Rating:
Average user rating 4.7
52

Defendant: Episode 18 (Final)

Victory seems within Jung-woo’s grasp, but as always, Min-ho has more tricks up his sleeve than our righteous prosecutor can anticipate, and he’s always willing to play dirty. Has this villain run out of time and allies, or will he be able to slip through the cracks of a corrupt system once again? Jung-woo and his motley crew are determined to prove that this time, Min-ho won’t get to have the last laugh.

 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

News breaks about Min-ho’s arrest, and Jung-woo escorts him to the prosecutor’s office. Min-ho mockingly says that if Jung-woo thinks he killed his wife, he must want to kill him. Jung-woo says he constantly wants to kill Min-ho, but Ji-soo wouldn’t want him to, because he’s a prosecutor. Min-ho asks if that’s why Jung-woo lured his wife into exposing his identity, but Jung-woo says he just didn’t want Eun-soo to find out his father is a murderer, which enrages Min-ho.

Jung-woo tells him that soon, he won’t have to put on this act anymore. When they arrive at the prosecutor’s office, reporters swarm them, and Min-ho tells one of them to get lost, shocking her. Once he’s taken inside, the reporters question Jung-woo, who says that the truth will come out soon.

Attorney Lee joins Min-ho in the interrogation room, and his client asks if it’s over for him; Jung-woo enters and remarks that he must be nervous. He hands over a file listing the details of the case and leaves them to read it all and decide if Min-ho is done for or not.

Jung-woo meets Yeon-hee in a different interrogation room and thanks her for calling him about Min-ho’s escape plan. He knows it wasn’t easy for her to testify to Min-ho’s identity, and asks why she changed her mind. Yeon-hee says that Jung-woo’s words about Eun-soo lingered with her; Min-ho has been a good father, and she can’t bear for her son to find out what kind of person he really is.

Min-ho gripes that Deputy General Jung is nowhere to be found despite all the bribes he took, and tells Attorney Lee to get Joon-hyuk for him instead. Joon-hyuk is in his office, agonizing over the pen he took from Min-ho, which contains a recording of Joon-hyuk promising to find and destroy the knife used to kill Ji-soo.

Min-ho tells Joon-hyuk he’ll do anything if he lets him go free, an opportunity the prosecutor can’t afford to miss — can’t he gauge the situation? Joon-hyuk says it’s Min-ho who has misjudged this situation.

Cut to Deputy General Jung getting arrested as he blusters about his seniority. Jung-woo says the night guard who was watching Sung-kyu testified that the deputy general told him to leave his post when Sung-kyu was murdered. Now, he’s being investigated for other connections with Chamyung, and investigators have to drag the indignant man out.

Jung-woo tells Joon-hyuk that the deputy general will be punished thanks to the information he passed on. Joon-hyuk asks why Jung-woo isn’t taking him in when he’s arresting everyone else related to this incident. Jung-woo replies, “Because I know you.”

Joon-hyuk gives him the Nemo plush toy and confesses that he came to the house the night of Ji-soo’s murder, and that the doorbell Jung-woo heard that night was him. He says he never believed Jung-woo was guilty, but once he erased evidence about his presence that night, he couldn’t turn back. He also admits that he’d been greedy for Jung-woo’s UN position, and Jung-woo takes this in, shocked.

“I knew it was wrong, but all I could think of was covering this up. Even when Ha-yeon called, my first thought was hiding it,” Joon-hyuk says tearfully. He says that if he’d come to his senses earlier, Jung-woo could have reunited with Ha-yeon sooner. (Yeah, no kidding, you worm.)

Joon-hyuk apologizes and gives Jung-woo the incriminating pen, promising to testify at the trial if Jung-woo needs him to. Jung-woo says he’ll lose his job if he testifies, but Joon-hyuk says it was that very fear that brought him down this path; he’d forgotten why he became a prosecutor in the first place.

As Joon-hyuk walks away, Jung-woo clenches his fists, inadvertently playing the message recorded by the stuffed Nemo he’s holding. Closing his eyes, Jung-woo squeezes the toy over and over so he can keep hearing Ji-soo’s voice. He finally breaks down in tears. “Thank you Joon-hyuk. For letting me hear Ji-soo’s voice again.” Looking tortured, Joon-hyuk leaves. Ugh. I hope you stew in guilt for the rest of your life.

Jung-woo returns to Min-ho to ask if he admits to the charge of Ji-soo’s murder. When Min-ho pretends not to know who she is, Jung-woo asks again, and Min-ho suddenly “remembers” her, saying that he thought Sung-kyu was already proven to be the culprit.

In response, Jung-woo plays the recording of Min-ho saying that he stabbed Ji-soo. Min-ho lunges for the pen, but Jung-woo moves it out of his reach, saying that Joon-hyuk gave it to him. Min-ho laughs and curses Joon-hyuk, and Attorney Lee asks for a break.

Attorney Lee warns that he could get a death sentence, so Min-ho orders him to find a way out. Attorney Lee recommends a plea bargain, which Min-ho angrily refuses. Meanwhile, Jung-woo, Prosecutor Choi, and Investigator Go watch from the observation room.

Jung-woo holds a press conference to announce that the prosecution has verified that “Cha Sun-ho” is the real culprit behind the Wolha-dong murder, and that they are charging him with three counts of murder and two counts of contract killing. Reporters ask who the third murder victim is, and chaos erupts when Jung-woo reveals that it’s Sun-ho, whom Min-ho killed and is now impersonating.

Min-ho’s mother watches this news report with shock and confusion, but Yeon-hee turns it off, telling her mother-in-law it was just a dream and that her sons went on a business trip. The old woman nods, though she seems disturbed, and Yeon-hee thinks, I’m sorry, Mother. Because of Eun-soo, I had no choice.

