Witch’s Court: Episode 12
The case today is two decades old, and being forced to rely on memory puts our heroes in a precarious position. Time does weird things to memories and sometimes it’s hard to judge when someone is telling the truth, lying, or is just plain confused. It’s going to take Yi-deum’s arsenal of skills to pin this bad guy down, but she’s clever like a fox and if anyone has a chance at succeeding with the odds stacked against them, it’s her.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
After a bar owner is stabbed in his establishment, the police investigate all the patrons from that evening. Among them is Jo Gap-soo’s secretary-henchman, Kim Hyung-soo, but his alibi checks out and they send him home.
The following day, Hyung-soo reports to Jo Gap-so that Jo’s wife had a small shock and Jo angrily wonders why the doctors can’t keep her comatose with all the money he pays. Hyung-soo’s phone rings and he answers a call from a police officer, who then informs him that his DNA matches a sexual assault case from 1997.
At the same time, a female janitor receives a call during work. She’s Hong Sun-hwa, the victim who reported the 1997 case. The officer tells her the assailant has been identified and although visibly shaken, she wants to press charges.
Flashback to November 1997. A group of teenagers sat around a campfire, and one pair was particularly shy. After everyone else had gone, the boy nervously offered to walk the girl back, and, smiling, she took his hand… only to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance sometime later, unconscious and battered.
In the present, Mi-young briefs the team on the case. The police had taken Sun-hwa’s testimony and DNA evidence at the time of the incident, but because they met on a trip, Hyung-soo had given a fake name and school. Prosecutor Seo wonders how much either party will remember after two decades, and Jin-wook agrees that memories can be altered by time. Regardless, the team resolves to do their best for the victim.
Meanwhile, Yi-deum discusses the case with Lawyer Min, thinking that if they pressure Hyung-soo, he’ll reveal Jo Gap-soo’s weakness. She proposes that they work together and is surprised when Lawyer Min shoots her down. Min reminds her of Soo-ah’s case and Yi-deum says she’s repenting.
Min warns Yi-deum that she’s in danger of making the same mistake. Reminding her that she’s a lawyer, Min advises Yi-deum to find another prosecutor’s job if she can’t let it go.
Yi-deum declares she now aspires to defend victims. Lawyer Min is naturally incredulous, but Yi-deum assures her she’s changed and swears not to do anything unethical ever again. Lawyer Min can’t help but smile as Yi-deum ferociously vows, “I will become a warm lawyer who wipes victims’ tears and fights against perpetrators—a lawyer that is honest and just!”
Relenting, Lawyer Min passes her the case file and tells her to give it a shot. Yi-deum happily accepts it and then sees that the assigned prosecutor is Jin-wook.
Jin-wook receives a text from Lawyer Min informing him that Yi-deum will be assisting on the case and asking that he make sure she behaves.
When he arrives at his office, Yi-deum is already there and acting chummy with Hoon-soo. Irritaed, Jin-wook asks what she’s doing and Hoon-soo answers that Yi-deum was showing him her strategy for the case. Jin-wook doesn’t understand why she’s strategizing with Hoon-soo, who chides him for being inflexible. Hoon-soo thinks they should help each other and Yi-deum enthusiastically agrees.
Ignoring them, Jin-wook asks how far Yi-deum intends to go and she admits that she’s still unsure. However, she does think that they should replace the lead prosecutor. Jin-wook’s expression turns even sourer as she suggests letting Hoon-soo take over, promising to give him her full support.
Unsurprisingly, Jin-wook isn’t amused and ushers Yi-deum out of the office, locking the door behind her. Before leaving, though, she pops up in the window and motions for Hoon-soo to call her. Hee.
Jin-wook and Mi-young interrogate Hyung-soo, who claims to have no recollection raping Sun-hwa. Jin-wook takes that to mean he doesn’t remember anything, but Hyung-soo corrects that he remembers everything. He then gives the exact date, day, and location, even recalling what time he helped build the campfire.
