Suits: Episode 2
With introductions out of the way, we finally get to see both Kang-seok and Yeon-woo in action. It’s interesting how similar they are when it comes to sheer stubbornness and determination to win, yet they’re miles apart in the way they approach a problem. Is it better to come from a place of compassion and understanding, as Yeon-woo believes, or is Kang-seok correct that the fastest way to results is to exploit your opponent’s weaknesses? I have a feeling that they both have a lot to learn from each other.
EPISODE 2: “If you have a chance to throw a die, throw it without hesitating. The moment you throw it, you’ll advance at least one square.”
When Kang-seok gets to work, he finds that his promotion to senior partner has been rescinded. Ha-yeon explains that President Park complained, and that Geun-shik has gone to try to placate him. Kang-seok says that it’s not as if they’ll go bankrupt if they lose one lousy client, but Ha-yeon says that she can’t promote him to senior partner if he’s lost them their biggest client.
She fusses at him for lying that they’d already been paid, reminding him that he’s not the only one who could be in serious trouble. She warns that if he ever puts her in such a position again, she’ll haul him in front of a judge herself.
So, wary of making any mistakes, Kang-seok fires Yeon-woo as soon as he shows up for this first day at work. He explains that he’s on a knife-edge, and that if anyone discovers Yeon-woo’s not really a lawyer, Kang-seok will be the one who’s cut.
Yeon-woo marvels that he thought Kang-seok would be different, and he begs him to reconsider, promising not to be the one who gets him stabbed by that knife by proving that hiring him wasn’t a mistake. Kang-seok tells him that he thought Yeon-woo might be a weapon, but from the edge of this knife, he looks more like a weakness he can’t afford.
Annoyed now, and with nothing to lose, Yeon-woo says that if Kang-seok is on the edge of a knife, then Yeon-woo is standing on the edge of a cliff. He continues, “If you push me off, it’s like you’re saying I should shut up and die.” Kang-seok asks sarcastically if he plans to pull him down with him, and Yeon-woo’s defiant glare makes him sit up and pay attention.
Yeon-woo says that he has lots of ways to take Kang-seok down. He asks, “Have you already forgotten what I’m like?” unknowingly echoing Kang-seok’s words to Ha-yeon when he’d threatened to go work for another firm if she doesn’t reinstate his promotion. Kang-seok tells Yeon-woo that if he tries blackmailing him, he’ll only go to jail for dealing drugs, but Yeon-woo just says they’ll go down together.
He adds that he’s not blackmailing Kang-seok — he’s just desperate for this opportunity. Just as Ha-yeon reinstated his promotion (though she’d insisted it was not because of his bluffing), Kang-seok tells Yeon-woo that whether this was a deal or a threat, he’s got no choice but to tell Yeon-woo that he passed.
He says that Yeon-woo is on a six month probationary period, in which he expects him to spend every moment making sure he’s qualified to take the bar exam. He tells him not to worry about the money, and although money is Yeon-woo’s primary concern, he agrees to the terms.
Ha-yeon’s terms for Kang-seok’s promotions are that he must resolve things with President Park, he must bring in Congressman Jo as a client within a week, and he has to take on a certain pro bono case (a case done without payment). It’s the last one that makes Kang-seok balk.
Kang-seok gives the pro bono case (for sexual harassment and unfair dismissal) to Yeon-woo as his first case and tells him to keep it a secret from Ha-yeon, pfft. He says that his goal is to never let cases go to court, then notes Yeon-woo’s ill-fitting suit. Likening a good suit to a set of armor, Kang-seok hands over his credit card and tells Yeon-woo to get a new one, and whatever else he needs.
As luck would have it, the woman that Yeon-woo splashed mud all over is a paralegal at the firm, and she’s in charge of his orientation. Her name is KIM JI-NA (Go Sung-hee), and Yeon-woo further insults her by asking if she’s his secretary. Ouch.
In the elevator, Ji-an catches Yeon-woo staring at her chest and informs him that he’s one of those jerks who think that women who aren’t attorneys must be secretaries who have flings with attorneys. He says meekly that he just thought there was something on her shirt, but she sneers that he’s like a new recruit while she’s been in the trenches for three years.
He wonders why everyone is talking like this is a war and mentions that he was exempted from army duty, making Ji-na ask if there’s something wrong with him. He just says there are a lot of things wrong with him and wonders if she’s biased against men who didn’t serve in the army.