Min-ho waits in the interrogation room as the day wears on. Attorney Lee informs him that he’ll be transferred to a detention center soon, reiterating that his best option now is a plea bargain. Min-ho refuses again, so the lawyer tells him to pretend to be crazy — he can plead for a reduced sentence and eventually be transferred from prison to a hospital. Attorney Lee says he’ll look for a psychiatrist willing to cooperate with them.

When he’s transferred, Min-ho puts on a convincing show, raving that he’s Cha Min-ho and pretending to see the ghost of his father as he grabs a reporter’s leg and begs for forgiveness. Afterward, Min-ho grins secretly as the police van takes him away.

Chul-shik arrives at the prosecutor’s office, looking sharp in a suit. He marches up the the information desk and says that he’s here to see Prosecutor Park Jung-woo in order to turn himself in. He sings, “I love you bay-bee,” as he swaggers across the lobby, until he trips over his own feet. Heh. I love this guy.

Chul-shik goes to Jung-woo’s office, where he meets Investigator Go, who has been expecting him. Chul-shik admires Jung-woo’s nameplate and sits in his chair, pretending to be a prosecutor as he puts his feet up on the desk, much to Investigator Go’s great amusement (and mine). Prosecutor Choi comes in then, and Chul-shik jumps out of Jung-woo’s chair in fright, stiffly announcing to the bewildered man that he’s here to turn himself in.

Jung-woo comes in (Chul-shik gives him a shy wave), and Prosecutor Choi asks if he’s aware of Min-ho’s antics. Jung-woo says he is, and his superior warns him not to let the man get away as he leaves, eyeing Chul-shik doubtfully.

Jung-woo greets his friend and tells Investigator Go to draw up his paperwork, and Chul-shik giggles as he shows his friend his visitor badge. He asks how long he’ll have to be in jail, and Jung-woo says once Min-ho’s case goes to trial, Chul-shik will be released.

Eun-hye visits Mil-yang again, who tells her that he’s decided not to apply for a retrial after all. The woman he went to prison for enters the room with a shy smile, and Eun-hye leaves them to talk. The woman apologizes, crying, but he gently tells her it’s all right. In the hallway, Eun-hye runs into Tae-soo, who has been reinstated, and they greet each other warmly.

A contemplative Mil-yang is back in his cell with Gangster Hyung when the guard announces an “experienced” newbie: it’s Chul-shik! He enters with a salute and a grin, and his friends happily welcome him. He tells them he turned himself in, and that Jung-woo made a deal with the corrupt warden so he could return to their cell.

Gangster Hyung says he’ll be released soon, too — he’s just written to his kids to say he’s sailing home to them. Mil-yang tells them that he’s going to apply for a retrial.

Jung-woo picks up an ecstatic Ha-yeon from kindergarten. He asks her if she’s surprised to see him instead of Grandma, but she says she wishes he would come pick her up every day. He agrees that he’d love that too.

Jung-woo promises her that once he’s finished with this case, he’ll pick her up from school more often. They adorably seal their pinky promise with meows, but Ha-yeon says it’s okay if Grandma comes — she knows he’ll feel bad if he can’t keep his promise. He thanks her for understanding.

Prosecutor Choi calls Jung-woo to tell him that Min-ho has applied for a psychological evaluation. Jung-woo asks the judge who approved the examination how he could do so before the trial has even started, but the judge won’t budge, and he denies Jung-woo’s request to get Min-ho evaluated by other doctors.

Jung-woo enters the waiting room where Min-ho sits huddled in his wheelchair. Min-ho motions him close, then whispers, “What can’t I do with money and power in the great Republic of Korea? Please tell me, Prosecutor Park.” Jung-woo glares at him and says he’ll see him in court.

In his opening statement, Jung-woo declares his intent to expose the hidden truth and those who covered it up, while Min-ho sits zoned out and twitching in his chair. Before the trial starts, Attorney Lee asks to submit his psychiatric evaluation, but Jung-woo objects, saying it’s absurd that Min-ho deteriorated this much in the few days since he was appointed chairman of Chamyung. The judge accepts the report anyway.

Jung-woo calls Joon-hyuk to the witness stand and asks him to identify Ji-soo’s murderer. He says it’s Min-ho, who told Joon-hyuk himself about the knife he stabbed Ji-soo with. The knife had Min-ho’s blood on it, and he’d asked Joon-hyuk to find it. Jung-woo plays the recording of that conversation, causing Eun-hye and Tae-soo to look at Joon-hyuk with shocked disgust.

Min-ho’s lawyer protests that they don’t know what state his client was in when the recording was made, and that they can’t trust Joon-hyuk’s testimony, as he’s been friends with Jung-woo for fifteen years. Jung-woo agrees that they’re old friends, but also reveals that he’s charged Joon-hyuk with covering for the defendant and for destroying evidence in this case. Jung-woo asks why Joon-hyuk is testifying when it will cost him his career and land him in jail, and he replies that he now wants to reveal the truth that he’s been hiding.

Seok testifies next, saying that Min-ho ordered him to kill Sung-kyu, which prompts Min-ho to say, “Min-ho? My brother is dead.” When Jung-woo asks him if Seok is telling the truth, Min-ho becomes agitated and starts apologizing to his father again. Attorney Lee objects to his mentally incapable client being questioned, which the judge sustains.

Jung-woo asks Seok to say who stabbed Ji-soo, and the young man pauses before he says, “It was Cha Min-ho.” At this, Min-ho starts to repeat over and over that Min-ho is dead. Ignoring the commotion, Jung-woo asks Seok to explain what happened that night in detail.

