Witch’s Court: Episode 10
How many casualties are acceptable in the pursuit of one’s goals? The stakes are higher than ever and sacrifices need to be made. The time has come to test how far people are willing to go to get what they want and the consequences they face after the fallout.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
After dropping the bomb that Mom is dead, Sang-ho remains silent as Yi-deum asks the circumstances of her death and if Sang-ho killed her. Grabbing his collar, Yi-deum angrily notes the irony that after killing her mother, Sang-ho dares to ask her to save his brother. She vows to send him to jail with Jo Gap-soo but Sang-ho suddenly drops to his knees and says that he’ll testify that Jo ordered the murder, adding that he has evidence. Tearfully, he pleads with Yi-deum to save Min-ho and after a long pause, she asks where Mom is buried.
Yi-deum arrives at a columbarium and in a voiceover we hear that Sang-ho had told her about the hospital fire fourteen years ago that had left Mom in a coma. An attendant informs Yi-deum that unclaimed ashes are only kept for ten years, but leads her to a room filled with numbered boxes for her to look through anyway. Mom isn’t here, and Yi-deum sinks to the floor in tears.
Driving home, Jin-wook flashes back to the conversation he’d just had with his mother. Defensively, Dr. Ko had explained that after Mom had been injured in the fire, Sang-ho had moved her to another hospital and that’s all she knew. When asked why she didn’t report it, Dr. Ko had cried that she hadn’t lived peacefully afterwards. Arguing that nothing would change by coming clean, Dr. Ko refused to budge even when Jin-wook brought up the pain inflicted on Yi-deum.
Desperate, Dr. Ko implored Jin-wook to do nothing because while she didn’t care what happened to her, she refused to let his reputation as a prosecutor be tainted. Calmly, Jin-wook had agreed… that he was a prosecutor, and had a responsibility to uncover the truth. Jin-wook vowed to ensure justice was served, hoping that she would change her mind.
In the present, he tentatively reaches out and calls Yi-deum.
Yi-deum meets Jin-wook outside her apartment, and he stares at her with a pained expression. Jin-wook starts to tell her about the conversation he’d had with his mother, only for Yi-deum to cut him off by saying that she knows that Mom is dead. She asks if his mother had claimed to have no choice and if she wanted to bury the incident.
Unable to respond, Jin-wook listens in silence as Yi-deum tells him the thing she’s most upset about is that she’d asked Dr. Ko face-to-face about Mom, but Dr. Ko had feigned ignorance. As tears spring up in her eyes, Yi-deum wonders how someone could do that. Ashamed, Jin-wook apologizes but Yi-deum tells him that he’s not the one who should feel sorry.
Her expression hardening, Yi-deum tells him that an apology won’t fix things and promises to pay his mother back. She proposes they break their partnership, starting with Soo-ah’s case, as she doubts Jin-wook can continue to work with her knowing she plans to take revenge. Yi-deum suggests icily that they not cross paths anymore.
Alone in the office, Yi-deum reviews Soo-ah’s case and the evidence stacked against Min-ho, including the bloodied glove sent in by Ji-soo (the other call girl) and Sang-gyu’s promise to testify in exchange for Min-ho’s release. Coming to a decision, Yi-deum crosses out Min-ho’s name in Ji-soo’s testimony, replacing it with Tae-gyu. She signs it off as an error and stamps her fingerprint.
The next day, Yi-deum meets with Min-ho to assure him that she’ll get him released. Bewildered, Min-ho asks why and Yi-deum replies that his brother has something she wants—but before he can be too relieved, she clarifies that she won’t cover up his crimes. Looking hopeful anyway, Min-ho asks what he needs to do and Yi-deum just tells him to be careful, warning him that testifying the way he’d done before would allow Tae-gyu to pin everything on him.
Jo Gap-soo plays Sang-ho a video from a hidden camera showing Tae-gyu beating Soo-ah the night she died. Jo claims that things aren’t going well with the district attorney, but Sang-ho says he’s already aware Jo didn’t even meet with him. He accuses Jo of never intending to help him at all, and points out that Jo threw him away first.
