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Witch’s Court: Episode 1

I love having new dramas that I can really sink my teeth into, and Witch’s Court is shaping up very nicely in its first episode. We are taking a hard look at sexual assault in this show, with an assertive heroine and idealistic hero hopefully our victims will be given the justice they deserve. The tone is intense and uplifting, and there’s more than a little bit of mystery and heartbreak, so buckle up for the ride ahead.

EPISODE 1 RECAP

We open in 1996, with a police van screeching to a halt before an empty building, men running through the corridors. Guns drawn, they nod tensely at each other before they bust through a closed door, and expertly somersault into the room. The leader barks out, “Freeze. We’re the police.”

The classroom of schoolchildren burst into applause. It turns out the police are here to demonstrate their jobs to the kids, and put on an impressive display as they high-kick balloons and use their heads to break concrete blocks. All the children are enthralled—except two, who seem almost bored. MA YI-DEUM whispers to her friend Yoo-mi that real police don’t need guns, and don’t have time to come to schools like this, so Se-na’s father (the police leader) must not be very busy.

Se-na accuses the two friends of being jealous because they don’t have fathers who can come to school. Affronted, Yi-deum yanks on Se-na’s hair, but looks abashed when she is scared by Se-na’s father into letting go.

At her mother’s noodle shop, Yi-deum discusses with Yoo-mi the ways to take revenge on those who insult them for being fatherless. Yi-deum proudly declares that there are only two ways that work—the first is to do well in school, and the second is to become pretty like Miss Korea.

Overhearing, Yi-deum’s mother scolds the two girls for thinking this way—they should be grateful for what they do have, rather than lament what they don’t. Even Yoo-mi has a grandmother that adores her, even if she doesn’t have parents.

Something on the television catches Mom’s attention, and she blanches at the news that the police commissioner, JO GAP-SOO, who has been battling charges of sexual assault and torture, has been found not guilty.

At the press conference, Jo Gap-soo (Jeon Gwang-ryul) is smug, while prosecutor MIN JI-SOOK (Kim Yeo-jin) vows that despite the outcome, she will ensure that Jo’s crimes come to light. Prosecutor Min states, “We will wait for the hidden victims to make a courageous decision and come forward.”

Mom is so horrified to learn that the victim from the case has committed suicide that she doesn’t even realize when she cuts herself with a knife.

At the hospital as a patient, the newly acquitted Jo Gap-soo is questioned by his lawyer about whether countersuing the other victims for defamation is really a good idea when this case was so hard to win in the first place. Jo tells the lawyer that before he was recruited by the police, he passed the bar exam. Voice raised dangerously, he yells that the most basic lesson in rape cases is that if the court returns a verdict of not guilty, the victim must be lying.

Shaken, the lawyer vows to lodge the suit, and leaves. Jo Gap-soo cryptically asks his henchman if “that woman” has been found yet. Ten years ago he had her sign a contract agreeing not to sue, but he glimpsed a cassette in her possession, and suspects she may have evidence of his crimes. His henchman supposes that if she hasn’t come forward yet there probably is no evidence, but Jo doesn’t rule out the possibility that she has another reason.

At home, Yi-deum applies antiseptic lotion and a bandage to her (less-than-brave) mother’s finger. Mom gently asks if Yi-deum is ashamed about not having a father, and jokes that she should just marry a handsome man to give Yi-deum a stepfather, though Yi-deum is skeptical about the idea.

Refusing to play with Mom any more, Yi-deum explains that she is studying hard to become a doctor—but not because she wants to help sick people but because she wants to become rich. Mom looks slightly concerned at how mercenary her daughter is, but melts when Yi-deum frankly admits that she wants to become rich to help Mom as well.

Late that night, while Yi-deum sleeps unaware, Mom huddles in the corner, her face wreathed in tears as she clutches a cassette tape marked “Jo Gap-soo.” She trembles as she recalls Prosecutor Min’s plea for informants to step forward.

The next morning, Mom attends the funeral of the suicide victim at the hospital, and she sorrowfully whispers, “I’m sorry I came so late.” Resolved, Mom rings Prosecutor Min, who snaps to attention when Mom states that she has a tape of Jo Gap-soo—where he admits to the crimes he committed 10 years ago.

Rushing to meet with Mom, Prosecutor Min runs into Jo Gap-soo on his way out of the hospital, and the two trade barbs through insincere smiles. However, Prosecutor Min gets the last word as she states that the trial isn’t over yet. Jo Gap-soo’s expression turns sour once she’s gone, and he wonders if she said that just to provoke him.

Meanwhile, Mom rides the elevator down to meet with Prosecutor Min, and her expression turns to alarm as Jo Gap-soo and henchman Baek Sang-ho get on with her. Fortunately they don’t recognize Mom and pay her little attention—but when Mom’s beeper rings with the message Prosecutor Min has just left her, Jo turns his attention to her. Mom looks terrified as Jo Gap-soo seems to recall where he’s seen her before.

At that very moment, Prosecutor Min passes in front of the elevator, but Mom’s dash out of the elevator is halted by Sang-ho and Jo Gap-soo. The doors slide closed.