Seok says, “On that day, I anesthetized Park Jung-woo, who was already asleep. Then I grabbed Yoon Ji-soo from behind, and Cha Min-ho grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed her twice with his left hand.”

Min-ho gets up, yelling and trying to grab Seok, so Attorney Lee requests an adjournment. Once he’s alone with his lawyer, Min-ho drops the act and asks what Attorney Lee thinks of the situation. The lawyer says that now his only hope is the insanity scheme, assuring him that the judge is on their side.

Once court reconvenes, Jung-woo tries to question Min-ho, but the judge tells him to question Attorney Lee instead, as the defendant is unfit to answer. Jung-woo requests a secondary psychiatric evaluation, but Attorney Lee says that Min-ho has been taking drugs which may invalidate it; the judge says he’ll decide later if another evaluation is necessary.

A woman enters the courtroom and takes a seat, and Jung-woo asks to call one final witness.

Yeon-hee takes the stand, and Jung-woo asks her when she found out her husband was dead. She says it was the day of Min-ho’s suicide, when Min-ho came to their house in the guise of Sun-ho. Jung-woo asks her why she pretended not to know all this time, and she replies, “I pitied him.” Min-ho’s face begins to lose its vague look, and he begins to tremble.

Jung-woo asks how she could pity him, considering what he’d done. “Because I loved him,” Yeon-hee replies. “He wasn’t always a bad person. He changed as he endured his father’s abuse over the years. And from the moment I married Sun-ho, he started to become someone else. That’s why I had no choice but to accept Min-ho pretending to be Sun-ho.”

Jung-woo asks why she is revealing this now, after nine months. She says it’s important to her how her son will remember his father; if Min-ho were punished by the law as Sun-ho, Eun-soo would be the son of a criminal. A tear drips down Min-ho’s face.

But as she looks over at a shaking Min-ho, she says that her son’s father is Cha Min-ho, who is sitting here. He meets her eyes, and the crowd stirs in surprise. “Yeon-hee,” he whispers.

She speaks directly to Min-ho, telling him that he’s a good father to Eun-soo. Min-ho chokes out, “I’m not his father. Cha Sun-ho is his father. Cha Sun-ho, who I killed, is his father. I’m not his father.” Yeon-hee tells him to stop now. Tearfully, she pleads, “Let’s pay for our sins. I will tell Eun-soo how much his father loved him.” Min-ho begins to cry in earnest.

In his closing, Jung-woo lists all of Min-ho’s crimes, ending with his attempt to escape punishment by faking mental incapacity, and declares that he must be isolated from society permanently. He cites various criminal codes, then pauses to look over at Tae-soo and Eun-hye, who both nod. Glancing at Yeon-hee briefly, Jung-woo takes a deep breath and requests a death sentence.

Some time later, Eun-hye’s aunt wishes her luck as she dresses for court. She petitions a judge for Mil-yang’s retrial as the woman (his wife?) watches from the audience. Min-ho returns to Woljung Penitentiary, this time wearing the red tags of a death row prisoner. The warden greets him with his real name, and Min-ho shortly asks if his room is ready.

Min-ho is put in a punishment cell, and the guards ignore his enraged shouts. Through the door, a voice welcomes him; it’s Tae-soo, who says he’s been waiting. “Think of this as your home now. Though it won’t be comfortable,” says Tae-soo.

Left alone, Min-ho suddenly hallucinates his father’s hand around his ankle, and he huddles in a corner and begs his father for forgiveness.

Jung-woo visits Joon-hyuk, who is also in prison. Joon-hyuk tells Jung-woo not to forgive him, and Jung-woo asks if Joon-hyuk remembers what he said when they first took their oath: It was okay for them to be incompetent prosecutors, so long as they didn’t become shameful prosecutors. Jung-woo says he’ll wait for him.

He visits Min-ho next. “I told you you could never become Cha Sun-ho,” says Jung-woo. Min-ho agrees that he couldn’t, because of Jung-woo. But, he points out with a snide laugh, Jung-woo’s wife died because of him.

“Was your son’s name Eun-soo?” asks Jung-woo, and Min-ho loses his cool immediately. Jung-woo tells him that Eun-soo and Yeon-hee are leaving Korea today. “You won’t see them again. You won’t see me again either. Just live your whole life in there, reflecting on what you’ve done.” He leaves, ignoring Min-ho’s demands to borrow his phone. Min-ho sobs, repeating Eun-soo and Yeon-hee’s names.

Jung-woo and Eun-hye go to visit Mong-chi and Rockfish at their clothing store. Mong-chi comments that it’s almost time for the arrival of the “fated one” that Woljung brought to him. The prison doctor walks in then, calling Mong-chi “Honey” in a sugary voice. They proceed to talk to each other in baby voices as Jung-woo and Eun-hye look on in astonishment.

The three former cellmates (and Eun-hye) join Mil-yang and Gangster Hyung at a restaurant, and they catch up as they wait for the last member of their group. Outside, Chul-shik parks his white truck and gets out, patting it as he says, “I am Optimus.”

Chul-shik joins his friends and jokes that they’ve got to live by the law now, or Prosecutor Park will arrest them. Jung-woo laughs and says that they should all promise never to go back to jail. Everyone agrees, and Eun-hye reminds them to call her if they ever have any trouble.

Sometime later, Eun-hye finally files an application for a retrial on behalf of her father.

Jung-woo takes Ha-yeon to see Ji-soo. He reminisces about Ha-yeon’s birthday and their last day as a family as Ha-yeon cries, “I miss you, Mommy.” Jung-woo says he misses her too, and suggests that Ha-yeon sing for Mommy so she can rest well. Father and daughter tearfully sing a lullaby.