Incensed, Jo barks that Sang-ho stabbed him in the back. Calming down, Jo offers to hand over the incriminating footage in exchange for Sang-ho’s secret notebook cataloging Jo’s misdeeds. Sang-ho points out that the release of the video means that Kingdom will be revealed and says that in all these years, he’s learned that Jo will never give something up to help someone else.
His voice trembling with rage, Jo asks if Sang-ho intends to take this all the way. In reply, Sang-ho bows and excuses himself as Jo looks down at a picture of Sang-ho meeting Yi-deum.
Jin-wook stares in disbelief at that same picture, which has just been delivered to their department anonymously. Mi-young points out that the box sitting next to Yi-deum in the photo is likely the one containing Tae-gyu’s glove, and Jin-wook remembers seeing it in Yi-deum’s hand when she stormed out of the office yesterday.
Alarmed, Jin-wook rushes over to sift through the papers on Yi-deum’s desk and discovers Yi-deum’s indictment of Tae-gyu as the main perpetrator, as well as Ji-soo’s doctored testimony. Just then, Yi-deum arrives and Jin-wook drags her outside to question her. However, Yi-deum is unconcerned with Jin-wook’s accusations and reminds him to take his hands off her case.
Relenting a bit, Yi-deum tells him about the call from Ji-soo and says that she sent the glove to be tested. Proudly, she points out that if the results show Soo-ah’s blood and Tae-gyu’s DNA then they’ll have definitive evidence, but Jin-wook argues that her methods are still wrong. He tells her that while he understands her feelings and is frustrated that he’s unable to help, Yi-deum is jeopardizing Soo-ah’s trial.
Explaining that the glove would be deemed inadmissible should anyone discover Yi-deum tampered with the testimony, Jin-wook tells Yi-deum to back out of the case before she ruins it. Unperturbed, Yi-deum refuses, so Jin-wook says he has no choice but to report her.
The lab results come in, and the results show Soo-ah’s blood and Tae-gyu’s DNA on the glove.
Her phone rings, and a short while later, Yi-deum reports to Prosecutor Min.
Prosecutor Min tells Yi-deum she’s off the case and while Yi-deum objects, Prosecutor Min points out that meeting a family member of the accused automatically bars her from court.
Yi-deum remains stubborn, and when Prosecutor Min says that she knows Yi-deum’s upset about her mother, Yi-deum rounds on her. She asks accusingly, “How much do you know about my mom?” She asks if Min knows that she was abducted by Jo Gap-soo, locked up in a mental institution, and killed by Baek Sang-ho.
Prosecutor Min looks taken aback at all that, and Yi-deum continues: “Do you know why I became a prosecutor? He stole my mom from me and made me suffer bitterly for twenty years. I became a prosecutor to arrest him with my own hands.” Now she knows who the perpetrator is, and because the statute of limitations will soon expire, she needs Sang-ho’s testimony. In order to ensure that Jo Gap-soo doesn’t go free again, Min-ho must go free.
Prosecutor Min points out that before Yi-deum is Mom’s daughter, she’s a prosecutor and that her actions are threatening Soo-ah’s trial. Yi-deum argues that she’s only holding Tae-gyu responsible for the things he’s done, but Prosecutor Min tells her that if a prosecutor cannot be just in court, they need to step down.
After Yi-deum leaves, Prosecutor Min looks through Mom’s file and thinks back on Yi-deum’s words. When Jin-wook comes into her office sometime later, he finds her shredding the document Yi-deum had altered. When Prosecutor Min tells him to disregard Ji-soo’s testimony, Jin-wook wonders if she’s being lenient because of Yi-deum’s mom. He says that reported Yi-deum in spite of knowing about her mother because Yi-deum crossed the line.
Prosecutor Min agrees that Yi-deum was wrong, but she decided to end the matter by pulling Yi-deum from the case and tells Jin-wook to indict Tae-gyu using the glove evidence.
Chief Prosecutor Oh receives a call and promises to look into something. After hanging up, he sends people to Yi-deum’s office to check on Tae-gyu and Min-ho’s case.
Jo Gap-soo interrupts his opponent’s campaign rally by driving by and giving his own speech on his loudspeaker. The opponent receives a USB from his secretary, and the next thing we know, the opponent is speaking at a press conference where he announces that Jo had kidnapped, confined, and murdered a woman.