Hyung-soo says he was smitten with Sun-hwa at first sight. Remembering how nervous he’d holding her hand, and the way she’d smiled when he’d kissed her cheek, Hyung-soo asserts that it was a beautiful memory. Presenting Sun-hwa’s medical report from that night, Jin-wook says that it seems far from beautiful.
Leaving the interrogation room, they run into Prosecutor Jang on her way into the observation room next door and discover Yi-deum hiding under the desk. She crawls out, claiming to have found something there, but Jin-wook just sighs.
Outside, Jin-wook says that he knows she took this case to catch Jo Gap-soo, and Yi-deum cheerfully suggests that they work together. Clocking his irritation, Yi-deum assures him that she has vowed to keep the personal out of the professional from now on.
Jin-wook agrees to trust her, but suggests that they split up the work. He insists that she follow his instructions, as he is the lead prosecutor and she is in the assistant position. She protests, but when Jin-wook breezily replies that she can always quit, Yi-deum surrenders.
Jin-wook tells her to return to the office, but Yi-deum says they need to do a cross-examination—the incident is twenty years old and they’ll lack credibility without it. Jin-wook reminds her that they need the victim to request it, and she promises to get Sun-hwa’s agreement.
Yi-deum meets with Sun-hwa at the college where she works, but Sun-hwa refuses to give additional testimony, saying that she’s said all there is to say.
Sun-hwa’s boss barks at her for wasting time and orders her to clean the men’s restroom, and she quickly agrees. However, when three men enter the restroom, she freezes. Annoyed, her boss demands to know why she can’t clean when men are inside, even though all the other women can.
Sun-hwa meekly apologizes and starts to push the cleaning cart forward, but Yi-deum stops her and offers to clean it instead, then asks Sun-hwa to reconsider the cross-examination.
Afterward, Yi-deum exits the bathroom to find Sun-hwa has vanished. Walking around, Yi-deum finds Sun-hwa attempting to clean some glass doors while her skeevy boss gets handsy. Sun-hwa shrinks away, begging him to stop, but he claims to be helping and moves closer.
Whipping out the mop, Yi-deum marches over and complains loudly about the filth, as she swipes at the boss’s feet until he scuttles away. Unfortunately, when she turns around, Sun-hwa has already disappeared again.
Meanwhile, Jo Gap-soo is signing a development agreement with the college’s director in front of a crowd of reporters. Afterwards, Jo hands the director a keycard for Kingdom and they discuss a meeting with the prime minister.
Still searching for Sun-hwa, Yi-deum happens across Jo Gap-soo as he exits the building with his posse. They stare at each other for a beat and then Yi-deum swings her cart around and charges Jo, mop under her arm like a jousting lance. Jo swerves out of the way just in time and Yi-deum screeches to a halt.
Smirking, she backs up and asks if she scared him, tutting that this is only the beginning. Without waiting for a reply, Yi-deum replaces the mop and swings the cart back around, calling for Sun-hwa like she didn’t just go medieval on Jo’s butt.
Apparently, Yi-deum’s tactics succeed in shaking Jo because in the car, he barks at Lawyer Heo to look into whatever Yi-deum is scheming.
Yi-deum finally spots Sun-hwa just as her son comes to pick her up. It’s a sweet moment as the young boy promises to protect his mother, who jumps whenever a man comes near. The boy says that his legs hurt and his mother kneels down to offer him a piggyback ride, pouting that it’s the real reason he picks her up.
Staring after them with a melancholy smile, Yi-deum flashes back to her own mother giving her a piggyback ride after she’d injured herself in a race at school. Mom had chuckled that it was her own fault, having run so crazily to get ahead, while Yi-deum had argued that going slowly and carefully wouldn’t have been a race.
Yi-deum drives slowly alongside Sun-hwa and offers a ride, but Sun-hwa ignores her. Eventually, Yi-deum just stops the car, to the annoyance of the cars behind her, and Sun-hwa reluctantly accepts the ride.