At home, Yi-deum jolts awake calling out for her mother. As Yi-deum realizes that her mother never came home, she runs crying to Yoo-mi and Yoo-mi’s grandmother.

Two weeks later, and the police have officially started to investigate Mom’s disappearance. Little Yi-deum diligently plasters up posters of her mother everywhere and passes out fliers on the street, but all to no avail. A weary Yi-deum sobs over a poster of her missing mother.

The years pass by and Yi-deum grows to teenhood with no sign of her mother. The posters are still there, but have become ripped and ignored. Late one evening, Mom walks up to the neighborhood in the same clothes she disappeared in, staring down at a poster of herself, and sadly looks at the closed-down noodle shop she used to own.

Yi-deum steps outside and sees her mother standing there. Without saying a word, Mom turns away from Yi-deum and disappears again, this time into the fog. Yi-deum desperately runs after Mom but cannot catch her, and futilely cries into the night air.

With a gasp, adult Yi-deum (Jung Ryeo-won) jerks awake from the nightmare. She’s been napping in the restroom at work and, still disoriented, her expression turns to horror as she realizes she can hear two of her male colleagues urinating (she’s in the men’s room). Her disgust rapidly morphs into pride as she listens to the two men gossiping about her talent and potential promotion.

Self-congratulation pushed aside, Yi-deum rushes out to confront her colleague when he mentions that the case they are working on is running out of time since the accused will be leaving for his honeymoon to Macau in four hours. Invigorated, Yi-deum bolts off, cogs whirring at the new information.

The interrogation is not going well, and Chief Prosecutor Oh Soo-chul demands to know what Yi-deum is going to do to fix the problem. Unfazed, Yi-deum promises to take care of it, and cheekily winks at her boss before sauntering out of the room.

In the interrogation room, the assured perpetrator smirks at Yi-deum as he asks to be released for his flight. Yi-deum notes that he sure does love to travel, which made her curious enough to go looking through his flight history. She flips open the file in front of her to reveal pictures of the accused gambling at casinos in Macau and Gangwon, which wipes the smile off his face, since gambling is illegal in Korea.

Leaning across the table, Yi-deum smiles in triumph and declares that the man can admit to performing illegal medical procedures and give up the list of people he operated on, or he can face two charges including the gambling. This would definitely mean he would lose his medical license. Beaten, the accused man looks down, and Chief Prosecutor Oh clenches his fist at the victory behind the mirror.

Yi-deum swaggers back into the room, where Chief Prosecutor Oh compliments her skill and grasps her tightly by the arms. Discomfited at the close touch, Yi-deum deftly shakes Oh off, but he is oblivious to the withering glare she shoots at him.

The next morning, Yi-deum adds the finishing touches to the criminal report, before hurriedly doing the bare minimum to make herself presentable for the press conference. Yi-deum asks her office manager, Sohn Mi-young, how she looks, and two have an adorable fist bump when Mi-young replies that Yi-deum looks perfect.

The conference is packed, since it involves a number of high-profile men bribing doctors for unnecessary medical procedures to duck out of military service. Yi-deum, despite cracking the case, is offended to be relegated to back-up as her colleague (who actually made a misstep earlier by arresting the accused too soon) presents the case to the reporters.

In flashback, we see that Yi-deum was taken aside immediately prior to the conference, and informed that she would not be presenting the case. Yi-deum’s colleague explains that Chief Prosecutor Oh didn’t think it would be appropriate coming from a woman who had never attended military service.

A reporter states that she heard from a source that an informant was critical to the success of the case, and pointedly asks who this informant is. Unprepared, Prosecutor Woo flounders, and Yi-deum speaks out as she sees her opportunity to take the lead. Yi-deum’s gaze doesn’t waver as she meets Chief Prosecutor Oh’s eyes for his assent, and moves in for the kill with pre-prepared notes for the reporters. Chief Prosecutor Oh and colleague Woo glare daggers at Yi-deum, who boldly declares her name for all to take note of.

In flashback, we see that Yi-deum had collided with that reporter outside the conference, who saw the photos of the doctor and his fiancee gambling. Quick on the uptake, the reporter had asked whether these were photos of an informant, but Yi-deum slyly told her to ask that question at the conference instead.

Smug, Yi-deum casts a look back at the disgruntled Prosecutors Oh and Woo. When the assistant prosecutor general comes in to congratulate the team, and singles out Yi-deum for praise. Yi-deum is direct as she acknowledges that she is good at her job and promises to be even better in the future.

Later that night, Yi-deum and the team celebrate at a noraebang. Chief Prosecutor Oh’s look turns predatory as he pats the seat next to him and suggestively asks Yi-deum as the “only woman on the team” to pour him a drink. Uncomfortable, Yi-deum pretends to agree, but “trips” on her way to the seat and pushes the play button on the remote. She exclaims that she has to sing this song, and manages to evade sitting next to him.

As the party winds down, the reporter from earlier, Reporter Han, arrives and tries to pump Chief Prosecutor Oh for information on the list of military avoiders. Already drunk, Chief Prosecutor Oh lands a heavy palm on Reporter Han’s thigh, and ignores her attempts at redirection to sordidly propose that she needs to give him something first. Yi-deum, the only lawyer left awake, awkwardly catches Reporter Han’s eye and excuses herself to the bathroom.