Jo watches the news on his tablet as an audio recording of Sang-ho’s testimony is played. Elsewhere, Yi-deum watches on her phone before stepping into the courtroom to watch Min-ho’s case.
Jin-wook presents the glove as evidence but Lawyer Heo objects, demanding that Jin-wook prove the glove is Tae-gyu’s. Undaunted, Jin-wook shows the next slide, which shows a close-up of the glove which bears Tae-gyu’s initials.
Jo Gap-soo’s secretary tells him that the news is all over the internet but Jo only cryptically replies that if they wait a bit, “the rain will stop soon.”
Back in court, Lawyer Heo postulates that even if the glove did belong to Tae-gyu, it doesn’t prove that the blood came from a beating. She argues the possibility that the blood was transferred while Tae-gyu helped dump the body. Lawyer Heo declares that she has evidence, and produces a set of brass knuckles which she claims belong to Min-ho.
Lawyer Heo says Min-ho is known to have a violent nature, and Min-ho shouts that he’s never seen the knuckles before in his life. She continues that they found Min-ho’s DNA and Soo-ah’s blood on the knuckles. Jin-wook tries to turn Lawyer Heo’s argument about the glove against her—that the presence of blood doesn’t confirm the use of violence—but Lawyer Heo pulls up a slide showing that the wounds on the body correlate with the weapon.
Lawyer Heo asserts that Min-ho must be guilty, which sends him into a rage. Min-ho shouts that he’s being framed and has to be escorted, kicking and screaming, out of the courtroom. The judge tells the prosecution to reevaluate the case and revise their indictment before court resumes tomorrow.
On their way out of the courtroom, Lawyer Heo pettily shoulder-checks Yi-deum and smirks before sashaying away. Soo-ah’s grandmother catches Yi-deum and asks why things are turning out so poorly but before Yi-deum can respond, two internal affairs agents approach them.
Jin-wook and Prosecutor Min ask what it’s about, and the agents present the photos of Yi-deum’s secret meeting with Sang-ho. Turning to Soo-ah’s grandmother, Yi-deum promises that they’ll lock both boys up tomorrow and then leaves with the agents.
In interrogation, Yi-deum claims to have met Sang-ho by chance. They present the reassembled document that she’d altered, but Yi-deum says she doesn’t remember why she changed it. The agents grow frustrated, but Yi-deum argues that rather than ask her about her actions, they should look into whoever gathered the evidence and called them. Until they tell her who sent the photos, she’ll assert her right to remain silent.
Sang-ho meets with a distraught Min-ho and tries to comfort him with the deed to a house that Min-ho had liked as a child and promised to buy when he was older. Sang-ho says he couldn’t wait so he went ahead and bought the house, but rather than being moved, Min-ho wonders if his brother is off his rocker. Min-ho cries that he’s facing twenty years in prison and his life is over but Sang-ho assures him that he’ll fix it.
Jo Gap-soo receives a call from Sang-ho agreeing to hand over the planner and ominously asks where Sang-ho lives.
Prosecutor Min is told that Yi-deum is in serious trouble that will likely affect her too. She meets Jin-wook, who suspects that Tae-gyu’s team is behind it all. Prosecutor Min isn’t so sure but agrees when Jin-wook decides to investigate the knuckle evidence.
At the forensics lab, Jin-wook meets with the technician who’d worked on the glove, and he doesn’t recall seeing brass knuckles—and if they came through, he would have. Jin-wook notes the name of the technician listed, and is told that the man took a personal day. The man says he’ll have that technician call them when he returns to work tomorrow.
Min-ho calls for Jin-wook since he can’t get in touch with Yi-deum, and tells him that Sang-ho is in possession of a video that shows Tae-gyu hitting Soo-ah the night she died. Min-ho swears his innocence and pleads with Jin-wook to call Sang-ho to the stand tomorrow so they can prove it.
At Sang-ho’s home, Sang-ho hands Jo Gap-soo the notebook and Jo apologizes. Sang-ho brushes it off but Jo continues, emotionally asserting that he knows that Sang-ho raised Min-ho like a son after their mother ran off. Jo says that Sang-ho must’ve been angry when he took Tae-gyu’s side instead and asks Sang-ho to trust him once more.