The boy’s father is waiting for them at their destination, and when the boy and his mother step inside, the father asks Yi-deum to make sure Hyung-soo is punished. Yi-deum notes that the parents don’t live together, and the father says that he only wants Sun-hwa to have a happy life. She still has nightmares and is scared of men, and he and their son just want Sun-hwa to get better. He pleads with Yi-deum to send “that evil man” to prison for a long time.
Later, as they sit together on a bench, Sun-hwa explains that she doesn’t want to do the cross-examination because it will be like reliving the nightmare. Yi-deum shares Mom’s story, explaining that there was once a woman who experienced something similar, who was abducted by her assailant and eventually died. There was no evidence, and the victim couldn’t testify because she was dead, so that man continues to live well.
Turning to Sun-hwa, Yi-deum tells her that she can testify, and tell everyone what he did and the effect it’s had on her life. “You said it was a nightmare, right?” Yi-deum asks, “This is your chance. Escape from that nightmare.”
Lawyer Heo reports to Jo Gap-soo that Yi-deum is assisting the prosecution in Hyung-soo’s case. He tells her to take care of it.
Sun-hwa agrees to the cross-examination, and arrives with Yi-deum to confront her attacker. Hyung-soo is already waiting inside, and he and Sun-hwa share a long, confused look before he says that she’s changed a lot.
Hyung-soo recalls that he’d gone to the firework festival with his friends and met Sun-hwa on the second day. He describes her outfit and says that her beauty stood out, spurring him to start a conversation with her. Jin-wook notes that Hyung-soo’s memory is very precise for something that happened two decades ago and Hyung-soo reiterates that it had been a good memory.
Hyung-soo recounts that they’d made a campfire by the river and when Sun-hwa grew tired, he offered to walk her back. He had mustered up the courage to kiss her on the cheek and she’d smiled. It was only about a ten-minute walk back, but Hyung-soo claims that Sun-hwa had slowed down, reluctant to go inside.
Jin-wook confirms the details as they go, and Hyung-soo’s testimony lines up perfectly. Hyung-soo says that he had planned to leave after dropping Sun-hwa off, but she’s the one that stopped him.
Jin-wook asks if Hyung-soo’s statements are true but Sun-hwa says that Hyung-soo had suddenly attacked her by force. Shakily, she recalls tall grass, and in a flashback we see Hyung-soo had grabbed her arm as she walked away and shoved her onto the ground, smiling when she looked at him fearfully.
She says that everything was dark for a while and when she opened her eyes, she saw pink flame grass. Unfortunately, Mi-young discovers that the pink grass had only been imported within the past five years, and Hyung-soo smirks.
Sun-hwa is adamant, so Jin-wook asks if she remembers anything else. However, Sun-hwa just starts repeating herself and when Jin-wook asks where she’d been going, she’s unable to answer.
Hyung-soo scoffs that Sun-hwa is speaking gibberish and argues that if he’d really done something so bad, there’s no way she’d forget the details. He asks if he needs to listen to her crazed ramblings and Sun-hwa bristles at being called crazy. Hyung-soo argues that she “enjoyed it” and now she’s accusing him, wondering if she’s out to ruin his life. Ugh.
When Yi-deum tells him he’s out of line, Hyung-soo leans forward to disagree and Sun-hwa smacks him hard across the face. “Ruin your life? Me?” she cries. “What about my life that you destroyed?” She says she hasn’t slept peacefully since, and screams at him for accusing her of lying before dissolving into sobs.
Hyung-soo stares at her coldly, saying he didn’t want to go this far as he passes a stack of documents to Jin-wook. They’re Sun-hwa’s medical records, and they depict a history of anxiety and paranoia. Hyung-soo asserts that Sun-hwa has always had problems and her accusations are a result of her condition. He reiterates that they had consensual sex as Sun-hwa denies it over and over between sobs.