Yi-deum curses to herself about Chief Prosecutor Oh’s behavior, but is unable to do anything but stare in shock as she sees Chief Prosecutor Oh forcing himself on Reporter Han outside the bathroom. Desperate to evade Oh’s wandering hands and lips, Reporter Han struggles to free herself, and for one scalding moment meets Yi-deum’s appalled gaze. Reporter Han stomps down hard on Chief Prosecutor Oh’s foot, and makes a quick escape away from the club.

Outside, Yi-deum is resigned as she watches Chief Prosecutor Oh being poured into a cab to go home, and her colleagues groan that he drank so much he even fell down the stairs. Yi-deum corrects them, “He didn’t fall. He was kicked.” Disconsolate, Yi-deum doesn’t explain further and simply walks away.

At her apartment building, Yi-deum watches in apprehension as a hooded man moves to stand next to her by the elevator. Nervous, Yi-deum asks what floor the man is getting off at, and he replies the eighth, the floor she has already pushed. Yi-deum snorts, and mutters that all the perverts must be out tonight.

Piqued, the hooded man says that Yi-deum is going too far, but Yi-deum challenges the man to go to his apartment if he insists he lives here. Yi-deum threatens to report him if he is lying about where he lives.

True to her word, Yi-deum follows behind, filming the man on her phone as he walks through the complex. The tension mounts as he stops at her door… only to key in the code for the apartment next to hers. The man deadpans, “Are you satisfied?”

Once alone, Yi-deum scurries inside her own apartment, dying from embarrassment. She pounds her pillow in frustration, and blames Chief Prosecutor Oh’s actions for her suspicious mind. The bleak reminder vexes Yi-deum even more, and she tries to reassure herself that it’s none of her business.

Two weeks later, though, this might prove to be untrue, as Yi-deum receives a subpoena in the sexual harassment suit Reporter Han has lodged against Chief Prosecutor Oh. Office manager Mi-young explains that this time, the accusation might stick, since the prosecutor in charge was once screwed over by Chief Prosecutor Oh, and happens to be very good at his job.

Yi-deum goes to meet the “psycho” Prosecutor YEO JIN-WOOK (Yoon Hyun-min) for her interview. Jin-wook recognizes Yi-deum from the elevator incident, but Yi-deum plays it cool and pretends not to remember.

It is clear that Yi-deum doesn’t want to testify against her boss on behalf of Reporter Han, but Jin-wook just gently says that witnesses often experience a similar trauma to victims after such an attack. Jin-wook explains that at the elevator that night, it was clear Jin-wook lived in the building, but she’d been so on edge after witnessing Chief Prosecutor Oh’s attack that she’d been on alert for predators.

Caught off-guard by Jin-wook’s understanding, Yi-deum nods along, and when he asks if she witnessed the assault, she answers “Yes” before she can stop herself. She immediately retracts, denying all memory of that night before Jin-wook can press her any more, and leaves.

In Chief Prosecutor Oh’s office, Yi-deum reassures her boss that she has already given her statement that she can’t remember anything about that night. This isn’t enough for Oh, who wants Yi-deum to beg or threaten Reporter Han—woman to woman—about dropping her complaint. Oh grasps Yi-deum’s chin as he promises that if she succeeds, the upcoming promotion is guaranteed to be hers.

Yi-deum shuts her eyes in defeat. Later that night, she reluctantly goes to Reporter Han’s house, where the reporter lives with her son. Yi-deum is forthright as she asks the scornful Reporter Han to withdraw, and explains that stronger cases than hers have ended in ruination for the women involved and no impact on the man or his career.

Infuriated, Reporter Han slaps Yi-deum, and demands to know how Yi-deum could betray another woman like this. Yi-deum drops to her knees and urges Reporter Han to relieve her frustrations by hitting Yi-deum instead, because Chief Prosecutor Oh will never apologize. She says the outcome of the case is obvious, and asks the reporter not to exert all this time and effort when she’ll clearly lose.

On her way home, a heavy-hearted Yi-deum spies Chief Prosecutor Oh and Prosecutor Woo out drinking with the assistant prosecutor general. Chief Prosecutor Oh jovially slaps Woo on the back as he promises the promotion (that he promised to Yi-deum) is a done deal.

The next day, the disciplinary meeting isn’t going well, as the blasé Chief Prosecutor Oh insincerely apologizes to Reporter Han and the tribunal judges ask her to drop the complaint. At that moment, Yi-deum bursts through the door and strides into the room. Promising the cocky Chief Prosecutor Oh that she’ll tell the truth about that night, Yi-deum excruciatingly details Chief Prosecutor Oh’s unsavory conduct, to the shock of everyone in the room.

For the final nail in the coffin, Yi-deum whips off Chief Prosecutor Oh’s shoe and sock with a flourish to reveal the bruise Reporter Han left as proof of his harassment. Yi-deum stares down at Chief Prosecutor Oh as she tells him that if he apologizes to Reporter Han right now, she’ll forget the empty promise he made to her about the promotion.

