Suits: Episode 4
Kang-seok and Yeon-woo are still clashing when it comes to personal style in dealing with clients. But Yeon-woo is stubborn, and he’s determined to fix things himself when his methods backfire on him. And maybe Kang-seok will finally admit that Yeon-woo’s way of personalizing his interactions can work and finally give Yeon-woo that fist-bump he wants so badly… or not.
EPISODE 4: “Therefore, the truth doesn’t always win just because it shows itself.”
Kang-seok looks over a legal proposal for the high-profile divorce, in which the wife, his client agrees to pay half of her entire assets to her ex-husband. He makes a call to Ju-hee, the opposing counsel, to complain, but she says cheerfully that she thinks it’s perfectly reasonable.
At the firm, Yeon-woo bursts into Geun-shik’s office to confront him, only to discover that he’s crashed a meeting involving Ha-yeon and BewhY, the musician he met at the club last night. BewhY says he’s here because of Yeon-woo, but he calls Yeon-woo “fake lawyer.”
Geun-shik asks what he means by that, so Yeon-woo thinks fast. He says it’s because he’s a probationary associate, which gets him off the hook and dismissed from the room. He goes to the restroom to dunk his face in cold water, trying to ease his hangover.
He’s surprised by Ji-na, who informs him that this is actually the ladies’ room, hee. After hearing Yeon-woo’s recounting of last night, Ji-na asks why he didn’t just tell Geun-shik that he can’t drink. He tells her that Geun-shik learned about the drug lords chasing him to the roof yesterday, so he had to obey him.
He sighs that he’s more upset over breaking his promise to Kang-seok not to disappoint him by doing anything dumb. Ji-na urges him to tell Kang-seok why he went clubbing and let someone else do his work, asking if Yeon-woo isn’t going to defend himself just because his opponent is tough.
Later, Kang-seok gives Yeon-woo a contract to deliver to a client. He drives away, and Yeon-woo runs into BewhY again, who says that he actually came to sign a contract with him. Geun-shik said he has to sign with him because he’s Yeon-woo’s mentor, but BewhY didn’t feel comfortable, so he said he’d think about it.
Yeon-woo takes the contract to CEO Bae of Soonhan Corporation, the company that makes red pepper paste. She’s an older woman who seems more interested in talking about Yeon-woo’s name than legal matters. She notes that his name means “bright,” but tells him he’ll shine brighter after he’s married.
Kang-seok goes to see Ju-hee, who’s currently hundreds of feet in the air, rock climbing. She makes him climb up to her (in his suit!), before she agrees to talk about the divorce case. Ju-hee believes that her client, Director Nam, is refusing to grant the divorce because he wants to protect his family, but that he knows his hand will be forced in court, which is why she filed for the division of assets.
CEO Bae shows Yeon-woo her company’s three major products — soy sauce, soybean paste, and red pepper paste. She explains that they’re named after her three children, but that her children don’t value the hard work that normally goes into making these products because it’s so easy to make them in factories these days.
She notices that Yeon-woo is strangely quiet, so she asks if she’s boring him. He says politely that he’s still a probationary associate, but CEO Bae figures out that Kang-seok told him not to say anything, which opens the floodgates. Yeon-woo says reverently that he admires the fact that she’s got factories all over the world, which is something his own grandmother could only dream of.
He tells her how his grandmother raised him alone even though she was terrified, and that she’s sick in the hospital. He answers his phone when Kang-seok calls, who wants to know why he’s still there when he told him to give CEO Bae the contract and leave.
He asks to speak to CEO Bae, who says that actually, she likes Yeon-woo better than him, ha. When they hang up, CEO Bae chuckles that Kang-seok cares about Yeon-woo because he’s never sent anyone in his place before, comparing it to a woman taking care of her baby.
Kang-seok takes Ju-hee’s proposal to Ha-yeon, who scoffs at the exorbitant amount their side is demanding. But Kang-seok thinks that the money isn’t really what Director Nam wants, because he’s worked with him before and he never seemed greedy. He remembers working with Ju-hee years ago, when she’d been forced to let a perpetrator go even though they’d known he’d attack the victim again for revenge, but Ju-hee had said resolutely that the only way to put him in jail was to catch him in the act.