Ji-soo’s family plants a tree for her (did they move her ashes?). Mother Oh says that she knows it’s been suffocating, but now, Ji-soo can see the sky she loves, and Tae-soo promises that they’ll visit often. Ha-yeon tells Ji-soo that she misses her very much, and Jung-woo hugs her.

Jung-woo takes Ha-yeon for a walk in the forest, reminding her of when he told her that the world wouldn’t abandon them. He promises to do his best to make her world a more beautiful and happier place and asks her to trust him. He tells her that Mommy is watching over them, so they should always smile and live with courage. She agrees, and they walk on, holding hands.

Jung-woo and his team arrive at a large office building, where he gets a call from Prosecutor Choi. Jung-woo insists that he is most definitely not going after Chairman Park, since Prosecutor Choi strictly forbade it. Once he hangs up, Jung-woo tells a grinning Investigator Go that they should only go after the ones their superiors tell them not to touch, and his friend gives him a thumbs up.

They march inside, and Jung-woo presents his badge, declaring, “I’m Seoul Special Unit Prosecutor Park Jung-woo.” He adds a wink for good measure.

 
COMMENTS

What a ride! Defendant was truly enjoyable from start to finish, and with its engaging, suspenseful, intense story, its stellar cast, and its skillful directing, it’s no surprise that it was a ratings hit, ending its run on an impressive 28.3% that broke its own record. Everyone in the cast had wonderful chemistry and there were no weak links, but the standouts were Ji Sung and Eom Ki-joon, who upped their game every week with performances that blew me away, broke my heart, and made me crazy. Ji Sung has always been good, but he tapped into some raw reservoir of emotion for this role that I’ve never seen from him before, and it was hard to watch him sometimes as he expressed his character’s grief and anguish. Eom Ki-joon, on the other hand, brought a multifaceted performance that was so much more than what we’d expect from a classic villain, with shades of vulnerability and even insanity at times that made his character the most complex and interesting of the show.

I was pleased with every aspect of the way this final hour unfolded, with the exception of Joon-hyuk’s redemption. I didn’t find it surprising that he regretted his actions and decided to confess to his crimes, because we’ve seen signs that he was heading that way for a few episodes. But I did find it hard to believe that Jung-woo would forgive him so easily, even if he did say sorry (once). I don’t care how long and cherished their friendship was, there are some things relationships don’t recover from, and one of those things is keeping your friend from reuniting with his kidnapped daughter. Even if what he did to Jung-woo could be somehow explained away as self-preservation, I can’t get over how Joon-hyuk purposely left poor Ha-yeon to the mercies of a ruthless murderer. I appreciate that Jung-woo made sure that Joon-hyuk was punished according to the law, but it just doesn’t sit right with me that he was able to forgive him so quickly, and with so little groveling.

Other than that small gripe, however, I absolutely loved this episode. We got the perfect amount of scheming from Min-ho, who we knew would never go down without a fight, without the show dragging out a single plot point or making our hero and his team seem incompetent in the least. Jung-woo was at the top of his game as a prosecutor, in total control and fully returned to his former sharpness, bolstered by an underlying steel that was forged in the past nine months. By the time he finally won his long fight against Min-ho, he’d found peace and a measure of happiness, but it was clear that a deep sadness will always be with him, even in his most lighthearted moments.

My favorite scene in this episode surprised me, because I’ve spent this entire drama hating Min-ho’s guts and finding Yeon-hee an enigma — and yet it was their moment during the trial that hit me the hardest. That whole courtroom scene was brilliant, but I found it so smart and so fitting that in the end, it wasn’t Jung-woo’s ability to outsmart Min-ho that won him his victory, but his recognition of Min-ho’s vulnerability. Min-ho’s plan to plead insanity would have worked if Yeon-hee hadn’t appealed to his love for her and Eun-soo, laying her heart out sincerely in front of him. I’ve found it fascinating how Min-ho never once blamed Yeon-hee for abandoning or betraying him, given how he lashes out at most people over the slightest insult. Yet he didn’t get angry at her for marrying Sun-ho, for betraying Chamyung and his father, or even for giving him up to his most hated enemy and ruining his plan to run away and have a happy life together. In the end, he even confessed his guilt for her sake and for Eun-soo’s, dooming himself to punishment for his crimes. Yeon-hee, in turn, was able to separate her love for him from her recognition that he had to pay for the things he did; in fact, maybe forcing him to do so was her way of loving him.

Despite how much of this drama depicted corruption, violence, trauma, and injustice, ultimately it was a story about love. It was about Jung-woo’s love for his wife and child, which gave him endless strength to fight for their sake. It was about Min-ho’s love for his father, which was never returned, turning him into the twisted man he became, and his love for Yeon-hee, which ended up being his Achilles heel. It was about Eun-hye’s love for her wrongly accused father, which allowed her to believe in Jung-woo when everyone else gave up on him. And, above all, it was about the love of friends banding together and risking it all to help each other. Maybe at first it seemed strange that a story about a fugitive death row inmate would have “I Love You Baby” as its main theme, but it actually ended up being exactly the right song, and I think from now on, it’ll always remind me of Jung-woo, Chul-shik, and their ragtag prison break crew. Oh, and Transformers too.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

52

Required fields are marked *

And of course in all of Korea... there is only ONE prison everyone is jailed in. LOL

Overall, big kudos to the acting chops of Ji Sung x Uhm Ki Joon (still can't get over him from DH... hahaaa ^^)
Also really loved the camaraderie between the prison mates. Although the doctor x mongchi pairing was so weird... lol

