Suits: Episode 7
Cases are beginning to hit close to home, and it looks like Yeon-woo may not be the only one with a past he’s trying to hide. Both he and Kang-seok run across clients that remind them of where they’ve come from, and why they’re trying too hard to forget. It won’t be easy to hide their secrets much longer, at least not from each other.
EPISODE 7: “Is a sheath truly unnecessary for a knife called justice?”
In a courtroom, Kang-seok struggles to make a television work, with no luck. Eventually a judge asks if he plans to proceed, and he stares, unsure what to do next.
At the mock trial, Yeon-woo backs down and takes the loss rather than continue to embarrass Ji-na. Ha-yeon tells Yeon-woo that he’s naive and weak, and if that’s not bad enough, Yeon-woo spots Kang-seok in the doorway, staring down at him with a look of utter disappointment.
Yeon-woo defends his decision to Kang-seok, saying that it was only a mock trial, and nothing is proven by hurting someone in a fake trial. Kang-seok informs him that he proved to all the partners that he’s not competent or qualified to be part of Kang & Ham.
Yeon-woo asks angrily if those qualifications are that they’ll take any case and win no matter who the client is or what they did, if they just pay enough. Kang-seok says that Yeon-woo couldn’t be like him even if he wanted to, but Yeon-woo barks that he’d rather be a lawyer who can protect someone than a competent lawyer willing to sacrifice anyone to win.
Kang-seok drawls that he doesn’t buy Yeon-woo’s talk about protecting people, because he can’t protect anyone by letting his emotions get the best of him. He tells Yeon-woo not to draw his sword if he’s not confident, but if he does draw his sword, to cut his enemies down at once. He says that Yeon-woo still doesn’t know the difference between a good decision and the right choice.
Yeon-woo senses that he’s been dismissed, and he slumps back to his desk. He finds a note with a cartoon rabbit stuck between his books, and he runs to find Ji-na on a walkway overlooking the city. He apologizes for being too focused on winning, but she takes the blame for being embarrassed and too concerned with what people would say.
She continues that she thought maybe Yeon-woo was right that she has a lot of anger bottled up inside, but then she decided that the truth is that she’s bothered by him. She says that she’s not sure why, but that it’s why she’s always so angry.
She reminds him that her rabbit story was supposed to be their secret, and she asks if he told it to Se-hee. Yeon-woo admits that he did, but it was just a coincidence. She says wryly that he really is a genius, and he says that he’s not sure why he’s always annoying her.
Ji-na tells him that if the story really did come out by coincidence, then he should have fought until the bitter end, but she recognizes that they both ruined the trial by letting their emotions get out of control. Yeon-woo starts to say that’s not right, but Ji-na excuses herself to take a call from her mother.
Geun-shik lets himself into Kang-seok’s office to collect his wish for his mentee winning the mock trial. Seeming to know what his wish is, Kang-seok tries to negotiate Geun-shik down from a week to three days, then snaps, “One day!”
Oooh, Geun-shik wants to borrow Da-ham to try to convince her to work for him instead, and Kang-seok taunts that an hour should be enough if he’s confident. Geun-shik snarls that he’ll take three days and parades out with his arms over his head in victory.
Yeon-woo can’t stop thinking about Ji-na and Kang-seok both mentioning his loss of control, so he decides that starting now, he has no emotions or lame sense of justice. On his way to work he passes Kang-seok getting his usual toast sandwich at the food cart, and notices that the ajumma doesn’t make Kang-seok pay for his breakfast.
He asks why Kang-seok gets his for free when Yeon-woo doesn’t even get a discount, and Kang-seok asks if his definition of justice includes street vendor discounts. Yeon-woo says he left his emotions at home today, because yesterday taught him that if it had been a real trial, he’d have hurt both clients.
Kang-seok nods, a bit impressed, and tells Yeon-woo to prove it in his actions. Annoyed, Yeon-woo informs Kang-seok that he has a habit of holding a grudge, but Kang-seok brags that the thing he’s most fussy about is not holding a grudge.