Now he tells Ha-yeon that she may be setting bait again, knowing that the airline stock was given to CEO Song illegally by her father decades ago. In order to keep half the stock from going to her soon-to-be ex-husband, she’ll have to claim it as property owned before marriage, which will reveal the illegal succession of assets.
Back at the firm, Da-ham stops Yeon-woo from entering Kang-seok’s office, but he goes in anyway to wait. When Kang-seok returns, Yeon-woo says he’s here to apologize for breaking his promise not to disappoint him, but that he had a valid reason.
He starts to explain that Geun-shik bullied him into passing off his work and going to that club by mentioning his past, but Kang-seok says that when someone pulls a knife on you, you either take the knife, pull a gun, or fight to the death. He tells Yeon-woo that he should be more grateful that he chose him.
Yeon-woo retorts that Kang-seok should provide a situation where he can show his talent and loyalty. He criticizes Kang-seok for not protecting him from Geun-shik, and he asks why he hasn’t been introduced to Ha-yeon after being here a week.
Kang-seok reminds Yeon-woo about the fake witness and the poorly written contract, but then he pauses in his tirade, reminded of Director Nam refusing to grant the divorce to protect his wife and children. He abruptly orders Yeon-woo to find any information he can about Director Nam and CEO Song’s relationship, and to write a play about how they met, fell in love, and why they would have to break up.
Kang-seok and Ha-yeon decide to get to the bottom of things, so they each visit one of the estranged spouses. CEO Song tells Ha-yeon that even if she’s investigated, she can’t give up her private stocks and put Seoju Airline in danger.
Ha-yeon warns CEO Song that if she’s hiding something, it could come out in court and hurt their case, forcing her to choose between the airline or her children. CEO Song blurts out that her father is having a difficult time with her siblings, who’re fighting be the successor to the airline — so if she has to choose, her choice is Seoju.
Meanwhile, Director Nam admits to Kang-seok that he wants CEO Song to confess that she inherited the airline stocks illegally. He doesn’t want his children to grow up as the heirs to Seoju Airline, so he decided to fight for custody.
Geun-shik approaches Yeon-woo again to tell him that even if he thinks he’s all that for being Kang-seok’s associate, he’ll never be as great as Geun-shik. He’s cranky because BewhY isn’t taking his calls and he thinks Yeon-woo said something to him.
Kang-seok takes a counter-offer to Ju-hee, which doesn’t include the Seoju Airline stocks. He informs Ju-hee that CEO Song has agreed to disclose her illegal inheritance, which is what Director Nam wants anyway.
We see a flashback to Kang-seok being questioned about freeing the attacker years ago. He’d admitted to willful negligence and offered himself for questioning as long as Ju-hee was left out of it, sacrificing himself for her.
Now he tells her that once they go to court, the truth won’t matter. She replies that she’s not so naïve as to care whether things are fair – she’s fighting this case because Director Nam still loves his wife. Kang-seok looks uncomfortable as she says that some people break up because they love each other, but that it doesn’t apply to them.
He says that she can hate him for what happened in the past, but that it’s childish to talk about love now. She smiles ruefully and agrees that it’s best if they don’t see each other again after this trial.
Yeon-woo proudly presents Kang-seok with his “play,” promising that he wrote this one himself. They’re intercepted by Ha-yeon, who has the contract that CEO Bae sent back unsigned, unhappy that she’s not only decided not to open a new factory, but that she’s retiring.
Kang-seok wonders why, and the camera pans to a sheepish Yeon-woo as Ha-yeon orders Kang-seok to stop her from retiring. She asks if he convinced Ju-hee to accept their offer, and at his guilty expression, she just sighs and walks away.
He makes Yeon-woo go with him to talk to CEO Bae, complaining when he stops to lock up his bike and talks about it like it’s a person. Kang-seok explains to CEO Bae that signing the contract means a large monetary deposit for her, and the same amount yearly for trademark rights.
She asks Yeon-woo what he thinks, but with Kang-seok glaring at him, he just mumbles that he doesn’t know. CEO Bae threatens to kick them out if Yeon-woo isn’t allowed to speak his mind, but promises that if he expresses his honest thoughts, she’ll think it over.
With Kang-seok’s permission, Yeon-woo says that signing the contract means a lot more work for her. Kang-seok mutters that all she’ll have to do is teach the factory system, but Yeon-woo says that that’s what she’s upset about — she thinks of her sauces like children, so she wants to keep them close.