After the meeting, Yi-deum is composed in the face of Chief Prosecutor Oh’s ire, and states that even if she can’t get the promotion she was promised, she can at least stop his career ascent too. Chief Prosecutor Oh moves to hit Yi-deum, but she kicks his shin before he can, and follows it up with the most hilariously fake apology. Yi-deum warns Oh to leave her alone and stop touching her in inappropriate ways before she stalks away.

Outside, Jin-wook stops Yi-deum to thank her, and calls her a good person. Although Yi-deum is implacably flat in her responses, Jin-wook nevertheless wishes that next time they can meet under better circumstances. Unimpressed, Yi-deum ignores his outstretched hand and states, “Let’s not meet again.”

Back at the office, Mi-young is packing her things to follow where Yi-deum is next assigned, and pertly congratulates Yi-deum for finally becoming a “prosecutor who’s given up dreams of glory.” Yi-deum curiously asks what the Crimes Against Children Unit is, and Mi-young explains to Yi-deum’s horror that it’s the unit everyone tries to avoid, created by the honorable but persistently un-promoted Prosecutor Min Ji-sook.

Yi-deum is unenthusiastic as she trudges down to her new office, but there’s another unpleasant surprise waiting for her in the form of Prosecutor Jin-wook, who has also been assigned here. Aghast, Yi-deum can only stare at him.

COMMENTS

I like it. I don’t want to jinx it, since this is only the first episode, but I really like it.

I was unsure what to expect from this show given the heavy subject matter, but I’m glad to see that it was handled with sensitivity, and great insight. Sexual assault and sexism in the workplace are two topics not often broached in kdramas—or any dramas—so I will always appreciate a well done show that tries it. I am cautiously optimistic that Witch will continue to avoid too much overblown melodrama, which could undercut the message they are trying to send, even though I did think that Mom’s disappearance was a touch too contrived. It is the quiet moments that really left an impact on me here though-for example, I empathized far too much when Yi-deum’s fear ratcheted up waiting in the dark beside Jin-wook at the elevator. Yi-deum’s reaction might have been more confrontational than normal in this instance, but that feeling of fear she had is totally expected.

I think it was a very smart choice to focus on Yi-deum in this first outing, because our heroine faces the same challenges that our victims do in her professional life, though they are of a different nature. What I love about Yi-deum is that she is absolutely aware of the uphill battle she faces at work with her colleagues, but she is determined not to let it define her. She doesn’t ignore it—in fact, she rails against it at every turn—and has developed an interesting mix of direct and sly methods to deal with it. For example, I was simultaneously impressed at Yi-deum’s noraebang “trip” to get away from Chief Prosecutor Oh while also being disheartened that she had to even do it. Yi-deum is smart enough to realize that she needs to fight her own corner, without making it look like she is fighting, and unfortunately is forced to accept some truly unpalatable aspects of her job because of it.

It is clear that Yi-deum is wildly ambitious, and I am grateful that we have a female character who is unapologetic in pursuing her ambitions without the show demonizing her, but one who is also flawed. Yi-deum may have reached her breaking point with Chief Prosecutor Oh and his sexual harassment, but she did first beg Reporter Han to drop the case. Even her change of heart at the disciplinary came because she realized that Oh was never going to honor his promise to promote her, so although I was cheering when she finally wiped that smug look off Oh’s face, I couldn’t help but wish that she had done it to vindicate Reporter Han, not take vengeance on her duplicitous boss. It will be very interesting to see how she reacts to her new, low profile role in the “Crimes Against Girls Unit” with Jin-wook, who she has flatly refused to apologize to or even acknowledge.

Given Yi-deum’s pride, it will be very interesting to see how she reacts to her new, low profile role in the “Crimes Against Children Unit” with Jin-wook, who she has flatly refused to apologize to or even acknowledge. We haven’t seen very much of Jin-wook yet, and all we really know about him is that he’s idealistic, good at his job, and that the dynamic between himself and Yi-deum is already antagonistic. I do get the feeling that it will be Yi-deum who is hard to win round though, both because her dignity has already been dinged by the elevator encounter, and because her internal measure of success (to get rich) will conflict with his more idealistic view of justice. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for our fiery heroine, and I can only hope that she applies her determination and cunning to the sexual assault cases she will be working on.

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Love the first (and second) episode so far! Smart and sensitive. With enough chemistry to keep me hooked and rooting. This is my second drama of the month to bring me out of the drama slump after Age of Youth 2 ended. With the Weinstein Gate just happening, this department's cases are relevant and engaging.

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My new drama crack! Even though it's still early days. <3 *hearts* I'm in love with Ma Yi Deum. *hearts* <3 Even though it's still early days. ^^;

Gotta say though - I've only seen Jung Ryeo Won as the picture perfect Hee Jin in Kim Sam Soon, so this was a shocker. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this level of awesome! :D Yoon Hyun Min was completely overshadowed in this first episode.

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Watch her in History of Salaryman and King of Dramas. She was good in other dramas too, but my fav of hers are these two. I loved her in Medical Top Team but dropped it because the plot was boring. She was good as well in Princess Jang-myung but I think I prefer her in modern drama.