They’re joined by an old friend of Kang-seok’s, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh. Kang-seok introduces Yeon-woo, who’s confused when Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh refers to Kang-seok as “Prosecutor Choi.” Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh says that Kang-seok used to be a fantastic prosecutor, whose motto was “Never take a case to trial… unless you’re not confident of winning.”
Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh tells Kang-seok to cancel his appointments tonight and join him for dinner, calling him his “best baby (mentee) ever.” After he leaves, Yeon-woo notices that Kang-seok seems uncomfortable, but Kang-seok just snaps, “Of course. Do you know what your best effort just cost me?”
When he gets to work, Kang-seok has to explain to Da-ham that she’s working for Geun-shik for three days. She’s annoyed that he made the bet knowing what Geun-shik wanted if he won, and when Kang-seok begs her to just let Geun-shik have his fun, she accuses him of selling her.
Kang-seok wins her over by saying that she’s a good actress and suggesting she think of it as a movie — King Kong. Cut to: Geun-shik coughing and pounding his chest, HAHA. Da-ham aggressively informs Geun-shik that she’s not Kang-seok’s property, nor is she impressed by Geun-shik’s illegal and repressive attitude towards women.
She threatens to make a complaint to Ha-yeon, but she consents to honor this silly bet in exchange for the VIP tickets to the ballet that Geun-shik produces. Even the distasteful prospect of going with him doesn’t dampen her excitement, though she says a hard no to dinner after.
Ha-yeon meets with a colleague, CEO Shim from Namyoung Accounting, who recently learned that a director firm forged his academic qualifications. Ha-yeon suggests quietly dismissing him and offering him severance to keep quiet, but the colleague asks her pointedly, “Could you do that?”
Lawyer Seo asks Ji-na if she was with Yeon-woo last night after the trail. He’s annoyed when Yeon-woo interrupts and he says he heard that Yeon-woo quit. But Yeon-woo tells him that will never happen, and Lawyer Seo marvels at his bravery at staying after his humiliation.
Ji-na asks Yeon-woo what he wants, so he tells her that Kang-seok used to be a prosecutor and they look him up. They find that the company website says nothing about it, which is strange.
As they research, Ji-na tells Yeon-woo not to defend her over what happened at the mock trial anymore, like he did with Lawyer Seo. But he says it wasn’t about the trail or protecting her, because he’s vowed not to let his emotions get in the way of work.
She finds information about Kang-seok’s stint as a prosecutor, and Yeon-woo tells her to screenshot it so he can use it for blackmail. He leans close and puts his hand over hers on her mouse, then sloooowly backs away when they both realize their proximity.
Yeon-woo asks Da-ham about Kang-seok, and she goes quiet when he mentions Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh. He guesses that he’s right about Kang-seok hiding his past for a reason. Da-ham warns him not to say anything to Kang-seok, but his impish grin suggests that he’s planning something.
Kang-seok calls Yeon-woo into his office to talk to him about Namyoung Accounting, which gets legal services from Kang & Ham in exchange for accounting. He gives Yeon-woo the task of reviewing the contract of one of their employees, Director Bang (the man who forged his educational credentials) and finding a reason to fire him.
He sees the worry in Yeon-woo’s eyes when told about Director Bang, and assures him that it won’t happen to him. Yeon-woo asks what will happen if Ha-yeon finds out, which of course she hears as she lets herself into the office. Kang-seok smoothly fibs that he just discovered that Yeon-woo has never been in a relationship, and Yeon-woo quickly retreats.
Kang-seok defends his decision to give Yeon-woo the Namyoung case, saying that the case isn’t big enough for him. He heads off her inevitable objection to Yeon-woo based on the mock trial, saying that he’ll prove to her that he has a keen eye.
After researching the Namyoung case, Yeon-woo calls Director Bang and sets up a meeting. Geun-shik sidles over to sneer that he thought Yeon-woo would quit after being humiliated at the mock trial, but Yeon-woo says that he’s doing his best to keep his job.
Yeon-woo asks Geun-shik why he hates him so much. Geun-shik says cheerfully that he’s very interested in him because he utterly hates him. Yeon-woo looks shaken as Geun-shik says that Yeon-woo’s supposed to be a genius, but he has no right to be here.