He tells Kang-seok that CEO Bae started the business to care for her children, but it got bigger than she expected, and now she never sees her children or grandchildren because they’re so busy. To her, he explains, the contract means a lot of travel, and teaching foreigners about the true meaning of her sauces.
CEO Bae beams at him, and she tells Kang-seok that branching out used to be exciting, but now she’s old and wants to spend time with her family. Even Yeon-woo says that she doesn’t need to go so far as to retire, but CEO Bae argues that it was Kang-seok who gave her the legal right to make that decision. HAHA, Yeon-woo tries so hard to keep a straight face.
Still, Kang-seok blames Yeon-woo and asks if he has a solution. He notices that CEO Bae talks about her sauces like Yeon-woo talks about his bike, as if they’re people. Yeon-woo tries to reason out the situation like Kang-seok, but fails miserably, and Kang-seok is all Don’t impersonate me if you can’t do it properly, hee.
Kang-seok is astonished that Yeon-woo actually wrote CEO Song and Director Nam’s relationship as a play (working title: “Goddess of the Sky Marries a Man”). Yeon-woo says that the difference between a man and a god is immortality. When they get married, the god faces losing her lover and ending up alone, so their love backfires and becomes either a punishment or a curse.
Remembering Ju-hee saying that Director Nam still loves CEO Song, and that some people break up because they love each other, Kang-seok asks if the divorce trial is just a show. Yeon-woo suddenly orders the driver to stop the car, and he jumps out after telling Kang-seok to call CEO Bae and her entire family.
Kang-seok arrives at the courthouse just minutes before the divorce trial is to start. He says he just found out the truth that Ju-hee doesn’t know, but she says it’s too late to negotiate, so he leads everyone into the courtroom.
Ju-hee says in court that CEO Song can’t legally file for divorce, as she’s the one who caused the marriage breakdown. She blames CEO Song for her inability to both run the airline company and be a wife and mother, and paints Director Nam as a man who works hard to keep his family together.
Kang-seok argues that this case isn’t about who’s at fault for the divorce, but about the truth: love. He reveals that this was originally a contract marriage to facilitate CEO Song’s inheritance of the airline, so if Director Nam truly wanted to keep his family together, then he shouldn’t have fallen in love and broken the contract.
Luckily for Ju-hee, they weren’t really in front of the judges — Kang-seok was telling them what he intends to say. Ju-hee tries to advise Director Nam not to listen because they can explain in court, but Kang-seok reminds her that court isn’t where you explain yourself, but where the final decisions are made.
He tells Director Nam that he understands his wanting to protect his wife and children from the war zone over succession that the airline is about to become. But he adds that CEO Song is trying to set him free in order to protect him, because she’s also in love with him.
CEO Song tells Kang-seok shakily that he’s cruel, but he says that this was the only way to avoid this going to trial. She starts to leave (pulling out a cane, which explains why she’s always wearing sunglasses — she’s blind), but Director Nam stops her. She begs him to understand, but he follows her anyway, unwilling to give up now that he knows she loves him.
On their way out, Ha-yeon notes that Kang-seok can see everything except himself, while CEO Song could see herself clearly despite being blind. She asks if he’s handled CEO Bae, and Kang-seok says that he’s sure the truth is being revealed there, too.
The entire family gathers at CEO Bae’s home, and Yeon-woo apologizes if he caused a misunderstanding by making CEO Bae envy his relationship with his grandmother. He says that it’s not all good, and that recently he made a huge mistake with his grandmother’s hospital bills.
He brings up all the crocks that still need to be completed and says that CEO Bae still needs to teach her grandchildren how to raise them. Just then, two children break a crock lid, and CEO Bae runs over to scold them harshly. Her daughter says she should be more concerned for her grandchildren than the soy sauce, but CEO Bae yells that to her, the crock is like a child that’s been with her for decades.
She says that she was planning to retire, but seeing that her children still don’t value her life’s work, she’s not willing to hand the company over to them. She orders Yeon-woo to proceed with the U.S. factory, and to convert her children’s payroll into salaries.
Yeon-woo reports back to Kang-seok, explaining that the broken crock lid happened at the perfect time to show CEO Bae that her children only care about inheriting the company, not the product. Kang-seok asks if he planned it, but Yeon-woo is all innocence, though he admits that kids can be pretty clumsy, heh.