Now I feel like I want to rewatch King of Drama next. 😂

She is also best friend with Han Ye-seul (and their drama are competing with each other now lol). It's cute to see them supporting each other.

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Oh thanks Sera! History of a Salaryman is already on my to-watch list (which is miles long ^^;). I'll add your other suggestions as well.

How cute is the friendship with Han Se Yul! I read an article about them on soompi, supporting each other through competing dramas. :D :D Real life to Reel life, I say. I love reading about womances.

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I know it might be impossible since these two drama are are live shooting, but it would be hilarious to see them cameo in each other's drama. 😆

They also promised to go to on a trip together after both drama end, seems like Jung Ryeo-won has to cover for their expenses lol.

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The dramas are also being broadcast by two competing stations, right? I think the cameo remains a distant dream, but now that you've put the idea in my head - YES! :D

Oh! Does that mean Witch's Court premiered to higher ratings than 20th Century Boy & Girl? I love how you have this type of news, Sera. :)

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Yes, they are competing with each other so it is impossible. Maybe next time 😂

I followed IG drama account which posted drama ratings so that's where I get this info. @inkinews also posted about the rating in their website 😄 I also often read Naver because some drama / movie /actors' news are not covered by dramasites or might be covered a little bit late, also for some teasers etc. So you can say I'm a little bit passionate? LOL

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@seralovestteobokki :D You most definitely are. I shouldn't have asked. :D No way I need to spend even more time on dramas than I already do!

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The scene with Reporter Han in the bathroom was incredibly difficult to watch. I wonder if there will be more such scenes in this drama - it's almost frightening to consider, and highlights @helcat's comment that this show is entering into territory not broached by K-dramas.

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there will definitely be more. The Witch's Court poster kinda scares me because I already feel bad for this child even though we have yet to meet her.

But I'll stick it out since I'm watching to see these criminals pay for their crimes thru the help of the CAGU team.

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Oh absolutely! No way I'm dropping this one, unless the Show suddenly does an about face and veers off its present track. It's still early days, but I'm tentatively confident this will remain awesome.

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This is not bad for a first episode.
it actually reels you in I like it .
yideum is obviously a narcissist.

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Hhmmm? Narcissist? Why do you say so? (im actually genuinely curious, she didnt strike me as one)

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Ya. me too. I dont think she is narcissistic. She is more like doing anything for her survival and self preservation.

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she was willing to let the sexual assault on the reporter slide because she was getting a promotion out of it but when she found out it was a lie she got angry and decided to change her testimony. she did not commit perjury because she realized she was wrong .she only did it because she was angry the chief prosecutor lied about her promotion.
that's my opinion tho.

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What was the alternative to saying that a**hole chief 'no'? She would have been probably demoted or something worse and she already knows that for a woman in that all guys club is hard to survive.
I think from her point of view it was either a choice between getting promoted or falling down down from where she worked hard to get there. Plus she knew what people like that chief will get away even if the reporter tries her best.
So i think I would still categorize it in 'Survival and Self Preservation'. Its not the right thing to do but from her point of view i understand what she was doing.

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Opportunist would be the right word to describe her, if the presscon and the trial in ep 2 is anything to go by.

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I would call her a survivor, not a narcissist. All she seems to have room for her life right now is her own survival and success. No compassion, no conscience, no warmth, just trying to win each encounter like a survival test. I think this whole drama will be about her changing as she works with Jin Wook and as she discovers the truth about what happened to her mother.

Also - am I the only one who thinks that the reason her mother was a single mother is that she was raped by the police chief-turned-politician? That the ugly truth is that she's that guy's daughter?

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that's a nice theory and it might be the turning point for her to slowly see the other's plight.

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you are right.I wonder how she would react when she finds out he had a hand in her mothers disappearance as well.

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Exactly. I agree with you completely.She is on self survival mode and i am sure she went through a lot to become like that. ..

And that rapist chief theory..i think that too...ugh first she lost her mom and then if she finds out that leech is her father. And i have feeling she is the reason her mom went away. Like she struck some sort of deal with that leech to protect her daughter.

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This is my new drama crack after The King Loves Ended and because Buamdong Revenge Social Club has no subs. So far, I like the world and the characters, and most of all, I like the zippy pace. I also really like the music. That scene--where she transitions to a teenager looking at her mom's missing poster--the framing, the camerawork, and the music were just pitch perfect.

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I don't really like crime/law procedurals with exception to FoS, so I'm not sure if I'm going to love this if it's like crime of the week formatting. However, I really love the two leads in their roles!!! Their characters and chemistry is just fascinating, so I will suck up any reserve I have over not particularly liking the genera and carry on!

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I have literally been waiting for the recaps to come out so I can discuss this show with someone (Anyone!).

I LIKE IT! I really do. 진짜 좋아해!!

Idek what made me check it out. I was also in a "semi-slump" but this show seems good already.

As for the characters. Ma Yi Deum - this first episode when i saw her at the beginning, i thought "you cheeky monkey" (not verbatim but something along those lines). Especially when she met with her associates before questioning that guy at the beginning. She reminded me of the typical young charismatic male prosecutor character and i loved how confident she was.