Jo says that he barely got to where he is, and that it would be such a waste to fall now over something trivial from the past. Appalled, Sang-ho asks if Jo wants him to take the fall again and Jo reasons that Sang-ho is the only one who can save him… and he’s the only one who can save Min-ho.
Jo declares that it’s neither an order nor a threat, but rather a favor for a friend. He promises to save Min-ho, and implores Sang-ho to do this for him.
And so, Sang-ho handwrites a confession, copying the text prepared by Jo, that Yi-deum made him lie. Jo thanks him, but when he turns away, Jo flips through the notebook and his expression hardens. Sang-ho signs his name as Jo’s shadow falls over him.
At court, everyone waits for Sang-ho to arrive to testify, and Lawyer Heo objects that the prosecution is only biding for time. Just then, the spectators start muttering and after checking her phone, Lawyer Heo presents it to the judge. Looking at the screen, the judge then asks Jin-wook if his witness is Sang-ho. When he confirms it, she announces that Sang-ho has just been found dead.
Sang-ho was found at home, collapsed next to the staircase, seemingly having hanged himself from the banister. Beside him is his confession letter, which claims that Yi-deum had coerced him to falsely testify about Mom so that he could save his brother and that Jo Gap-soo is completely innocent.
Jo Gap-soo rushes to the funeral among a throng of flashing cameras, dramatically sobbing in front of the altar. He then spins his story to the reporters that Yi-deum is a corrupt prosecutor who wanted to create a political scandal and it resulted in a tragic suicide. Demanding to know why no one stopped her, he attacks the entire prosecutor’s office.
Back in court, Min-ho is found guilty of murder, earning eighteen years in prison while Tae-gyu is charged as an accessory with his three-year prison sentence being reduced to five years’ probation.
Afterwards, Prosecutor Min watches the news where Jo Gap-soo is campaigning for Yi-deum’s punishment.
The next day, Prosecutor Min meets with the internal affairs agent and tells him that Yi-deum was only acting under her orders and that she’s willing to take full responsibility. The agent warns her that her punishment will be more serious than demotion or disciplinary action and Prosecutor Min assures him that she’s prepared. He doesn’t understand why she’s protecting Yi-deum and Prosecutor Min smiles to herself before handing over her prosecutor’s badge.
Prosecutor Min packs up her belongings and the rest of the team (sans Yi-deum and Jin-wook) sees her off. She places Prosecutor Jang in charge and Prosecutor Seo wonders why she’s resigning when Yi-deum is at fault. Investigator Gu tries to call a company dinner but no one is interested, while Mi-young promises to resign immediately and run to her if Prosecutor Min ever needs anything.
Yi-deum is finally released from interrogation. Turning on her phone, she sees the news about Sang-ho just as Chief Inspector Oh comes up to pester her. He says she’s earned the nickname “chief prosecutor killer,” explaining that Prosecutor Min resigned in her place. He muses that despite being demoted multiple times, it was a bad subordinate that finally ended her career.
Irritated, Yi-deum demands to know if he wants her to quit like Prosecutor Min. Chief Prosecutor Oh smirks that her evaluation is coming up and she’ll be fired anyway.
Jin-wook catches Prosecutor Min in the parking lot and tells her that he confirmed the brass knuckle evidence was manipulated and that he’s going to appeal. He promises not to give up, saying he’ll lock Tae-gyu away. Prosecutor Min says that she didn’t give up either and that she’ll be seeing him soon, before driving away.
Yi-deum races in to find Prosecutor Min’s office empty. Jin-wook comes in behind her and they stare at each other for a charged moment. Finally, Jin-wook says that Yi-deum had promised to avenge Soo-ah’s grudge, but Tae-gyu got off with probation, Sang-gyu died, and Prosecutor Min resigned. He asks if she uncovered the truth about her mother’s case.
Blinking back tears, Yi-deum agrees that he’s right. She admits that she ruined everything and swiftly leaves the room.
Walking home, Yi-deum gets caught in a sudden downpour, and if that weren’t enough, she looks up to see the broadcast of Jo Gap-soo’s win for mayor.