He asks how the divorce trial went, but all Kang-seok says is that he won. Yeon-woo notes that he doesn’t seem that happy about it, and Kang-seok admits that it wasn’t a fun process.
Ha-yeon calls them both to her office, where she’s waiting with BewhY. Yeon-woo fairly swaggers over to greet BewhY as Ha-yeon tells Kang-seok that he brought him to the firm, and that he will be Kang-seok’s client while Yeon-woo is in training. Ha-yeon expresses admiration for Yeon-woo, who “broke out of his shell” so quickly, and Kang-seok actually gives Yeon-woo a proud little smile.
In his office later, Kang-seok grumbles that Yeon-woo (who’s still smirking) needs to learn modesty, only for Yeon-woo to quip back, “That’s something I can’t learn from you.” Kang-seok calls him cheeky, and Yeon-woo asks if he can’t handle it, making them both laugh.
Kang-seok hands him a playing card, which Yeon-woo takes proudly until he sees that it’s just the two of clubs. Kang-seok tells him not to get too arrogant and asks if Yeon-woo still needs help managing Geun-shik, but Yeon-woo says he’s got this one.
He finds Geun-shik in his office, eating a sad dinner of rice and whining to his goldfish. Yeon-woo greets the goldfish first, then informs Geun-shik that he refuses to be threatened by him. Geun-shik growls that he could get buried alive, but Yeon-woo says that he’s not interested in that, or success.
When Geun-shik mentions that he has no qualifications, Yeon-woo looks nervous for just a moment before saying that he was formally interviewed and hired, so what Geun-shik actually objects to is Kang-seok’s judgment. Geun-shik chuckles that he can do whatever he wants.
Yeon-woo notes that Geun-shik likes talking about pasts and qualifications, and he brings up a video on his phone. On it, Geun-shik is passed out on the floor of the club the other night, sucking his thumb, PFFT. Yeon-woo asks if Geun-shik is interested in discussing his future, since Kang-seok said that there’s a grave waiting for him, too.
When Kang-seok leaves that evening, Da-ham guesses he’s going to see Ju-hee and wishes him a dull night, hee. Yeon-woo goes to Ji-na’s office, and when she’s not there, he starts to call her, but decides against it.
He’s unaware that she’s actually gone looking for him at his desk, and she’s gone when he gets back. Hee texts her, asking if he can thank her now, meaning take her to dinner. She circles back and finds him there, and they smile shyly at each other.
At dinner, Ji-na stops Yeon-woo from drinking after having imbibed so much just recently. She says that this dinner is to thank her, and they can drink next time.
Kang-seok and Ju-hee also have dinner, and she gives him permission to brag over his win. She says that she would have found anyone else charming in court today, but she knows Kang-seok too well for that. He agrees sadly that to her, he’s a terrible memory. Ju-hee says that all he did was stand by his principles, but it was all her fault.
In another flashback, we see Kang-seok testifying that everything Ju-hee did, she did on his orders. He’d offered to resign, but the committee said that he couldn’t protect Ju-hee. They’d offered to go easy on her if he ended things, but before he’d said a word, she’d broken up with him.
At the end of the evening, Ju-hee admits that it was good seeing him again. She says that no matter how she felt about him before, she’s glad she got to fight passionately and love him again. He asks, “Love?” and she says that it’s all they can feel now, being on opposite sides before giving him a single, sorrowful kiss.
Yeon-woo teases Ji-na that he told Kang-seok about her saying he’s more disappointing than Yeon-woo, just to see her freak out. She’s been drinking, and she admits that she’s scared of Kang-seok, but that she said that because she felt sorry for Yeon-woo. He looks satisfied and says it feels good to have someone worry about him, and that he’s fine with it if pity is how she shows her interest in him.
She lets that slide, and tells him that she has a phobia of tests, which give her headaches and nausea. She says that she wanted to be a lawyer but both times she tried to take the bar exam, she fled the room. Yeon-woo looks nervous and stammers, but Ji-na changes the subject, asking about his broken watch.
Yeon-woo tells her that it belonged to his father, and that it stopped when his parents passed away. He says that he feels like he and the watch are both broken, but Ji-na says he can always get them both fixed.