Afterward, Jin-wook sighs that even if Hyung-soo is lying, Sun-hwa’s case has been weakened since Hyung-so can claim that she imagined it all due to depression. Undeterred, Yi-deum says they can just find other evidence and recalls that there was another witness, which Jin-wook confirms.
She starts to suggest their next move, but Jin-wook bids her good day and shuts his office door in her face. Moving to the window, Yi-deum tries to call for Mi-young but Jin-wook shuts the blinds. Yi-deum continues to shout and wave her arms in the second window but Jin-wook pointedly ignores her as he asks Mi-young about the witness, who they have yet to find.
That night, Jin-wook receives a notification and sighs when he realizes that tomorrow is his mom’s birthday.
The next day, Dr. Ko receives an arrangement of flowers but is put out when she opens the card and realizes they’re not from Jin-wook but from the KBS station.
At work, Jin-wook receives a text from his mother asking how he’s doing and although he reads it, he doesn’t respond. Investigator Gu comes in to tell him that they found the witness, a nurse that now works at a long-term care facility on Bujin Island. Checking his watch, Jin-wook agrees to leave in an hour.
Jin-wook walks out to his car and the second he unlocks it, Yi-deum slides into the passenger seat. Jin-wook tells her to get out since Investigator Gu is coming, but Yi-deum says she’s taking his place. Jin-wook asks if she really must tag along everywhere and is startled when she readily agrees.
Settling into her seat, she tells him to wake her when they arrive and Jin-wook sighs in frustration. He climbs in and hilariously struggles to get his seatbelt to work, shooting a glance at Yi-deum who feigns sleep.
When they arrive at the facility, Yi-deum runs inside in an urgent search for a bathroom while Jin-wook asks the receptionist about their witness, Choi Gyung-ja. When she appears, Jin-wook is stunned to discover that it’s the nurse who’d been saved along with him by Yi-deum’s mother in that hospital fire.
They’re delighted to see each other again and he asks why she had quit so suddenly. Her smile becomes a bit strained as she says that she had to care for her sick sister. She asks about Dr. Ko and he replies, equally awkward, that she’s well. When Yi-deum joins them and Jin-wook introduces the two, an odd look passes Nurse Choi’s face as she looks at Yi-deum.
They show Nurse Choi a picture of Sun-hwa and ask if she remembers her. It takes a moment, but Nurse Choi recalls the night she’d come across Sun-hwa crawling out of the fields, barely conscious and covered in blood. They’d rode in the ambulance together and when they arrived at the hospital, Nurse Choi had told the doctor that she suspected rape. Now, Nurse Choi agrees to testify in court.
Yi-deum moves to go, but as there’s time before the ferry leaves, she’s persuaded to stay and eat. Jin-wook gets up to help Nurse Choi hang laundry, who muses that Yi-deum looks familiar. Jin-wook tells her that Yi-deum is Mom’s daughter, and doesn’t notice the odd look that returns to Nurse Choi’s face.
As they’re leaving, Nurse Choi runs out to give Yi-deum a bag of tea she’d made. Yi-deum protests that it isn’t necessary, but Nurse Choi places it in her hands, saying she’s like a daughter… or a niece. Then Jin-wook and Yi-deum drive away, not noticing when they pass a woman with burn scars walking in the opposite direction.
On the ferry, Yi-deum asks Jin-wook if Nurse Choi is naturally generous, admitting that she it feels awkward to receive gifts from a stranger. Jin-wook says she probably felt thankful and sorry, and tells her about the fire. He admits to feeling the same way, which is why he’d tried to find Mom’s family. He vows to catch the people that hurt Mom and hold them responsible.
Understanding the weight of that promise, Yi-deum says that while she’ll accept an apology, she still doesn’t intend to forgive.
Back at the care facility, the burned woman turns around to greet Nurse Choi (calling her “unni”)… and reveals herself to be Mom! Yay, she’s alive!