9/10 for me~ :) (only bc i feel like the baddies got off kinda easy... i wanted blood... how dare you get rid of sungkyu that easily and not give anything bad to the baddies!?? & where is seok? also in the same prison? LOL)

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

First, Moongchi's got a lot of Aegyo, really enjoyed him here in the last ep. Cellmates are all good. MinHo doesn't scare me as a villain and even if he kills, he just stabs them, hit them, make them fall off a building but nothing so sadistic or anything creepy. When you are the big boss of a big corporation but all you think is how to catch JiSoo, it's funny.
Touching was the courtroom scene between Min Ho and YoonHee, but tears fell like rain when Jisoo and Hayeon went to visit her mom. I think having a daughter in real life really helped JiSoo tap more into his raw emotions and it shows.
Ep 17 was a lil boring but final ep more than made up for that. That goes to one of the best KDrama for 2017. Now it's time for Jisoo to babysit as his wife takes over his timeslot with Whisper. Well, they hv to alternate and wait for another good project.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I meant JiSung. Sorry about that.
Oh, about Yuri, she's ok but not really relevant or stellar so...
Doesn't matter, it's enough that she got her name included in this great drama.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

JiSung became a husband and father recently - I bet that's where all the new found emotional depth came from!

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved this show, I loved this episode, but I have to admit it wasn't even Ji-Sung who made me tear up this hour. That honor goes to Shin Rin-Ah, the little girl whose acting I look forward to in the future (assuming she decides to continue). I'm glad Jung-Woo finally took her to visit her mother, but she really broke my heart when she said she missed her mom. Thanks for the recap!

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Late reply but agree about the child actor too. She was really good, a very realistic nuanced performance , is she does continue she has a very bright future

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think both Defendant and Voice dont give satisfy ending. The build up was so good then the final feel too... normal.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wonderful recap! I teared up at the end when you said ultimately the theme of this drama is love. You're so right!

I knew Yeon-hee was going to be Minho's downfall ever since it was shown that he never cared for wealth, he just only loved Yeonhee. That scene where he argued with his father and Seonho. I hate feeling sorry for Minho but its the truth. Usually you hear CEOs become more greedy when they get more money, but towards the end Minho never cared and was more than willing to give everything up EXCEPT his only love and son.

Unlike Junhyuk who stayed being my most hated character lol I know he never murdered anyone but traitors irritate me the most. I was also salty than Jungwoo forgave him so fast, maybe because he thought of Hayeon who missed her samcheon and forgave him for his daughter.

And is it just me or I feel like everyone's story is wrapped up nicely EXCEPT Eun-hye? Like I know viewers are against Yuri but the writers actually made me curious about her character. Only she was the one with the loose end. We'll never know if she managed to prove her father's innocence. And I wished there was more bonding conversations between Jung-woo and Eun-hye. Was he not curious WHY she believed in when nobody else would? I pictured a warm conversation like that with Eun-hye explaining to him about what happened with her dad. Eun-hye was completely abandoned by the writer before they reminded us that she DID have a backstory and it was first mentioned in episode 2, but never cared to bring it up again until the last two episodes.

Still, I enjoyed this drama a lot. People say the bromance was unexpected but I did see it coming when Ji Sung and the prisonmates did a Vlive together. But I did not expect for Jung-woo and Shin Cheol Sik to be developing the strongest bond in the drama besides Jung-woo/Seong-kyu. Jo Jae Yun was definitely a scene stealer along with Oh Dae Hwan lol

Anyways, I'm curious Laica (and all the beanies). What did you all think of Yuri's performance? I'm Yuri biased (Ji Sung is my favorite actor tho so watched this for him too as well as the plot being interesting. Defendant is such a blessing to me honestly)? So I feel like I won't be able to judge fairly like any casual drama fan (then again I was never able to judge whether an actors performance was bad or good unless it was amazingly good or horribly bad regardless if its my faves acting or not). But I really do think she was good with the scenes she was given altho she wasn't given any extreme scenes to prove she could be acknowledged as a good actress, unlike Yoona in The K2 who had tons of scenes where she had to be very emotional.

1
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree! I can't help but compare with other dramas like Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim wherein the female lead (third starring to the two male leads) had a backstory and was developed in the present. Then here, with Eunhye, that's it? As the female lead, I expected much more screentime for Yuri. It also became an issue at the start how she could be a female lead with a cast full of veterans. If she was just marketed as a supporting actress, there would be less hate from casual fans and less expectations from her fans. Maybe putting her on the main poster would bring in Girls' Generation fans to watch the show as well and a way to promote her endorsed brand, Urban Decay while it sponsored the drama.
I only felt her significance as a female lead in 4 out of the 18 episodes: when she was introduced, when she presented in court the video tape Jisoo recorded, when she drove for the escapees, and when she and TaeSoo found Hayeon.
This drama showed Yuri, Oh Changsuk and Uhm Hyun Kyung's potentials in bigger roles in the future, but I couldn't say it's their breakthrough project. This drama really belonged to Ji Sung and Uhm Ki Joon. This drama sort of a comeback drama of Ji Sung after the not so successful, Entertainer. Just like how Lee Dong Wook resurrected back to success with Goblin. With Uhm Ki Joon, his greatness as an actor is more recognized here as it gained high ratings. I've seen him in Golden Cross and he was amazing but that drama didn't gain enough public recognition despite how good it is as well.
I share the same sentiments as you, as I've watched this show because of Yuri too. I enjoyed the ride of watching this show and also learned about new actors like Cheol Sik! After watching, I was kinda disappointed that Yuri didn't get much screentime that made me want her to see back to performing as a singer and do variety shows! Hopefully, she could be a lawyer again in a drama someday.
If this was extended to maybe few more episodes, the other characters would get their own story line. But honestly, I've already felt tired watching it after Ep 16 though I loved it still until Ep 18.
If this was a weekend drama, Eunhye and Taesoo could've been an item lol. I liked how they met when Taesoo found Eunhye's number on his phone because Jungwoo used it. I also saw their chemistry when they found Hayeon and brought her back to her father. I don't know if the writer implied it, but I felt sparks when Eunhye and Taesoo met in prison. Eunhye heard that he got reinstated and Taesoo asked what Eunhye did there and she said she met her client, Milyang. They exchanged smiles upon seeing each other and I can't help but ship them! A lawyer and a police... why not. It would be cute that Jungwoo and Hayeon allowed them to meet. :P