He admits that what interests him most is why Kang-seok hired someone like him. Yeon-woo retorts, “Stop being interested in me when it’s actually Attorney Choi you’re interested in.”
Yeon-woo goes to his meeting with Director Bang, who seems surprised when he’s not Kang-seok or one of the other associates. He explains that he’s got a very good memory for numbers, so he knows the ID numbers (along with other information) of every employee at Kang & Ham. Yeon-woo explains that he’s new, and that he’s been ordered to find a reason to fire him.
Geun-shik talks with Lawyer Seo about Yeon-woo, and how to get rid of him. Lawyer Seo calls Yeon-woo an eyesore because he doesn’t act like he’s on probation. Geun-shik says that they know what he’s guilty of, they just need to find evidence to back it up. Lawyer Seo vows to find that evidence.
Though he admits that he lied on his resume, Director Bang insists that he’s never caused a single problem in his fifteen years at Namyoung Accounting. Yeon-woo pulls out his forged diploma and asks why he did it, but Director Bang says he’s never seen it before.
Back at the firm, Kang-seok accuses Yeon-woo of growing emotional again and meeting with Director Bang without his permission. He reminds him that the decision has been made when Yeon-woo says that it’s not just about a forged academic background. Yeon-woo argues that this could ruin Director Bang and his family, when he never caused any problems for the firm.
He tells Kang-seok that Director Bang didn’t forge the diploma, but he doesn’t have any proof. Kang-seok warns that he’s identifying with the man too much, and he tells Yeon-woo that he’s taking over. Yeon-woo states that it’s Kang-seok who’s being led by his emotions, and that Director Bang has refused to say a word to anyone without Yeon-woo present. He promises to find evidence no matter what.
On his way to dinner with Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh, Kang-seok runs into a woman who calls him Prosecutor Choi. She corrects herself and marvels that he even looks like a fancy attorney now, and asks him to treat her to lunch so they can reminisce. Seeing through her act, Kang-seok tells her to get to the point.
She confesses that she’s working on a case accusing Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh of illegally disposing of evidence. Kang-seok says that she should be going after Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh’s connections, not the man himself, wondering why she’s talking to him when he quit a decade ago.
She says that she knows why he quit working for Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh, but he sighs that he doesn’t even know. He turns to go, but she calls after him that if he won’t have lunch with her, she’ll have to call him as a witness, and he may even end up a suspect.
Yeon-woo stays at work late going over the Namyoung case file. He knows that the firm found out about Director Bang’s lies when they did a background check — but why did they do a background check? He takes a break and checks the news online, only to see a breakthrough story about Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh being investigated.
The first thing Kang-seok asks Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh at dinner is why he faked a coincidental meeting to see him. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh claims that he’s being set up, threatening that it will look bad for Kang-seok, too. He says they’ve done nothing wrong, just shown justice to bad men.
When Kang-seok asks if there were no exceptions to that, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh admits there were, but he believes that it was worth the true justice they meted out. He says he gained nothing personally, until Kang-seok points out that he’s got that fancy title in front of his name. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh claims that that title is what his detractors are fighting against.
Kang-seok remembers the time when Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh had poured him a drink and asked him to come work for him. He’d offered to teach Kang-seok to be a butcher who doesn’t need to sheath his knife as he slays the wicked — a real prosecutor. Kang-seok had seemed unsure, but he’d taken the drink.
Now he tells Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh that to change the legal system, they have to change the person who uses the knife in the wrong way. He says there are no sides to take, advising Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh to admit what he’s done wrong and make a deal with the special prosecution, because if it goes to trial, they’ll find evidence.
He reminds Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh that this was always his advice, and Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh agrees coldly: “I know very well, so I patched it up very well. There is no evidence.” Kang-seok says that he won’t accuse him, but he also won’t perjure himself (lie) in court. He expresses regret for taking that drink all those years ago.
On his way out, Kang-seok remembers another day when he and Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh had gotten drunk together. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh had promised to always take care of Kang-seok, calling him his baby and even giving him cab money. He’d started to say something about their big trial tomorrow, then changed his mind and just asked for Kang-seok’s trust.
Looking infinitely sad and weary, Kang-seok looks down at Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh’s shoes outside the dining room. He bends to turn them around in a gesture of respect.