The next day, Jin-wook shows Hyung-soo the witness statement and Hyung-soo balks that Jin-wook still believes her after the pink grass claims. Jin-wook agrees that he also found it odd, then presents a photo of the festival, clearly showing tall pink grass, which had been done just for the occasion.
Hyung-soo nervously argues there must be a mistake, insisting that they had both enjoyed themselves that night. Jin-wook replies that if that were true, Sun-hwa wouldn’t have reacted the way she did yesterday. Hyung-soo tries to excuse himself but when he checks his watch, we see a circular scar on his wrist. A brief flashback reveals that it’s a result of Sun-hwa defending herself by biting him. Jin-wook says that this is Hyung-soo’s opportunity to confess and reduce his sentence, but Hyung-soo quickly leaves.
Outside, Hyung-soo calls Lawyer Heo and she informs him that she’s done. He starts mention Jo Gap-soo but she says she’s relaying the mayor’s message so he rushes to City Hall and forces his way inside. Hyung-soo finds Jo in his office and demands to know if Jo is throwing him away. In reply, Jo introduces the other man in the room as Hyung-soo’s replacement.
Walking outside in a daze, Hyung-soo suddenly remembers that Yi-deum had chased him down the other day and handed him her business card. She’d told him to call her if he wanted to make a deal and though he’d scoffed at the time, now he rummages frantically through his pockets until he finds the card.
When he arrives at Yi-deum’s office, she glances quickly at Lawyer Min’s empty desk and ushers him out. In a cafe, Yi-deum holds out her hand for whatever Hyung-soo has to offer, but he wonders what Yi-deum can do, now that she’s no longer a prosecutor. Rolling her eyes, Yi-deum says that she can get him off with probation or a fine by simply claiming he came to an agreement with Sun-hwa.
He emphatically implores her to do so since he’ll surely face jail time otherwise, and Yi-deum says that it depends on what he can give. Hyung-soo says that he has evidence that will destroy Jo Gap-soo—Ahn Seo-rim, Jo’s wife—and Yi-deum sits back with a satisfied smile.
Wrapping up the trial, the judge asks if Hyung-soo has anything to say. Shooting a quick glance at Yi-deum, who smirks and holds up a manila envelope, Hyung-soo confidently declares that he hasn’t so much as littered all his life and that if the allegations were true, he’d willingly accept his punishment. However, he doesn’t doubt his memory and asks the judge to make a wise decision.
Raising her hand, Yi-deum says announces that she has a very important document related to the case that she’d like to submit. The judge permits it and Yi-deum hands the papers over, as Hyung-soo struggles to hide his smile. Reading through the document, the judge asks Yi-deum if they’re true. She confirms this, and the judge tells the court that the document details why the victim requests… a severe punishment against the defendant. Ha!
The grin slips off Hyung-soo’s face as Yi-deum explains that Sun-hwa’s life has been frozen in time since the incident and that she deserves the chance at a normal life. Her voice growing louder, Yi-deum declares that this is only possible if Hyung-soo is punished. Enraged, Hyung-soo slams his hands down on the table and shouts that this isn’t what Yi-deum promised.
Holding up her phone, Yi-deum plays a recording of Hyung-soo begging her to save him from prison, noting that if he wouldn’t have done so unless he remembered the incident. She shouts that he remembers everything but feigns ignorance and shows no signs of remorse; therefore, she requests for him to receive severe punishment for his crimes. The judge then sentences him to five years in prison.
Afterwards, Yi-deum smiles as she receives a text from Lawyer Min that simply reads “good job.” Sun-hwa thanks Yi-deum and when her son rushes out to hug her, she reaches out and holds his father’s hand.
Smiling as she watches them go, Yi-deum takes the picture of her and Mom out of her wallet, but quickly replaces it when Jin-wook calls out to her. He congratulates her on the case but when he says that being a victim’s attorney suits her, Yi-deum’s smile drops. Jin-wook says he looks forward to working with her again and Yi-deum sighs, replying that it won’t happen.