Secretary Da-ham is the only one who knows that Yeon-woo doesn’t have a law license, and she asks Kang-seok why he hired him. Her guess is that Yeon-woo is Kang-seok’s secret son, and the incredulous look Kang-seok levels at her is priceless.
Ji-an shows Yeon-woo around, and at one point she deliberately whirls his direction, trying to spill her coffee on him. It doesn’t work but she snaps at him to pay attention, only for him to sarcastically agree that that was all his fault.
She shows him to his tiny cubicle and starts telling him how to find other departments, and she gets annoyed that he doesn’t write it all down. Yeon-woo just flawlessly rattles off which departments are on which floors, earning a narrow-eyed glare from Ji-na as she sails off.
Kang-seok learns that President Park has already started the process of suing him, although he hasn’t even hired a lawyer yet. He goes to Geun-shik’s office to ask about his recent golf game with President Park, obliquely accusing him of giving President Park inside information because of his grudge against Kang-seok.
Geun-shik almost gives himself away, but he stops and asks if Kang-seok has proof. Kang-seok asks in return whether Geun-shik can handle Ha-yeon’s disappointment if he proves him guilty. Geun-shik looks chastened at the thought, and Kang-seok says he’ll forget what he did this time, cheekily plunking a golf ball into his goldfish bowl.
Yeon-woo’s friend Chul-soon is chased by some scary-looking men, and one of them surprises him with a brick upside the head. Yeon-woo gets a call from Chul-soon’s phone, but he ignores it.
Meanwhile, Kang-seok meets with a woman who seems to be a regular informant. She tells him that President Park has a trouble-making son, who’s narrowly escaped prison three times due to his father’s connections.
She also gives him a tip that Congressman Jo wants to be the leading elder at his large church, an extremely powerful position, so Kang-seok shows up at Congressman Jo’s church that weekend. He offers to help Congressman Jo and shows him the financial statements of his primary rival, noting that they seem to have been tampered with.
Skeptical, Congressman Jo asks if this is a trick, so Kang-seok instructs him to smile as he texts the statement to the rival, who suddenly looks very nervous and scuttles away. Congressman Jo calls his office right then and there and tells them that Kang & Ham are their new legal advisers.
Yeon-woo visits the victim of the harassment case, a woman named Mi-sook, at her dishwashing job. She doesn’t have much faith that he can help her, so Yeon-woo pulls on a pair of gloves and starts helping her.
His unusual tactic gets her attention, and later she tells him that she worked for a company called Geumjeong Digitech as the president’s secretary. He started making inappropriate comments, so she made a complaint. She was given no work to do after that, so she cleaned a bathroom in an attempt to be useful, and she was fired on the spot for being absent without leave.
She tells Yeon-woo that the other employees accused her of trying to seduce the president, calling her a gold-digger, so she gave up on suing. But then her daughter said that the world has changed and women can be confident and free, so she changed her mind.
The men who were chasing Chul-soon drag him to his apartment and ransack the place, with Chul-soon lying on the floor bleeding from a bad head wound. They continue trying to call Yeon-woo, probably looking for the drugs he disposed of after meeting Kang-seok.
Yeon-woo goes to visit his grandmother that evening. He climbs into her hospital bed and snuggles up with her, and she sighs that it’s nice here. Yeon-woo tells her she can stay as long as she likes because he got a good job.
His grandmother pats his hand sleepily and says she’s proud of him. He asks if she wants to know about his job, but she’s too sleepy and nods off. Yeon-woo says softly, “I’m sorry, Grandmother. When I become a real lawyer, I’ll tell you everything then.”
In the morning, Kang-seok swipes Yeon-woo’s breakfast from the toast truck and asks him how the pro bono case is coming. Yeon-woo says that Mi-sook seems like a good person, but Kang-seok says that the moment he empathizes with the client, he’ll start making mistakes and lose the case.
Yeon-woo reminds Kang-seok that he said he’s good at reading people, asking if it wouldn’t be ideal to empathize with the client and win. Kang-seok clarifies that by reading people, he means reading their desires and finding their weaknesses.
Yeon-woo concludes that this probably isn’t the offender’s first time harassing an employee, but nobody else at the company has reported him. Kang-seok says that that’s probably because anyone who did was fired, and that those who stayed just accepted it.