Ji-na finds Yeon-woo working late, then she gets another call from her mother. But tonight she says sternly that her mother should have called her sooner and hangs up. She leaves to pick up food and brings it back to share with Yeon-woo, though she says it doesn’t mean anything other than that she’s hungry. As they eat, Ji-na mentions the news article about Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh.
Da-ham is humiliated when she shows up for the ballet dressed to the nines, only to draw stares as she realizes that it’s not a formal affair as Geun-shik said. He puts a finger on her lip to shush her complaints, then takes out his recorder to record one of his ridiculous non-poems. Da-ham hauls off and kicks him in the shin to make it stop, PWAHAHA.
In the morning, Yeon-woo wakes to find that he nodded off on top of the Namyoung file. He rushes off to a meeting at the Namyoung building, but he’s told that a third party can’t inquire about a background check.
He plays the lawyer card, scaring the employee into giving him what he wants. While he waits, he notices a posted announcement about a Manager Jung, who was recently fired for embezzlement.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Seo learns that in addition to being from an elite university yet having no qualifications, Yeon-woo doesn’t seem to be getting a paycheck. He takes this information to Geun-shik.
Da-ham lets Kang-seok know that he’s been summoned by the special prosecution. She says if she were him, she’d tell them everything to teach Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh a lesson, then pop a bottle of champagne and sleep with a clean conscience. She reminds him that she’s able to work with him because he didn’t stick with that man.
Yeon-woo brings in the background check on Director Bang and walks right into the cloud of tension. Da-ham leaves, and Yeon-woo tells Kang-seok that his past is his problem, but if it’s relevant now, then it might also affect him.
He drops the subject and gives Kang-seok the file from the last case he tried as a prosecutor. It was a hit and run case, but the accused went free for lack of evidence. He says he got curious about why Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh chose Kang-seok and why Kang-seok left him, because it might give him a clue as to why Kang-seok chose him.
Director Bang arrives right on cue, and Kang-seok gives him the company’s generous dismissal offer. Director Bang refuses, insisting that he never made a fake diploma. Yeon-woo backs him up — the diploma was only sent to Human Resources a week ago.
Actually, Namyoung Accounting has known for seven years ago that Director Bang dropped out of college, ever since they did a background check for a promotion. CEO Shim, the lady who brought this to Ha-yeon’s attention, ordered the background check and has known all along.
Yeon-woo also learned that a month ago, Director Bang’s subordinate, Manager Jung, was fired. Director Bang says that he came to him to say that something was strange with the company’s accounts, and when he looked into it, he found money from paper companies under unknown names. He reported it to CEO Shim, who blamed it on Manager Jung.
He suddenly connects the dots and jumps up, yelling that they’re firing him because he knows about the secret money. He runs out, but when Yeon-woo tries to follow him, Kang-seok snaps that he’s already ruined enough for one day.
CEO Shim is angry that Director Bang got away, and that Yeon-woo was allowed to see the background check. Kang-seok says she wouldn’t want to fire Director Bang without evidence, but Ha-yeon takes CEO Shim’s side.
Kang-seok wonders why CEO Shim knew about Director Bang’s background years ago but is only making an issue of it now. She insists she only learned about it a week ago, and that HR runs the background checks, so he just asks if she has some other reason for firing Director Bang.
Ha-yeon interrupts and says that Kang-seok is just being thorough. CEO Shim is only interested in Director Bang signing the severance agreement, which has a confidentiality agreement attached. Ha-yeon promises that Kang-seok will find him and make him sign it soon, shooting Kang-seok a meaningful glare.
Yeon-woo follows Director Bang to the Namyoung building, where he quits on the spot, unwilling to sit back and be fired. He says he plans to get a lawyer and fight, but Yeon-woo warns that the fact that he lied about his education puts him in a losing position.
He tells Director Bang that he knows how he feels, quoting his work history in detail to prove how much he relates. He says that although they have no evidence against CEO Shim and he can’t guarantee anything, he’ll do his best to find a way. He advises Director Bang to sign the papers for now, as insurance.