Yi-deum explains that she doesn’t like assisting others and prosecutors get all the glory, anyway. Grinning, Jin-wook asks what she plans to do, then, and she replies that of course, she’ll become a prosecutor. She tells him to just wait because she’ll return to being his senior and rearrange his brain. Laughing, Jin-wook promises to wait. Hehe.
Sitting in their darkened office, Lawyer Min and Yi-deum study Jo Gap-soo’s crime board. Jo forges connections through lobbying, using women and sexual favors to grease the wheels, and Lawyer Min intends to get a list of people who visited “that place” and gather evidence on sexual services received. Yi-deum asks where that place is and Yun-hee walks in, holding up a keycard as she replies, “Kingdom.”
YES! This is what I’ve been waiting for since the start of the show! Prosecutor/Lawyer Min is such an underutilized character. She was introduced as this badass, no-nonsense prosecutor on the hunt for the Big Bad and then instead of becoming a mentor to Yi-deum and forming a power duo, she kinda fell by the wayside for eleven episodes. Missed opportunities, is all I’m saying.
Last week was painful to watch, but this week the show seemed to get a kick in the pants because it brought back all the things I loved and even pulled out some things I felt we’d been missing (aka Prosecutor Min). Yi-deum is definitely this show’s crowning glory and she was in top form this week as she took down the bad guys with her morally questionable flair. I love that even as she grows, she never truly changes and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yi-deum is not your typically K-drama heroine and so often the ones that start out that way, slowly conform to standard clichés as the drama progresses. I’m always sad when a strong female lead loses her spunk but Yi-deum has retained her spitfire attitude and refuses to bend down to anyone’s will.
Another positive is the return of Yi-deum and Jin-wook’s bickering. After all the revelations last week, I was nervous for our romance going forward. Yi-deum’s bullheadedness is a double-edged sword and while she understood Jin-wook wasn’t at fault for the things his mother did, his defense of Dr. Ko (even if his intentions were merely to diffuse the situation as much as possible) pitted him against Yi-deum. For a person that has trouble trusting others, Yi-deum had forged a bond with Jin-wook and when he didn’t firmly stand on her side of the ring, it hit hard. So while they managed to regain their friendship this week, I still had concerns about the romance because I can’t see Yi-deum being able to move past this enough to pursue a deeper relationship.
However, when we discovered Mom not only alive but under the care of Nurse Choi, I felt hope. Because this development suggests that maybe Dr. Ko did do something to help Mom. Maybe she helped fake Mom’s death and smuggle her away with Nurse Choi so she could be safe. If that’s the case, then the reason she so fervently insisted that she didn’t know anything was for Mom’s safety (as well as her own, were Jo Gap-soo to ever discover the deception). And I can’t help but wonder if maybe Sang-ho had been in on it as well, because while it might be possible to pull off without him, it would’ve been infinitely easier if he’d been onboard.
And guys, Mom is alive! I mean, okay, we all called that one but I’m still so thrilled to see her. Her reactions were very muted, and while that can easily be attributed to trauma, I have a niggling fear that maybe Mom doesn’t remember. Because I can’t imagine that she wouldn’t have searched for Yi-deum. They meant everything to each other and Jo Gap-soo didn’t care enough to look into Mom’s life so it stands to reason that she could’ve taken Yi-deum and run away. Either way, we’ll just have to wait and see.
I’m glad that we didn’t waste a lot of time with Jo Gap-soo this week either. I will say though, that he sure is narrowing his pool of cohorts. I guess after murdering his best friend, and gaining the secret ledger of his misdeeds, he feels he has nothing more to fear, but Hyung-soo was privy to secrets as well and Jo didn’t even consider that he could stab him in the back before tossing him aside. Regardless, his oversight was a boon for our heroes and I wonder how Yi-deum will use this information to her advantage. I’m happy to say, I’m pumped for next week!
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