Yeon-woo decides to ask Mi-sook for a list of people who’ve quit or been fired from Geumjeong Digitech, but Kang-seok stares at him until he realizes that it won’t be that easy. Kang-seok says that they have to roll the dice to make a move, and when Yeon-woo complains that they have no dice, Kang-seok says, “Then you have to start by finding your die.”
Yeon-woo spends the morning making a website to bring attention to Mi-sook’s lawsuit against Geumjeong Digitech ‘s chairman (and still ignoring calls from Chul-soon’s phone), but at the end of the day the site still hasn’t had any hits. He asks Ji-na for help after work, and she laughs in his face,.
Baffled as to why she’s so hostile towards him, Yeon-woo asks if Ji-na is always this angry, which just makes her madder. She tells him that Geun-shik wants to see him, and he wanders out of her office only to stick his head back in to ask who that is, ha.
Geun-shik glares at Yeon-woo aggressively and says that he’s heard Yeon-woo is a genius, but he says he’s not impressed. They’re joined by another associate that Geun-shik called to his office just to make a show of firing him for Yeon-woo’s benefit. He says that the instant Yeon-woo makes the tiniest mistake, he’s out.
He tosses Kang-seok’s golf ball to Yeon-woo with instructions to give Kang-seok the message that the dice have been thrown, and they’re at war. Yeon-woo obediently delivers the golf ball, but Kang-seok interrupts the message, knowing what he said about dice and war already because it’s been Geun-shik’s motto since college.
Yeon-woo goes on alert when he sees a picture of President Park and his family on Kang-seok’s tablet. He tells Kang-seok that the son is Joon-pyo, who set him up to get caught with the drugs. Kang-seok murmurs that this is fun, and he asks Yeon-woo if he’s a good actor.
Yeon-woo calls Joon-pyo while he’s out clubbing and doing drugs, and when Joon-pyo asks who he is, he says, “I’m someone who wants to teach you how scary people can be.” Suddenly Kang-seok enters Joon-pyo’s private room, while at the same time, Yeon-woo finds President Park in a fancy sauna.
Kang-seok informs Joon-pyo that a witness saw him abusing drugs a few weeks ago and reported it to the cops. He tells Joon-pyo to sign a contract right now, and he’ll defend him himself. Hearing a commotion caused by police in the hallway, Joon-pyo quickly signs.
Kang-seok calls President Park to tell him that he’ll be representing his son in court. President Park says he has plenty of connections to keep Joon-pyo out of jail, but Yeon-woo replies that this time there’s enough evidence that connections won’t help him.
Still on the phone, Kang-seok offers to represent Joon-pyo if President Park drops the lawsuit against him. President Park says that any lawyer can represent his son, but Kang-seok points out that he’s the only lawyer at the scene right now.
He sighs that it’s a shame that President Park is taking his deal as a threat and offers to rip up the contract Joon-pyo signed and let the police in. Joon-pyo scuttles over and grabs the phone, screaming for daddy to save him.
President Park snatches his lawsuit from Yeon-woo and tears it in half. The police arrest Joon-pyo as his father watches from his car.
Yeon-woo joins Kang-seok and sighs that they should have let the scumbag get the maximum sentence, but Kang-seok says that his father would only have gotten him out again. Yeon-woo fishes for praise for his acting, holding out a fist for a bump, but Kang-seok just walks away, ha.
When he gets home, Yeon-woo finds Se-hee crying on the front stoop, and she sobs at him for not answering his phone. She tells him about Chul-soon’s attack, wanting to call the police, but Yeon-woo says that if they do, then Chul-soon will also be arrested.
Se-hee is confused (she doesn’t know about the drug deal) but Yeon-woo says he’ll explain later. She picks up his Kang & Ham employee badge when he drops it and assumes that he’s been studying to be a lawyer. He starts to explain, but she says sadly that between him and Chul-soon, she feels like she’s always in the dark.
In the morning, Da-ham is intercepted on her way to work by Geun-shik, who asks what she’ll do after Kang-seok leaves the firm. She gets the pleasure of telling him that President Park withdrew his complaint, and that Geun-shik can’t even call him because it was a clause of the agreement that he’ll have no contact with any Kang & Ham attorneys from now on, Geun-shik in particular.