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had never seen Yuri in anything before Defendant, and I thought she was kind of weak in Episode 2? but she got better (or maybe it was just she was given less to do) but my overall impression of her was decent. I'd be curious to know whether her part was intended to be bigger? It kind of feels like it but at the same time it was obviously the men's show and with so much of it set in prison, it kind of limited her character's role.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you Sakura!

I thought Yuri was decent, in fact better than I had expected given her lack of experience (I'm sure acting with Ji Sung helped her improve as well). As I mentioned in a previous recap though, I did feel the Eun-hye was lacking in character development and screentime, which is a shame. Like you said, giving more context about her father would have given her support of Jung-woo and the others more depth.

And I would have totally gone for a Tae-soo/Eun-hye pairing.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I thought Yuri was decent. It was a perfect limited role that allowed her to gain some experience. She just had to be a character that's a cheery and idealistic lawyer. Not too difficult. The show didn't really require that many lawyer scenes and complex emotions from her. Now, she's no longer a bad actress and getting close to being an average actor, which is actually a difficult accomplishment. I saw her debut drama. Honestly, Yuri was awful and looked so awkward on screen. She has definitely improved, but I don't think she's as good as her fellow SNSD members yet. I think Sooyoung is the best while maknae Seohyun seems to have a lot of potential. I was surprised by her acting in this one secret camera prank variety show.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Omooooo I just finished this show a moment ago. Better late than never isn't it? :) Thanks to your comment I just learnt that one SNSD member participated in the show.. and that was Yuri! hehehe

For me, if you ask me about her performance, I did have the same feeling as expressed by everyone here. I saw that she got quite a limited role in the show. However, in terms of her acting I wouldn't have thought that she had no prior experience to acting in this show! She was good to be honest. When I say an actor or actress is good I mean that their acting is natural and believable in my eyes. Yuri acted accordingly. So for me, she passed :)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Before the "I love you baby" song would remind me of back when I watched "10 things I hate about you" but now I'll remember Shin Cheol Sik and the gang ?

Such an awesome cast, I've become so attached to them. It also makes me so happy to see them having fun on their reward vacation. Kim Min Suk posted photos of him with Ji Sung, Yuri and Jo Jae Yun and I was thinking to myself why we didn't get to see this cool squad ? having scenes together? I thought we would coz all three of them were supporting Jung-woo smh

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

2017 Daesang for Ji Sung - or something is very wrong with the system!

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

YES! I can't wait to watch Han Suk Kyu hand him the Daesang ?
Or better yet, have Ji Sung and Uhm Kijoon share the award.
SBS, you better not screw up!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

He definitely deserves some award, but dramas that air early in the year typically don't do well at the end of the year awards. I think people forget about them, especially if there was another hit drama. Maybe, Ji Sung has a chance to win something at the Baeksangs and other mid-year award shows.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

So is "Park Jung Woo" going to meet "Shin Young Joo" in Whisper?

One is a prosecutor..and the other is a cop. So Why not?

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was hoping for a cameo from Lee Bo Young in the final episode seeing that Whisper will follow this show. Oh well.
Still keeping my fingers crossed that our beloved prosecutor makes it into Whisper somehow.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

That would be adorable! And they can get together and bust bad guys while Lee Sangyoon's character gets jealous

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

^THIS. Genius. I definitely want to see this in Whisper LOL

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Great series! Glad it is over for my poor heart, but I will also miss it and the characters.
What I liked about the ending:
- mostly good wrap up of loose ends
- the way Junwoo got to Cha Minho through his 'wife' (though in truth, I thought the transition from the court scene to the prison was a little abrupt and we had to guess how we got there. I sort of thought Minho was crazy enough to continue playing the lunatic)
- they carried the realistic grief over the wife's death through to the end. It wasn't like many dramas where there is grief, then poof, its over. I liked that they came back to it multiple times, and in heartbreaking and realistic ways
- I thought Jungwoo forgiving of his friend was in character. It seemed who he was, so that didn't bother me
- the whole truck theme was great spoof, the remote truck used to torture the minyon and that truck driving ended up being Cheol Sik's job

And I thought there were some holes in the ending:
- they never explained the memory loss - it was such a big deal, and then just went away, huh?
- Jungwoo and Hayeon should have visited Seong-kyu
- what was with the last minute intro of the elder's story and the lawyer's story. It kind of explained why lawyer believed in Jungwoo, but was frustrating because there were too few details.
- And they never really explained Minho's minyeon, his back story and loyalty

Overall, great drama!!!

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Same dilemma with the memory loss. I had to research it! So he got memory loss because of the trauma of her wife's death and missing child, and it's natural for him to forget that to avoid the pain. I think there was a scene with the Prison Doctor and the Prosecutor but it was just in passing.

IKR! I thought Milyang's case would have something to do with Chanmyung group or something? But none. Maybe it just shows the humanistic aspect of this show, passing good karma and helping people. Eunhye's father was wrongly convicted that caused Eunhye to help Jungwoo and Milyang who has the same situation as her father...