I dont want to give spoilers so i wont say much, but i can actually (to an extent) underatand her character and some of the decisions she makes (though i dont agree with them - see ep. 2). At a point i was relating to her but i believe I'm a tad bit more empathic (and actively trying to be).

The male lead is what I like to think of as "broad shoulders to lean on". He's literally one of those calm and collected people I admire and try to be like (but am not haha. Oh well i still love me the way i am).

Oooohhh wow. There is quite some character growth thats gonna occur here for daughter Ma. Also what happened to Mama-Ma?

Funny thing is, while i like the male lead already, i dont like Daughter Ma. But the thing is, I also do not dislike her.
With this show i feel like an observer who's just watching what's gonna happen and I'm curious.

Her moral compass is sorta screwed but you could (to some extent) comlare her to Chief Kim - he was a standard fraudster with somewhat similar childhood situations (loss of parents at an early age). What do they both do? Look out for themselves because no one else is going to (though Seung Ryong was definitely kinder - i guess that means Yi Deum has more character growth to undergo which equals more juice for us viewers!)

And I love how she was transferred to the department for crimes against women. I just LOVE that factor! She will be fierce!

So far I am enjoying this. Both episodes- I liked.

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"She reminded me of the typical young charismatic male prosecutor character and i loved how confident she was." I loved this as well, and it's striking that her rather genderless persona faces issues that have everything to do with her gender/sex - the subtle harassment carried out by a misogynistic superior.

The scene where he held on to her arms for instance, when she did caught the Macau guy, which made her uncomfortable is the sort of stuff that many women go through. And we brush it off because we are conditioned to give the perpetrator the benefit of the doubt, or to not make a big deal out of it. So many of us even think that we shouldn't say anything because we are women, and it will seem as though we are taking advantage of the fact that we are women.

I have so much to say about episode 2, and what transpires. Recap page.

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You know it wasn't till you mentioned it that I realised it - we may hv been subtly conditioned to not complain. I also tend to give people benefit of doubt first (when im the viewer) and that was what I did with the superior when he squeezed her shoulders, (since he does it to the guys he did it to her as well?) but truth be told, when I'm the one in that situation I'm uncomfortable as well.

And when you complain - you're looked at as "stuck up" etc. I guess people should be more aware of these things.

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I really really liked the first two episodes! People have been harsh towards Ma Yi Deum, but would they have been as harsh had she been a man? The legal field is not one kind to women, Jin-wook can afford to be idealistic and have that moral compass because he is priviliged and also naive as he is new. Yi Deum would not survive in the field, she cannot afford to me so naive, she has to work harder to prove herself just for the mere fact she is a woman.

Now, I'm not saying she is likeable, but it's the perfect start for character growth and I'm so here for it. But I'm also here for JW to realise that sometimes, you have to fight dirty to get justice and to get what you want. I'll say more in the second epsiode because that was really the one that sealed it for me.

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I think that's the thing, I understand why she has to be as tough and openly self-confident as she is, and her previous work did not demand as much empathy and kindness as I think CAGU does. And maybe in private I would like her. But it does not mean I like her work behavior and how she acts like she is above CAGU and does not care about the victims' pain. As said in the recap, she went against her superior for her own sake, not for the victim. She was not sympathic to the victim at all, she was only afraid of how SHE could be in that position. Even if she does not want to work in that department, just the sheer disregarding and borderline homophobic behavior grinds my teeth. And I HOPE I would have the same stance even if she was a man, though I am fully willing to admit I found myself expecting more of her because she is a woman.

(I also think, as for the second episode, that I would feel less angry about it if she felt even the slightest sympathy or regret. Yes, they had to use it to win, but she went against the victim's wishes, invaded his privacy and revealed it against his will, only to win for her own sake. She was specifically told that she would not get much attention, yet she did all that just so she could be in front of the camera. She is a selfish person who only does good things now because she was forced on the good people's side, and she would happily have been on the other side doing the wrong thing.)

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I love morally grey characters and its refreshing to see one in kdrama. Looking forward to more. I know its going to be a sensitive subject but i hope they dont make it too mello and I hope she remains morally grey and badass from for atleast a good amount of episodes till she starts to turn good.

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I love morally grey characters

Me too, especially if it is female characters.

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OK I wasn't intended to bold all words but don't know why it appeared so. lol.

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Ya me too *High Five * Haha
I know she wont remain like that throughout the whole series but I am just hoping she doesnt turn all melo and good with in a few episodes because I am sure she will face some in that department. I want her to change slowly .. not like right away ... With her badassery intact.

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I also love characters with moral ambiguity, it can ground them. And I appreciate when writers use the unknown thought process of the character to keep the plot moving in unpredictable ways, with the lead acting as both the protagonist and their own antagonist. From this episode, I am cautiously optimistic that this show will go down that route, for at least the first half of episodes, before our heroine will meet a baddie even worse than herself who turns her good in comparison.

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Ya.. but not right away. I still want her to be morally grey. Using her bag of tricks and that cool smirk to baffle them.

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My wish is that we see her making use of her questionable morals for most of the show, we get introduced to a character worse than her, and she uses her skills to take them down. Doing so would be the "right thing" to do, but she could still be "bad." And at the end of the show, she is still being bad to be good. It is the beginning of the show, there is an opportunity for just about anything.