Ji-na delivers the Kang & Ham protocol manual to Yeon-woo, clearly expecting his gratitude for her magnanimous gesture, but he doesn’t even notice her there, hee. She raps on his desk and reminds him that he needed a favor, then she’s insulted all over again when he asks her to help drive traffic to his website.
She calls him a genius at making people angry, and again he’s completely confused at her (to his mind) overreaction. He accidentally addresses her too informally, and she blows up and storms off. But this time, Yeon-woo stops her and addresses her with her title, and she slows down enough for him to tell he about Mi-sook’s plight.
By the time he’s done, Ji-na can tell that he sincerely wants to help Mi-sook. Kang-seok finds them and gets a look at Yeon-woo’s website, and he tells Yeon-woo that he’s found his die, so now it’s time to make his move. It only takes him a few seconds to email his clients a link to the website as Yeon-woo gapes at the famous celebrities that Kang-seok knows.
Once they’re alone again, Ji-na stammers an apology to Yeon-woo for her behavior earlier. She shares the link on her social media, and as the evening wears on, the site starts to gain visitors. By morning, the site is trending, but Da-ham warns Yeon-woo that Geumjeong Digitech will retaliate.
When he gets to work, Kang-seok learns that the site is a success and that news sites are even writing about it. He takes Yeon-woo to the courthouse to speak to a judge, who reprimands Kang-seok for publicly calling out Geumjeong Digitech. Kang-seok passes him a folder of evidence they’ve received from the company — it’s empty.
He says that they had no choice but to set up the website because the company wasn’t cooperating, but the website got popular very quickly, so they sent out a news release to make sure that readers don’t get the wrong idea. When the judge asks what he wants, Kang-seok requests a list of female employees who were fired or resigned while Mi-sook worked there.
On their way out of the courthouse, Kang-seok tells Yeon-woo that without that list, the case would have been dropped, so he used the media to stop that from happening. But he warns Yeon-woo that getting emotionally involved can be dangerous for his client.
He says that things will get trickier now, and Yeon-woo guesses that it’s Geumjeong Digitech’s turn to roll the dice. They do that by not just sending a list of dismissed employees, but full personnel records of all employees, including payslips, and even vacation records, lol.
Yeon-woo complains that it’s a ploy to waste their time, but Kang-seok just quips, “You remember everything you read, so this won’t take you long.” HAHA, Yeon-woo’s face.
A terrified Chul-soon calls Se-hee, begging her to help find Yeon-woo or he’s dead. We see that he’s being held in a filthy warehouse, looking half dead already as he tells his captors that Yeon-woo works at Kang & Ham law firm.
Ji-na finds Yeon-woo still at the office late that night, slowly reading through the mountain of employee files. Without a word, she joins him and starts reading. Yeon-woo walks her downstairs later, and when she notices that his watch face is broken, he just says vaguely that there’s a story behind it.
He asks if she’s interested in him, because he’s heard that when people act like they hate someone for no reason, often it’s really because they’re interested. Stammering a little, Ji-na assures Yeon-woo that she had a very valid reason for disliking him when they first met.
In the morning, Ji-na arrives at the office to find that Yeon-woo has located a Geumjeong Digitech employee named Eun-young who was fired while Mi-sook worked there. Yeon-woo has gone to speak with her, but she’s afraid to testify.
Yeon-woo psays that he understands that she has no reason to trust him, but swearing that he knows how she feels. He goes back o the office to report that Eun-young refused to testify, so he asked how she would feel if her daughter were in her situation. Kang-seok snaps at him to cut to the chase, and Yeon-woo announces that she agreed to testify. Aw, he’s so adorably proud of himself.
Eun-young arrives for a deposition, but she’s not happy when Geumjeong Digitech’s chairman shows up along with his lawyer. She shuts down when the lawyer mentions that before her secretary job at Geumjeong Digitech, she worked at a series of bars, and that one even sued her for threatening to report the owner for rape if he didn’t give her money.
Instead of answering, Eun-young runs out of the room. Yeon-woo chases after her to ask why she didn’t tell him about the blackmail lawsuit, but she just yells at him for making this all her fault. She says she won’t testify, so Yeon-woo slumps back to the building, defeated.