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, they gave an explanation for the memory loss in JW's scenes with the doctor, and I remember being okay with it but also somewhat disappointed. Okay because it wasn't unbelievable that someone dealing with that trauma and the stress of being tried as the killer would protect themselves from the pain. Disappointed because I think all of our speculation of JW being drugged or whatnot raised my expectations.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I thought the trauma explanation for the memory loss was lame for this drama. It is believable but didn't fit in with all the intrigue setups in this drama.

Though, I guess one of the plus sides of this drama was that the hero didn't have amazing, unrealistic moves. He lost a lot of the battles because he wasn't a super-hero and had limits to what he was willing to do. He won the war because he was super-smart and mostly, because he was tenacious. I suppose that makes the trauma reason more believable. Still, it seemed a little lame and understated for this drama.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes! They should have visited seung kyu when they finished their "reunion" meal ? He took such great deal of effort & care of hayeon it's so touching as compared to her supposedly samchun(joonhyuk) who couldn't cared lesser where she was.
And I thought the elder story was related too. To chamyung group or what.
And I really thought seok will be loyal to the end. I mean, he seemed like the type that will go to hell for Minho.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm pretty satisfied with the finale, but there weren't any twists or moments that surprised me. This drama didn't have an addictive quality for me. It was a great show overall though. Awesome acting from Ji Sung and Eom Ki Joon.

There were some side stories that didn't feel developed enough like Milyang's and especially Eun Hye's story about her father. Both just seemed tacked on in the end.

The courtroom scene between Yeon Hee and Min Ho was so good! I actually teared up too. I felt a little bad for Min Ho there. I knew Yeon Hee would be his weakness. His love for her and their son seemed like the only pure thing in his heart.

The old prison mates reunion was nice. Everyone had their endings wrapped up neatly. I didn't care for Joon Hyuk and I agree that Jung Woo forgave him too easily.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Overall I liked the series. Some eps were great but some were not that brilliant. But more than the plot or the script, performances, and chemistry of the cast was the best thing for me. Esp. Ji-sung, Uhm ki joon, the child actress, and the prison cellmates.

But I am most happy for Uhm Hyun-kyung. I noticed her in the Happy Together and I am really happy that she got a major role. I think, plot-wise yeon hee was more imp than the official lead Yuri's character and also had more screen time. I dont have any impression of Yuri as an actress but it was little unfortunate that most of her scenes were for the promotion of subway. Anyway, Hyun-Kyung will be able to get more good roles after this. Btw who was the actress acted as Ji soo. I havent seen her in any other dramas but she is pretty.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

i believe the actress played ji soo had a weekend family drama at kbs not too long ago. but i don't remember the title. the drama had eugene as the lead actress too. and yes she is very pretty.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Jo Jae Yun is playing as a prisoner character again in "The Prisoner" movie " just released in cinema and set in the same prison too!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think this is the only drama that didn't drop in quality or writing despite of the 2 episode extension. Ji Sung is phenomenal in this role, perhaps we tapped into his own emotions now that he's a father.

He better win a Daesung for this !!!! And not share the trophy with someone else.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

One of the BEST Drama ever....the writing and the acting ....words can not express....this drama makes 'The Heirs' looks like an amateur college drama...well done...several surprises with each episode...yet, it was still able to exceed my expectation at the ending....our two male leads should rack up on the awards....EXCELLENT!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

You can never go wrong with Ji Sung. I have seen 2 of his movies now and i can say my interest was piqued when i saw him in this movie. so much emotions packed in one character.
this is the first movie i have seen of Eom Ki-joon.I will definitely check out some more..his acting was brilliant
and he gave his character depth such that by the end i felt really sorry fr his character.well done guys....will miss the defendant.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The only thing that am curious till the end.. why Ji Soo called Jung Woo as 'Bong Goo' >.<

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

That was explained when he brought the birthday cake home in episode 1, I believe. It was a name Ji Soo called Jung Woo when they were dating.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I feel cheated that there was no kitty in the last episode...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Glad for JS that he recovered from the tragic drama entertainer.

I read that MH cell number is the same number as the Korean president, that's why they zoomed on it, and i was wondering why are they zooming on his number.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Can I say I almost feel sorry for Min-ho. Yes, what he did was unforgivable and all but can we all agree if his father hadn't treated him like crap and treated him like a real son, he would've become a more adjustable adult. I mean he genuinely loves his son and Yeon-Hee despite being betrayed and I think he should have a last conversation with them before not seeing them forever.

I guess that's also another lesson, treat your children more humanely and don't show favoritism and you wouldn't have to create monsters that might make your life hell and crumble it to pieces. Honestly, we can all blame Chariman for being a horrible father that started all this mess

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Great show, but I have to say that it was a little disappointing to see the female lead limited to promoting cosmetics and sandwiches. She could have done more!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I dropped this drama halfway through because I just couldn't take any more of Min-ho toying with Jung-woo. But I still faithfully kept up with recaps, and I still agree that no one tops Ji Sung in the tortured male lead category!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I thought the finale was fairly predictable but satisfying. Overall I found Defendant really enjoyable and addictive although it lost some of the intensity with the extension IMO. Ji Sung was awesome, and I'm a new fan of Uhm Ki Joon.

Moments that made me smile and/or tear up:
Jung-woo and Ha-yeon singing to Ji-soo.
The former cellmates and Eun-hye having dinner.
Chul-shik arriving in his truck.
Min-ho and Yeon-hee in court.