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I wasn't interested in this show but I decided to wtch the first episode and thrn i wask hooked to watch the second episodes, it reminds me of law and order SUV, i used to like this show.

I am glad that it deals with rape cases, since rape and assault seems to happen a lot korea whether it's work or at the entertainment industry and the victims doesn't get thier justice either they drop charges maybe because they're threatened or scared of the society to point fingers at them despite being victims.

I love the badass and not so kind and nice heroine, not every heroine should be a candy, keep it up Yi Dum.

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Exactly what I wanted to say. And I hope that in the future she would continue to be strong like she is now.( And hopefully she won't stay until someone comes and saves her)

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Thank you for doing recaps for Witch's Court.

Its my no.1 drama for all the current dramas airing. Love the two leads! An interesting drama that got me hooked after watching ep 1. Ep. 2 is even better! Can't wait for ep 3!

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Its the best Mon-Tue drama! Hope the ratings can be better for next episode. Fighting Witch's Court!!!

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I certainly didn't know what to expect going in. Glad I gave this a chance and decided to watch.

What a way to start off the drama showcasing the salacious and criminal behavior countless people are subjected to. Ma Yi-deum is keenly aware there's a power dynamic, firmly in place and operating at full disadvantage against her, but here we have a character who has decided to face it head-on and navigate her way through it ..... and that's just to get through the day.

Looking forward to see what happens next.

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I love it so much, Jung Ryeo-won is the best at this kind of character. Also we cannot avoid seeing really scary scenes because those situations bring home the fact how truly terrible sexual assault is.

I can see now that JRW is not your typical heroine and that endeared her to me the most and it will be a joy to watch seeing her change her ways through every victim that they will meet in CAGU.

Also waiting for her and Yoon Hyun-min to truly work together as a team though judging by the episodes so far, it will be a tough road getting there.

Kinda reminded me of Heo-im and Yeon-kyung dynamic in LUTYN when they first meet. :)

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Saw Jung Ryeo Won in Bubblegum only and didn't like her nor the show very much. But she totally won me over here in Witch's Court. She also looked good pairing with Yoon Hyun Min.

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The subject matter of this drama is hard to deal with in the abstract and even more so as a concrete problem, on a personal level. I've never been raped but a victim of sexual assault yes, and a silent one at that despite having education or maybe because of the fact/feeling that it could ruin me more than him if I'd ever said anything.

Most of my intern year felt like I was walking on a balance beam in regards to ignoring comments on my "assets" and avoiding going to "dinner meetings'' with the higher ups because they usually resulted in impertinent actions that were to be "forgiven because alcohol made them do it". Which is not to say that I didn't enjoy most of my year as an intern, just that I would have liked to only worry about learning and application of theoretical knowledge like my fellow male interns and it would have been so much better not having to worry about some of the unsavory male superiors who hadn't changed with the times and still acted like I was merely there to be speculated about or tried to be "scored' with. that part was decidedly not fun.

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i hate it but most guys think that way and when women confront them about it, we're being called out as sensitive or over-reacting.

Hopefully, you're now in a better position away from those men.

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I love this is our first life and witch court first episode so far.

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I love this show and the second episode cemented it. I adore Yi-Deum and her ruthless ambition. So hopefully it continues to be good.

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I really, really like this drama and there has rarely been a time when I’ve liked a heroine more. Unfortunately, I’m using the “First Look” on Viki Kocowa so I watch the drama before the subs are complete. I’ve little trouble watching it, since my drama acquired knowledge of Korean helps me understand the non translated parts.

My fear is that I won’t be able to keep up with this drama with its addictive storyline and excellent acting from the leads. It’s not an original story by any means but there is something about the writing, editing and directing that makes it seem fresh and exciting.

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I'm torn. I really want to watch this drama since I usually enjoy legal drama. Unfortunately, yi-deum character is really a POS. I get that she's ambitious, but outed someone's sexuality without their consent just to win the case?!?
I just can't.... So this round, I guess I can only watch This Life is Our First.

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But I think it was all for the best. If she didn't out his sexuality, an innocent man would have been a rapist. And I think that'll have bigger consequences in his life than having his sexuality outed.

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it's in her character to not care about anyone but herself, hopefully the drama will show a scene where she realizes how big of an asshole she was at that moment, tho I'm sure it will not be anytime soon.

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I think we should discuss about this during epi 2 recap. Afraid that it will be a spoiler for those who are still yet to watch it.

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Argh, sorry. I was really annoyed by the way yi-deum's character being written. How to delete my post and the conversation started by it?

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I loved the premiere eps! Jung Ryeo-won's character may be flat and cold but that's what makes her so extra. And is it just me or Yoon Hyun-min became more dashing and gorgeous than before? Especially when he had no glasses at the apartment scene, my heart instantly fluttered!

I'm grateful for this show ultimately because they know how to handle sensitive topics such as these with care. I'm trusting you writer-nim. Don't let us down!

Also ,thank you @Helcat for giving us an awesome recap! Love your choice of words!