Jo Gap-soo’s campaign team cheers happily and congratulates him on his success. Jo’s secretary tells him that he’s been invited to dinner and he asks where Sang-ho is, to the confusion of his secretary, before realizing his mistake.
Afterwards, Jo stands alone in his office, staring out at the rain until he hears Sang-ho congratulate him on becoming mayor. Turning around, he sees Sang-ho standing on the other side of the room, and his face breaks into a smile. Sang-ho repeats his sentiments, and they both laugh.
But then Jo looks up again, and Sang-ho is gone. The smile wipes form his face and reality sinks in. Jo sinks down to the ground and cries. Hello, crazy town.
The next morning, Jin-wook arrives at the office to find Yi-deum’s desk missing. Moments later, the realtor texts him that Yi-deum has moved out of her apartment. Shocked, Jin-wook drops his bag and races out.
As Yi-deum packs up her apartment, her eyes fall on two framed photos. Placing the one of her and Mom in a box, Yi-deum hesitates to take the picture Jin-wook had framed. Finally deciding to keep it, Yi-deum puts the second picture away as well.
Some time later, the door flies open and Jin-wook runs inside… only to find the apartment empty. He dials Yi-deum, but her phone is off. He sinks down steps, looking miserably around the vacant room.
Three months later…
Jin-wook continues to work diligently in his unit, but he pauses to look forlornly at Yi-deum’s old desk, which now bears someone else’s name. Dropping a stack of papers, Jin-wook bends under his desk to retrieve them just as a familiar pair of boots stomps up to his desk.
Sitting up, he’s overjoyed to see Yi-deum seated in the chair opposite. He asks why she’s there but she just gives him a wave and a strained smile.
Mi-young enters the room and hands Jin-wook a file. Yi-deum looks away as Jin-wook skims through and when he reaches the part listing Yi-deum as the accused party, she winces. Hehe.
Thank goodness for that uptick at the end of the episode, because I was really starting losing my patience with this show’s desire to run our heroes into the ground. While life isn’t fair and sometimes the bad guys get the upper-hand, there’s generally a certain level of give-and-take and we saw none of that this hour. Yi-deum is brought up on charges of corruption despite not actually following through (thanks to Prosecutor Min and Jin-wook), weaselly Tae-gyu gets to pass his murder charges over to Min-ho, who will spend the next two decades in prison on top of the death of his only family, and Prosecutor Min quits to take the fall?
And was anyone else a bit enraged when Jin-wook decided to rub salt in Yi-deum’s wounds after Prosecutor Min’s resignation? Because while I agree that Yi-deum was in the wrong, his “I told you so” attitude came across a tad mean-spirited. He may have been angry, and rightfully so, but talk about kicking a girl when she’s down… So I can understand her desire to disappear for a while. Her entire world came crashing down and when she retaliated with rage, it only made things worse. Taking some time to step back a reassess was necessary.
On the flipside, I am so fed up with Jo Gap-soo. I won’t linger on my distaste for him since I think Helcat summed up my feelings pretty succinctly in her recap last episode, but I do wish that he made for a more compelling villain. He’s textbook evil and lacks the necessary charisma to make me care about his aspirations. I don’t “love to hate” him, I just hate him and that’s never a good place for a primary antagonist to be.
Sang-ho is a slightly more interesting character because where Jo Gap-soo falls flat, Sang-ho possesses at least some depth. His complete devotion and servitude is a little questionable (especially since he never questioned the possibility of Jo stabbing him in the back… again) but I could at least see a glimmer of humanity in him through his relationship with Min-ho.
As an aside, I have to question the intelligence of many of our characters. I don’t understand how Lawyer Heo got away with her ridiculous argument that the glove couldn’t be the weapon because maybe the blood got there while transporting the body but the knuckle had to be the weapon because the abrasions lined up? The glove has spikes on the knuckles so the spacing should be the same with either weapon. Additionally Soo-ah’s wounds appeared jagged and deep, which seems more consistent with the spiked glove than the dull knuckles. The fact that no one questioned any of this drives me absolutely bonkers. I understand they want some tension in the courtroom but it’s irritating that this show lacks the creativity to do so without dumbing down its characters.
This was a hard episode to get through but I remain hopeful that the show will come back around… and our romance will get back on track!
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