He’s joined in the elevator by Chul-soon’s attackers, and he gets a text from Se-hee saying that Chul-soon knows where he is and that his attackers will probably come after him. He finally notices the two men and recognizes their faces from when he saw them outside Chul-soon’s apartment.
He exits the elevator as soon as the door opens, and the men follow him. He runs into Kang-seok, who takes in Yeon-woo’s nervous breathing and the men who suddenly stop a short distance away. Yeon-woo tries to keep walking, but Kang-seok grabs his arm and demands, “Who are you?”
We got to know Yeon-woo a bit better in this episode, which confirmed a lot of what I suspected about him after the first episode. He seems to have hit a rough patch when his parents died in a hit-and-run and ruined his chances of going to law school. I can’t help but wonder if his desperation to fix some terrible mistake that he made is related to his parents’ deaths — maybe he was involved somehow, or maybe he was even the drunk driver who caused the accident. His apology and promise to his grandmother to tell her everything someday leads me to believe that he at least feels responsible for his parents’ deaths. Regardless, I can’t see yet how a job pretending to be a lawyer would make things right, unless his goal is to honor his parents’ loss by becoming successful. And I could be way off and his mistake is something else entirely… we still have a long way to go before we get answers.
Yeon-woo seemed so withdrawn and detached in the first episode, so I liked that we got to see a bit more of his personality. I’m particularly entertained by his bewilderment at the inner workings of the law firm, but you can also feel that he’s carefully analyzing everything he observes and that he’ll be fitting right in before long. Yeon-woo seems to have a lot of facets to his personality — he was cool and factual when he talked Kang-seok out of firing him, dryly witty with Ji-na, and warm and compassionate when listening to the harassment victim. Then he went to see his grandmother and instantly became so sweet and childlike, it made my heart ache. There’s a lot of love there, on both sides, and I’m looking forward to seeing Yeon-woo extend that love outward to others.
There’s something about Kang-seok’s slick, effective way of handling every situation that makes me want to admire his intelligence and quick thinking, but I’m definitely concerned about the way he goes about manipulating people. His tactics are misleading and tricksy at best, illegal at worst. And now he has Yeon-woo under his wing, a kid who knows the letter of the law from books but has no experience actually applying those laws to real-life situations, and who’s listening and absorbing his — frankly terrible — advice. I mean, it was Kang-seok’s idea to hire Yeon-woo to illegally impersonate a lawyer in the first place, and the fact that the plan is to get Yeon-woo to pass the bar exam within six months doesn’t make it any better (and anyway, why does he need six months when he’s already passed the bar with a nearly perfect score?). I’m concerned that Kang-seok will stamp out Yeon-woo’s instinctive compassionate, human approach and teach him all the wrong things.
On a lighter note, I absolutely adore the female characters in this show, so I hope that they get a lot more screen time going forward. Jin Hee-kyung is always wonderful, and I love how her Ha-yeon is so smart and clever, running this powerful law firm all by herself. Chae Jung-ahn as Da-ham is hilarious, both with Kang-seok and without, and I hope we get to see a lot more of her sassyness. But it’s Go Sung-hee as Ji-na who really makes me laugh, especially when she was so irritated by Yeon-woo’s obliviousness that she was actively trying to get his attention without even knowing why. It cracks me right up whenever she hits him with a zinger and prepares to gloat, only for Yeon-woo to be all Oh, okay, well bye now and leave her floundering even harder. I’m a bit sad that they started getting along so soon, because I could have watched several more weeks’ worth of Ji-na being annoyed and Yeon-woo having no earthly clue what’s wrong with her.
I liked Suits after the first episode, but I love it after the second. My only real complaint is that some of the law procedures seem very rushed (for example, no way would a lawyer let their client be questioned without having thoroughly questioned them themselves), but it seems to be the way of things in dramas, so I can overlook that for the sake of entertainment. I feel like the show hasn’t quite hit its stride yet, but the introduction of a case and a purpose for Yeon-woo to use his intellect got things focused in the right direction. In addition, the side-plot of Chul-soon and the drug dealers looking for Yeon-woo has me concerned, because as much as Chul-soon is bad news and he knows it, Yeon-woo will still feel betrayed that his friend got him in this situation, then ratted him out. I’m eager to see Kang-seok break his own rule of not getting emotionally involved as he tries to help Yeon-woo out of a situation that’s gotten out of control.