Director Bang says that he was curious about why Yeon-woo isn’t paid, so he looked into it, and he couldn’t find anything at all on the name Go Yeon-woo. Yeon-woo looks nervous, but Director Bang says that he trusts him that he understands how he feels, and that he thinks they share the same weakness as well as talent. He signs the paper, saying that he thinks his insurance is Yeon-woo, not money.
Back in Kang-seok’s office, Kang-seok tells Yeon-woo, “When you draw a sword without thinking, you can’t protect anyone. You might end up slaying you and me, or even worse, the entirety of Kang & Ham.” Yeon-woo announces that Director Bang signed the agreement, and Kang-seok reluctantly admits that Yeon-woo isn’t always sentimental.
Yeon-woo replies that he wasn’t being sentimental, he just sometimes wonders if this work fits him. Kang-seok asks if he wants a compliment, but Yeon-woo says he should curse at him, because he was right that he can’t protect anyone by talking about justice and values.
Kang-seok says that Director Bang did something wrong, so the justice he wants can’t protect someone who committed a crime. In reply, Yeon-woo says that he knows why Kang-seok left Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh, because he read the transcript from his last trial and every word is now in his head.
Kang-seok remembers preparing to show the CCTV footage of the hit and run, only to find the video blank. He’d recalled Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh telling him to trust him just as Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh stood and announced that they made a mistake.
Yeon-woo says that Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh destroyed evidence, which is why Kang-seok quit… because he couldn’t accept something that was wrong. Kang-seok asks if he’s wondering why he hired him if he hated lying so much, but Yeon-woo says that’s not it — he wants to know why Kang-seok is protecting Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh instead of drawing his sword.
Ji-na won a bit of my good will back when she admitted that she doesn’t understand why Yeon-woo makes her angry, because I was starting to think that she was just a miserable person. But at least if she’s aware of it, then she can work on figuring out why (though, I mean, look at him, it should be obvious why!) and do something about it. It’s refreshing to see a character in a drama admit that their bad attitude is because the other person provokes some sort of emotion in them, so even if she’s not sure why, I give Ji-na credit for at least recognizing her behavior in response to Yeon-woo and not blaming it all on him.
I figured that Yeon-woo would run across a case similar to his situation eventually, but I wasn’t expecting it this soon. Director Bang is very similar to Yeon-woo in that he has a genius ability that makes him very good at his job, but he doesn’t have the education to back it up, so he lied. I’m very curious about what it meant when he said that he couldn’t find anything under Yeon-woo’s name at all, and why Yeon-woo looks so nervous. Surely it ties back to Yeon-woo’s vow to right a mistake he made, and possibly even his parents’ deaths. I think that we know very little about Yeon-woo, so anything is possible.
Unfortunately, Director Bang didn’t have what Yeon-woo has — a supporter high up in the company that’s willing to help keep his secret and get the education he needs, even if it’s after the fact. It’s smart of Kang-seok not to pay Yeon-woo for the work he’s doing, since if they’re found out, they can always say that Yeon-woo isn’t technically an employee. And I’ve noticed that Yeon-woo never actually makes legal decisions, he just review cases and helps Kang-seok come to conclusions. But I don’t think that will help either of them if (or when) their little deception is discovered. At best they’ll be ostracized in the legal world, and nobody will ever trust them. Yeon-woo will probably be forbidden to take the bar exam, and Kang-seok may never get another case again. It could still ruin their professional lives, something neither of them can afford.
But despite my worry, I’m still loving the dynamic that’s developing between them. No matter how angry Kang-seok gets with Yeon-woo, he always listens to Yeon-woo’s side of things and often gives in to his wishes regarding how to deal with a case. He still tries to be in control, but he seems to be affording Yeon-woo a grudging respect, and not just because he helps solve cases. And Yeon-woo manages to stand up for himself while remaining respectful and always being willing to learn (I particularly love that when he’s wrong, he freely admits that he’s wrong). I like the professional friendship that’s growing between them, though you can feel Kang-seok fighting against developing any genuine feelings, and after whatever went on between him and Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh, I don’t blame him. I just hope he eventually learns that it’s okay to care, and gives Yeon-woo that fist-bump someday.