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I loved the pilot of this drama so far, I love how it's addressing sexism and different sides for the cases and how the rookie is the male character as oppose to the usual female rookie.

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This is great. I think her character is portrayed quite realistically, growing up having to fight for yourself to survive, she would natrually turn out this way. Also not trusting others unable to rely on people doing everything you can just to keep your job and to keep on living, it might be hard to understand for some. Hope to see both characters will lern from each other JW will hopefully lern some realism rather than just be naive.

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Love that we have a heroine who's not all goody two shoes, but struggles to make a place for herself, and makes difficult decisions.

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"goody-two shoes" is a negative now? I left american dramas so that I could find characters who strive for the good in themselves instead of the morally grey, cynical and "aren't I cool?" leads that seem to dominate the ratings in the US. I'm hanging in to see how she (hopefully) changes into a heroine I can admire later ...

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Nope. In no way did my compliment imply that being goody two shoes is negative. For me, it's a personal preference in what I like to see in my female leads. What I mean by goody two shoes is someone who's passive and always lets others walk over her whether it be her love interest, co-workers, rival, or anyone else. Yi-Deum was someone who always stood up for herself and didn't take anyone's bullshit. I think our definitions on goody two shoes are slightly different.

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I want to like it. I love a good justice drama, but I am so put off by the main female lead's character.

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I'm really liking both this and 20th Century Boy and Girl's first two episodes. I hope both continue to be good so I can follow-up Live Up to Your Name with new dramas. So far both seem promising. Yay!

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The show did a good job by focusing on Ma Yi Deum's past in this first episode. I was instantly drawn to her mom's story and was close to tears at times.

So far, both leads are intriguing and not frustrating. Jung Ryeo Won is killing it in this role. She looks so natural. I've only seen her in The King of Dramas, but I was indifferent about her back then.

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Witch court's owns Mon-Tue, one of the best premiere, great theme, and the stories that makes you craving for next episode.. I hope this one will be the best legal drama..

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Woah, Ma Yi-deum, so much to love and so much to hate! Am loving that she is unapologetic in her fight to be on the top, but she's also aware that she's acting like a jerk. Her kneeling in front of Reporter Han and offering to be hit seems like her way of saying, yes, the world in unfair and I'm a bitch, so here's a little consolation for you. She's smart and devious altho her moral compass is definitely skewed, but we have sweet, polar opposite Jin-wook to rework that ^^
Am loving Jin-wook's psychiatry reasoning that even got Yi-deum to nod along with him, haha.

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I loved the first episode!!!this is a breath of fresh air from the usual take on romance, swoony guys and girls acting cute!!we need more dramas like this which have a strong and interdependent women leads in drama land!!!!!

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I like her, I think. She's smart sassy and fierce, with some serious eye-roll game. But her complete lack of empathy towards...anyone makes me feel conflicted. Which is why I'll be back week after week to watch her start to do the right thing for the right reasons. I'm sure she has a heart of gold it's just buried deep down really, really, Really deep down.I'd settle for silver

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I loved this premiere. There is a detail about the first episode that I really liked ;
In the flashback scene, when Ma Yi Deum as a teenager is seeing her mother, we see that the restaurant her mother owned is just in front of the restaurant Yumi's grandmother owns. They were friends because they were living just in front of each other.
And an other detail : Yi Deum's mother's restaurant was actually called "Yi Deum Noddle Shop Restaurant", whereas on the other side the restaurant was actually called " Yumi (something) Restaurant" (I don't remember exactly what food). It just show how much the two girls were loved by their families, despite not being conventional ones, and it's even more heartbreaking to see Yi Deum Noodle Shop becoming ruins after.
Yet we see Yi Deum leaving Yumi restaurant, meaning she lived with her friend, which is the only ray of sunlight is this sad story. It's not surprising Yi Deum became like this. I really love her character despite her flaws, she's incredibly determined and intelligent despite her terrible past.

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'It is clear that Yi-deum is wildly ambitious, and I am grateful that we have a female character who is unapologetic in pursuing her ambitions without the show demonizing her, but one who is also flawed.'
I'm so glad this is pointed out because it is actually refreshing to see a female character that is ambitious to a flaw and I just want to defend characters like her who people find selfish and unlikeable but want shit on male characters who are similar

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This and Avengers Social Club are must watch. Ma Yi-deum is bad-ass and wants the attention of the media(mainly because she's still searching for her mother).

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Do you know where I can watch avengers social club with eng sub or did you watch it raw

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Isn’t it Crimes Against Girls Unit (CAGU)?

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This may be the drama to get me out of my drama slump! *crossing fingers fervently* Jung Ryeo-won as Ma Yi-deum is a treat to watch; her charismatic acting really brings the character to life. Coincidentally, I had just watched this episode after reading about the awful Weinstein offences that had taken decades to surface and the happenings of this episode hit home. The drama (thus far) has tackled these issues well and Yi-deum herself gives great insight into the problems women face daily.

On a lighter note, there is a lot of potential for chemistry between the actors - I'm very excited to see where the show will lead them! On to episode 2!

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Jung Ryeo Won owns this. I really love her portrayal of Ma Di Yeum. I love everything about her and how complicated and unapologetic and anti-heroine she is.

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