After Kang-seok and Ju-hee end up in bed together, he invites her to stay the night. She chooses that moment to tell him that she’s getting married, but she says he should be glad that she won’t try to hold him down.
She confesses that she took the case in order to see him one last time, and he asks what she’ll do if he tries to hold onto her. Ju-hee says she doesn’t want to stay with him, though she admits that both options are painful. She wishes him farewell, and leaves.
Yeon-woo starts to tell Ji-na something serious, but his phone rings with a call from the police. He heads to the hospital to find Se-hee, Chul-soon’s girlfriend, in the ER after taking sleeping pills.
She looks like she’s been hit by someone, and the police tell Yeon-woo that neighbors report hearing a fight. They called Yeon-woo because of the number of times his number showed up on Se-hee’s phone, and ask if he’s her boyfriend.
Kang-seok heads back to the firm at Ha-yeon’s summons, where he sees her hugging a man in her office. He doesn’t see the man’s face, but he seems to know who it is.
First of all, I was a bit worried when Park Hyung-shik and Go Sung-hee didn’t have much chemistry at the beginning, but this episode dispelled that fear. They are adorable together, especially in this early stage of starting to like each other, and thinking the other likes them, but not being entirely sure. Their shy grins when they realized they’d just been missing each other were pure sunshine. I particularly love how Yeon-woo relaxes around Ji-na — he’d seemed to be carrying a torch for Se-hee, but he was always so nervous and tense around his friend’s girlfriend. He’s a lot more comfortable when he’s with Ji-na, which is a very good thing.
I’m glad that we got to see a little bit of Kang-seok’s past, which helps explain why he is the way he is now. The one time he let himself care about an associate, he got emotionally involved, allowed her to put a client in danger, and ended up taking the blame only for her to leave him. I see now why he chose Yeon-woo — something about his idealism probably reminded Kang-seok of Ju-hee. But at the same time, he’s resisting the temptation to actually care about Yeon-woo, and he keeps warning him not to do anything stupid (like Ju-hee once did). Of course, he’s losing that battle with himself, because how could he not care about a kid like Yeon-woo, who’s brilliant but hasn’t had an opportunity to prove himself, and who makes up in earnestness what he lacks in experience.
It seems that it’s not just Yeon-woo who has a past regret he’d like to fix — I can see that Kang-seok is trying to make better choices with Yeon-woo than he did with Ju-hee. He lost Ju-hee, both as a lawyer and as his love, because he let himself get emotionally entangled he was professionally involved with. He’s probably, subconsciously, at least, trying to guide Yeon-woo to be the lawyer he had always hoped Ju-hee would be, this time by keeping aloof and strictly professional. But we can all see (heck, even the clients can see) that’s already backfiring on him, because he does care.
Speaking of which, I’m finding Yeon-woo’s earnest effect on the firm’s clients pretty entertaining. Every time he opens his mouth, he convinces someone to do what’s best for their life, which is great — except that it negatively effects the firm. He and BewhY had a blast together, which led to BewhY deciding not to sign a contract with Geun-shik because he could see what a jerk he is. And a simple conversation about Yeon-woo’s grandmother convinced one of the firm’s most lucrative clients to retire. It’s funny because in every case, Yeon-woo thinks he’s just having a nice conversation and expressing his admiration for the person and their success, but it keeps backfiring on him with his superiors, lol. The poor guy is only trying to be friendly, but it’s the very reason Kang-seok keeps telling him to just do his job and keep his mouth shut. Thanks goodness it keeps working out in Yeon-woo’s favor in the end.
Still, I can’t help but think that there’s got to be a middle ground, where Yeon-woo can make those personal connections yet not torpedo his own career in the process. It’s not like Kang-seok’s solution of being all business all the time works perfectly, because yes, he’s a very successful attorney,but he has no real friends or family that we know of, let alone a relationship with a woman. But Yeon-woo seems to be pretty good at reading and understanding people, and his lack of legal training has kept him from being taught to consider the bottom line above the people involved. I liked how he used Kang-seok’s approach to convince CEO Bae not to give up her company out of sentimentality, and I’m hoping that he continues learning the legal system from Kang-seok without letting Kang-seok teach him how to stop caring that his clients are real people. And I certainly hope that the divorce case showed Kang-seok that he has something to learn from Yeon-woo about how to win without forgetting about the people at the heart of it all.