Most of all, I loved Ji Sung's wink at the end.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

End of show... Applause!!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think this show lost its steam after Jung-woo got his prosecutor position back. I am surprised at such high ratings but very happy for Ji Sung. Yes, See you at the year-end award ceremony.
Thanks for the recaps!

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Maybe, the 2 episode extension contributed to it. Compared to other shows that had extensions, this drama did a good of not making it that noticeable.

I also thought this drama was pretty solid. For me, this is one of the few dramas that was good from the national channels. IMO, cable channels have been providing quality on a different level.

I thought Min-ho's wife broke him down a little too easily. I get that it wasn't out of character because he has continually shown his love and affection for his wife and son, but he I always saw him as a psychopath, who would have trouble with empathy and relationships. The show did hint that he was normal until his wife left him for his twin brother. Maybe, he was able to retain some of his old self?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

yeah what a ride!
definitely one of the best from ji sung.
but why do people said his drama entertainer before was such a flop? i watched that drama and it didn't. i actually cried along with ji sung's character. he always shows a raw emotion in whatever roles he takes and i think that's why his dramas are always the best.
gonna sing i love you baby whenever my mood is happy now.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved Entertainer. The acting was great. Especially by the CNBlue guy, and the other band members.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I enjoyed this site but the end was missing something. Min ho was being treated by the prison psychiatrist even afyer leaving prison. He began to lay down a case for multiple personality disorder before his attorney suggested it. Yet the prisondoctor disappears from the story other than to appear as Lottery Inmate's girlfriend. Seems like this greatly plotted show ran out of time except, given it was extended by 2 episodes, it shouldn't have.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Cast -- Amazing. I don't think I need to explain about Jisung and UKJ. Hyunkyung is shocking me, I thought she will stand out the least. But it turns out she's great (I love the scene where YH was imagining on being angry to her in-law) Yuri is definitely above decent and didn't ruin the show as everyone predict (probably due to the simple character she got) OCS is a great actor but his character written poorly. Supporting characters are amazing. 9/10

Production and directing -- Amazing as well. No sudden zooms. Also the location and the way they shoot it was cool. 9/10

Writing -- Could've been better. Some scenes are too draggy. Eunhye deserves her side story. The main plothole is how JW got amnesia. I don't really get what Minho's father have done to Yeonhee's father. Also Junhyuk was written poorly. But everything else was cool. I love the cellmates bond and the comedy beetween the trilling scenes. 8.5/10

Overall -- 9/10

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Min-ho says"What can't I do with money and power in Korea?" I think SBS and the whole Korean drama industry should be asking themselves this question. This amazing drama was totally ruined for me by the incessant and IMBEDDED SUBWAY advertising. No, it is not "product placement", nor "just advertising" when the settings, lines of the drama, background logos and subway sandwiches are constantly thrown in your face. This American fast-food giant is obviously paying Big Money to force Korean writers and actors to dance to their tune, and I find it disgusting.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

That little girl got me in the end when she was saying hi and seeing her mother at the crematorium.Great drama intriguing till its end.

Looks like he really will lose his sanity,Min Ho sitting in that solitary cell.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Better late and never :))) Thanks SBS for another good show this year. I actually began watching Whisper, but somehow it turns out to be too intense and too much for my preference. I switched to watch this Defendant instead and just finished it a moment ago. It was a good ride so I thank you :)

Defendant has that kind of feeling which made me hooked. Plotwise, it isn't 100% perfect but that is a difficult if not impossible standard. However, for me it is GOOD enough, even more than enough. Everyone's acting is superb. I can't find a single person which didn't quite fit in with his role. Though, I must say, unlike a lot of beanies here I found Seon Ho and Min Ho quite a little bit too alike in the first couple of episodes. For Cha Min Ho, he is a psychopath. But up until now, for me, nobody can be compared to Nam Goong Min in Remember-War of the son(s). Nam Goong Min rediates that kind of disgusting, scary, poisonous, psychopath aura which I think is super scary. However, come to think of it I think these two characters cannot be compared, since for Nam Goong Min his character is not afraid of anyone but his father as he always wants his father's acceptance, for Cha Min Ho it's his father's love which is lacking. As the result, Nam Goong Min's character, lacking both love and acceptance from his father killed himself while being locked up in the cell, Cha Min Ho being deprived of love from his father and having to always be compared to his 'better-half' Seon Ho killed father instead. Both characters are scary, but are the result of the same thing, the lack of father's love.

I adore the friendship among cellmates the most. All of them were fantastic and I was invested in every character. I like the little kid, she is just superb in every scence. Ji Soo is so lovely and adorable I had to search who she is (and found out that she took a minor role in Bridal Mask as the female lead's close girlfriend.) I particularly love Kim Min Suk. He is the most adorable puppy in this show. One thing which I think is missing in the final ep. is the scene which shows the prosecutor father and his child to Sung-Hyu's crematorium as that's the last wish of the poor Sung-Kyu. I always miss his puppyish eyes. Of all characters in this show, I come to love his the most. The two scenes which actually stole my tears are those scenes showing the relationship between Ji Sung and Kim Min Suk. The bromance between them is really good. Thumbs up for the very good work you guys did.

Overall, I must say that I'm satisfied with this show. There are some times when I think the show was dragging because of the two-episode extension, but overall it's still ok. It might have been better without those two eps extention, I'm not sure. However, before ending this comment, I should say that Joon-Hyuk made his way up to be my number 1 most hated character. I hate bad guys, yes. But more than bad guys I hate betrayers the most. It hurts if someone doesn't like...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The best thing of this movie is about the escaping plan, otherwise the ending flopped like it has changed the writer. All I can say is I feel like the writer don't know how to end the complicated storyline so they simply ended it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *