.
Suk-woo is called to Busan, where he meets a man to sell some powder-filled baggies. The customer has no money, but is told that he can have the bags for free if he can arrange a meeting with Lee Byun-dae. The customer then meets LEE BYUN-DAE as Suk-woo stands just out of sight. He runs away when Editor Go and Reporter Baek show up, and Suk-woo hands off the baggies to join the chase.
Cornered, Lee Byun-dae points a broken bottle at Suk-woo, who identifies himself as Min-ah’s lawyer. The criminal insists that she died a long time ago, and Suk-woo verifies that Lee Byun-dae confessed to Min-ah’s murder before he was released by the prosecutor’s office. When Lee Byun-dae starts swinging, Suk-woo manages to subdue him in spite of an injury to his hand.
A bandaged Suk-woo places a video call to Min-ah, showing her face to Lee Byun-dae. He cries once he realizes that she is alive, and Editor Go and Reporter Baek witness his relief. As they help Geum-joo pack food into containers, Suk-woo explains to Min-ah how happy Lee Byun-dae was. Min-ah asks Suk-woo to tell Lee Byun-dae that she is happy that he told the truth. She runs off, and Suk-woo marvels that the real culprit feels better after telling the truth, and the victim has even forgiven him.
Suk-woo muses that those resistant to a retrial are the people who don’t want to accept their wrongdoings. He knows that judges and prosecutors makes mistakes too, so there has to be a system that can prove when they are wrong. He then asks about Gyeong-hwan, and Geum-joo admits that he can’t make up his mind about the appeal.
Suk-woo plays ball with Gyeong-hwan at the mental hospital as Geum-joo and Min-ah set out lunch. The young man looks much improved as he sits down to eat with Geum-joo. She asks Gyeong-hwan what he wanted to be when he grew up, and he admits that he wanted to be a baseball player before deciding to be a pharmacist.
Gyeong-hwan shares the heartbreaking story of picking up a prescription for his mother when he was only eight, not realizing that she would use it to kill herself. She died in his arms that night and his father beat him from then on, forcing him to run away. He cries, wishing that the pharmacist had told him to bring his mother to get the prescription.
Suk-woo and Min-ah return with some snacks, stopping when they notice Gyeong-hwan’s tears. He admits that he is scared that Geum-joo and Min-ah will be in danger if they proceed with the retrial. Geum-joo is touched, but tells Gyeong-hwan not to worry. She insists that she wants to become famous, explaining that it will help her to protect both him and Min-ah. It’s clear she’s just saying that to comfort him, but it seems to be working.
Geum-joo reassures Gyeong-hwan that everything will be okay as their visit ends. In voiceover, Geum-joo wonders how to fight against successful people, admitting that she doesn’t have much power or confidence. They all wave to a smiling Gyeong-hwan as the car pulls away, and her thoughts continue: “If losers were to unite, you never know.”
Bok-geo calls Geum-joo to tell her about the release of the video. News of the tape is everywhere, with reports of its ties to Min-ah, the victim in the homeless girl case. An announcer explains that the video has intensified focus on the request for a retrial.
Hye-joo drives as Prosecutor Choi wonders how K-Fact acquired the video. He asks if she knows where Yoo Tae-ho is, but she admits that she too is curious to know whether he’s dead or alive. Meanwhile, Editor Go and Reporter Baek are at K-Fact fielding a barrage of calls when Prosecutor Choi arrives, demanding that they name their source. He seizes their files when they refuse.
Geum-joo returns to Golden Tree and, after the team welcomes her back, Attorney Goo asks to speak with her alone. She argues against the retrial, suggesting it best to leave the kids alone. Geum-joo reasons that a retrial doesn’t bring in money and proceeds to fire Attorney Goo, only to then present her with a one-year scholarship to Harvard Law School.
Attorney Goo is speechless as Geum-joo explains that she arranged an interview for the following week, encouraging her friend to go. Geum-joo calls Attorney Goo the best lawyer in all of Korea, stipulating that when she returns, she has to rejoin Golden Tree. Attorney Goo insists on a hug, and the two women both shed tears over their goodbye.
Hye-joo breaks the news of the video’s leak to CEO Lee, who asks about Hye-ryung and hears that she is waiting for an explanation. CEO Lee calls Fixer Kang to ask if he knows who leaked the video only to get a vague response.
Hye-joo meets with an anxious Hye-ryung, informing her of the plan to deny that she is the woman in the video. Since Prosecutor Choi will be working on the case, Hye-joo shares a top secret rumor that he shared with her: CEO Lee is working with a hedge fund called Milliet.
Hye-ryung becomes suspicious of CEO Lee’s motives just as he walks in. Hye-joo wishes them a nice chat as she walks out with a satisfied look. Inside, CEO Lee apologizes about the video as Hye-ryung accuses him of holding Milliet’s hand, even though she turned everything over to him.
Suk-woo sits with Geum-joo at Golden Tree and asks how long will she keep Yoo Tae-ho’s whereabouts a secret. Geum-joo admits that she suspects that Fixer Kang took him somewhere, but her suggestion at the press conference that she had more information was a bluff. Suk-woo guesses that she hopes a retrial will help in finding Yoo Tae-ho.
Bok-geo’s driver meets with his boss, who asks if he got a lot of severance pay. He ignores the question and shares that he thinks that Fixer Kang put him away. Bok-geo guesses that he’s talking about Yoo Tae-ho, and his driver continues that there’s been no trace of the idol since the night that Geum-joo was shot. He doesn’t think that he ever left the Oh Sung vacation home where he was taken that night.
CEO Lee summons Hye-joo to his office to ask if she is responsible. She pretends to not understand his question, so he explains that he can’t reach Fixer Kang, not to mention that Hye-ryung’s video was leaked. He suspects Hye-joo is trying to cut him out of Oh Sung.
CEO Lee dismisses Hye-joo, but she wonders what the Oh Sung family would do if they learned of his connection to the hedge fund. He pretends there is no connection, so she plays a recording proving that he is indeed being controlled by Milliet. CEO Lee wants to know if Hye-joo is trying to escape, but she admits that she’s come too far to go back.
Hye-joo laughingly tells CEO that he miscalculated when he took her as a hostage. She admits that while Geum-joo would give everything up for her, Hye-joo can’t do that, confessing no interest in her sister’s life. Hye-joo touches CEO Lee’s nameplate and admits that she’d rather take his seat than be a pathetic hostage, and he can only laugh as he realizes that he’s been outsmarted.
Hye-joo prepares Hye-ryung for an Oh Sung director’s meeting, promising to protect her if she attends. The directors demand Hye-ryung’s resignation as well as an explanation for the video. She claims that is was manipulated and denies she is the woman with Yoo Tae-ho. Hye-joo ends the meeting, instructing the directors to contact her with any further questions.
Geum-joo meets with Bok-geo, who teases that she’s letting him rot in jail while she focuses on the retrial. She assures him that the retrial is necessary to prove him innocent, reminding him to prepare to testify as a witness.
Bok-geo asks Geum-joo if Hye-joo gave her the video. She refuses to answer, so he asks about the motive for handing over the video, informing Geum-joo that CEO Lee is out at the Oh Sung Law Firm. Over at Oh Sung, Hye-joo smashes CEO Lee’s nameplate to the floor before taking her seat at the desk, which now displays a new nameplate: CEO Park Hye-joo.
CEO Lee drives as he recalls the rest of his meeting with Hye-joo. She had informed him that Yoo Tae-ho was buried somewhere at CEO Lee’s vacation home. CEO Lee wanted to know how she managed to turn Fixer Kang, so she told him that he had a special connection with his former associate.
As she laughed, CEO Lee grabbed Hye-joo by the shoulders, demanding to know where Yoo Tae-ho was buried. Hye-joo tossed off his hands and pointed out that the discovery of the body would reveal CEO Lee’s crime, adding that he would be her hostage until death.
At CEO Lee’s vacation home, Fixer Kang joins the former CEO as he surveys the site, guessing that he must be looking for Yoo Tae-ho’s body. CEO Lee promises that Fixer Kang will pay for his betrayal, but he simply answers that he’s already paid. CEO Lee asks about the bad blood between them, but Fixer Kang promises that he’ll find out soon enough before walking away, whistling.
Gyeong-hwan signs the request for a retrial, sorry that he can’t pay any attorney fees. Suk-woo jokes that he will cancel the retrial because of that, but then asks for the baseball in Gyeong-hwan’s pocket. The boy protests that it is the only thing he has, so Suk-woo notes it will be the most that they have ever been paid.
After filing Gyeong-hwan’s request, Geum-joo and Suk-woo leave the courthouse in a hopeful mood. Suk-woo wonders again about Yoo Tae-ho, and we learn from a news report that he has been missing for a week.
Geum-joo and Suk-woo appear in court to argue the merit of the retrial. The judge refuses to accept the request, citing Gyeong-hwan’s confession, and Lee Byun-dae’s confession is ignored because the case was closed by Prosecutor Jung.
Geum-joo slams down her pen and opens the courtroom doors to Yoo Tae-ho’s fans. Suk-woo defends the homeless girl case as relevant in the disappearance of Yoo Tae-ho and argues that the court risks the media’s criticism. The judge considers that a threat, but Geum-joo explains that the court should never be controlled by the media. Rather, a bad ruling is significant to the people who place their trust in the law.
Hye-joo furthers her hold on Oh Sung at a fancy ladies’ luncheon, explaining that she will be assisting Hye-ryung. The women are very impressed and suggest Hye-joo become the vice chairwoman of their group.
Geum-joo walks into Golden Tree to hear that CEO Lee is waiting for her. CEO Lee tells Geum-joo that her career will end after the retrial, but she advises him to worry about his own career. Geum-joo ends the meeting at that, but CEO Lee asks if she still thinks of Hye-joo as her sister.
Geum-joo pays a visit to Hye-joo to ask about Yoo Tae-ho’s whereabouts. Hye-joo claims that she helped as much as she could, and asks if she’s supposed to help find his body too. Geum-joo realizes that Hye-joo knew that he was dead when she visited her in the hospital, and that she used her to get rid of CEO Lee.
Geum-joo asks about Yoo Tae-ho again, causing Hye-joo to lose her temper. She refers to her stepsister as Paralegal Cha, telling her to start acting like an attorney. Hye-joo adds that Geum-joo is at the bottom of the totem pole and mocks her honesty at her press conference. She even tells Geum-joo that she doesn’t have the brains to survive Seochodong anymore and even calls her delusional. (I think she’s the delusional one here.)
Geum-joo places the court’s ruling in favor of a retrial on the table, and Hye-joo mocks her, saying that it won’t change anything because there is a limit to what Geum-joo can do. Geum-joo agrees, but notes that the losers have united as she asks if Hye-joo is curious as to who will get knocked down.
Hye-joo’s journey to the dark side is complete as she takes over the reins as CEO of Oh Sung. Gone are her days as a teenage thief, as well as her days being Prosecutor Choi’s mistress and the lesser sister to the legendary Golden Tree, Cha Geum-joo. Hye-joo decided that if she was going to be trapped at Oh Sung, at least she would aim for the top. She has betrayed everyone in her way, and I imagine that she will soon find how isolated she will become. I’m not sure that it will matter to her, as it seems that she has lost touch with humanity. I’ll admit that I was on the fence until the very end, since I could imagine her risking her safety to help Geum-joo and Bok-geo. But it turned out that the only person Hye-joo will help is herself, so now the question is, will Geum-joo be able to cut herself off from Hye-joo in order to help Min-ah, Gyeong-hwan, and Bok-geo?
The exploitation of Min-ah and Gyeong-hwan puts Hye-joo’s decline into perspective. Min-ah almost lost her life in the attempt to recover her video of Yoo Tae-ho and Hye-ryung, and she lost a great deal of time due to her coma and lengthy recovery. Gyeong-hwan was falsely convicted in Min-ah’s attack and spent a year in prison. After his release, he slowly slipped into the delusion that he actually killed the girl, eventually landing in a mental hospital.
In spite of their losses, Min-ah and Gyeong-hwan are caring and forgiving, and are only hesitant to proceed with the retrial out of fear for others. In contrast, Hye-joo hasn’t suffered nearly as much as the kids, but she is bitter and resentful, selfish and power-hungry. It was a very honest moment when she confessed to CEO Lee that she had no interest in Geum-joo’s life, even if it was frightening.
Geum-joo is faced with a tough fight, but she knows there are people she cares for who need her help. Geum-joo isn’t afraid to lose everything, while Hye-joo is desperate to hold on to what she has managed to take for herself. It should be an interesting fight, because Hye-joo will find that she has burned all of her bridges and has no allies, while Geum-joo is sure to get help from her enemies. Fixer Kang can’t deal with every enemy that Hye-joo has, so it will be very satisfying to watch Hye-joo tumble back down to earth.
This episode really centered on Hye-joo’s rise to power, but I miss the playful banter that Bok-geo brings to the story. With his character in prison, Bok-geo has been forced to the sidelines, and his relationship with all of the characters is minimal. I have enjoyed Geum-joo’s other relationships – the one with Attorney Goo for instance, with their farewell being so touching – but the romance in a romantic drama is definitely missing. Considering that I failed to anticipate Hye-joo’s evil turn, I don’t know what to expect for Bok-geo and Geum-joo by story’s end. I hope they get a happy ending of some sort, since Bok-geo has been waiting for Geum-joo for a very long time.
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 13
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 12
- Woman With a Suitcase: Episode 11
- 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