Reach of Sincerity: Episode 4
Our couple grow ever closer, as they bond over a new case, and an old secret. Jung-rok might still be rigid, and unobservant when it comes to women, but our whirlwind of a heroine is strong enough to get through his cracks. It’s clear Jung-rok enjoys Yoon-seo’s upbeat antics, and Yoon-seo seems smitten by our rapidly thawing hero. It won’t be long before everyone else figures out what’s going on either, though Yoon-seo needs to get there first…
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Jung-rok and Yoon-seo’s eyes lock, before they break shyly… and neither of them realize that someone is watching them from afar.
Back at the office, Ms. Yang and Ms. Kim grab Yoon-seo to weasel the details of the trial out of her — and to slyly ask if Yoon-seo thinks that Jung-rok is more handsome after his impressive display in court. Yoon-seo is noncommittal.
But she has a big smile on her face as she stares at him through the window, and says, “He’s not handsome.”
Later that night, Jung-rok bids Yoon-seo a good weekend. Dismayed at the idea of not seeing him, Yoon-seo thinks quickly and asks that he tutor her in the law as a reward for her good work. Even Yoon-seo looks surprised when that works, and is giddy about seeing Jung-rok the next day.
Doubts creeps in about why she made such a plan later, but just one text from Jung-rok has Yoon-seo back on cloud nine. When Yoon-seo explains to Hyuk-joon that she is studying with Jung-rok, on the weekend no less, her bad acting almost gives the game away as to the real reason. But luckily, Hyuk-joon thinks it’s all part of her revenge plan and praises Yoon-seo — because spending all week with her, and then all weekend as well, is exhausting. Ha!
The next day, Yoon-seo frets about what to wear — because she looks so good in everything. Like an angel, in fact. I’m dying.
But when Jung-rok shows up in his casual clothes, it’s Yoon-seo that is wowed over how good he looks. Yoon-seo’s imagination runs away from her as she pictures an intimate scene of them studying closely together.
But this is Jung-rok, so the reality is very different and he sternly lectures Yoon-seo from afar on the dry details of the law. He doesn’t even take her hint when she tries to entice him next to her. Yoon-seo wilts.
She isn’t beaten yet though, and persuades Jung-rok to try a different method of study — by watching a legal movie at a drive-in theatre. You go, Yoon-seo.
After she sighs over how cool the paralegal’s clothes are, Yoon-seo is delighted to learn that Jung-rok didn’t actually ban her from wearing color, not even pink, but from uncomfortable attire. Jung-rok points out that it seems like Yoon-seo didn’t need him here to watch the movie.
Caught out, Yoon-seo fibs that she wanted him here to explain any parts that she didn’t understand. But when Jung-rok asks for follow-up questions, she is stumped and pretends to stretch, looking away. Which is why Yoon-seo doesn’t see where her hand comes down to rest – right on top of his.
Yoon-seo is charmingly flustered as she yanks her hand back and insists, “I’m not the kind of woman who takes advantage of the dark.” Jung-rok calmly tells her he knows that.
Yoon-seo tries to cover her embarrassment by asking who has the right to a shared armrest. Jung-rok tells her that the law doesn’t have the answer to everything. Very aware of the small space between them now, the pair look away from each other.
After the movie, Jung-rok buys some street food, and Yoon-seo watches from the car as a woman comes up to talk to Jung-rok. After, Yoon-seo asks with a feigned lightness if Jung-rok knew her, and doesn’t like the answer — that the woman wanted his number.
However, Yoon-seo is appeased when Jung-rok explains that he declined. She laughs in relief that Jung-rok seems to have a wall up where women are concerned.
Yoon-seo tries to take a sip from her closed bottle — and Jung-rok notices. Aww, his face breaks into a huge smile at her goof. Yoon-seo is delighted at the sight, and tells him this is the first time she’s seen him so happy.
Back at his apartment, Se-won catches Jung-rok staring fondly down at his movie ticket. And Se-won loses no time in pestering Jung-rok about his date. Se-won rightly points out that it makes no sense to ‘study’ the law by watching a movie, ha.
Despite feeling foolish, Jung-rok can’t help but smile when Yoon-seo texts him a thank you for helping her out. On the other hand, Yoon-seo is feeling very pleased with herself, and goes into raptures thinking about all the sweet moments with Jung-rok.
On Monday morning, Yoon-seo tries to be cool, and greets Jung-rok, but just when she tries to get closer to him, Attorney Yeon interrupts. Jung-rok drily asks if Attorney Yeon deliberately waits for him to show up to work, since they always seem to meet in the elevator.
Attorney Yeon calls a team meeting to let everyone know that he has been ‘strong-armed’ into appearing on TV. And he needs a second lawyer, turning eyes on Jung-rok – who instantly refuses the job and leaves. Attorney Yeon mutters he didn’t even cushion the blow by smiling, which prompts Yoon-seo to dreamily reminisce, “Wouldn’t he smile in front of someone who makes him happy?”
Remembering where she is, Yoon-seo hurries after Jung-rok, leaving Attorney Dan and Attorney Choi behind to fight over who gets the TV spot.
As they leave, Jung-rok and Yoon-seo run into Yeo-reum, who invites them for coffee. Yeo-reum surprises Yoon-seo by knowing who she really is (thanks to blabbermouth Attorney Choi). But it is Yeo-reum’s easy camaraderie with Jung-rok, and his easy smile, that has Yoon-seo bristling. Of course, Jung-rok doesn’t notice, and just encourages Yeo-reum to meet up with Se-won soon.
Afterwards, Yoon-seo notes that Jung-rok isn’t wearing a scarf. When he replies that he likes winter, she pettily asks, “Are you sure you don’t like summer?” (a play on Yeo-reum’s name as “yeo-reum” means summer in Korean).
Still cranky, Yoon-seo accuses Jung-rok of smiling too much, which he points out isn’t something he’s heard before. Yoon-seo huffily walks off, leaving behind a befuddled Jung-rok.
At the prosecutor’s office, rising young lawyer Lee learns that the handsome Se-won used to date Yeo-reum for seven years, but they broke up two years ago. She snidely suggests that perhaps they broke up because of Yeo-reum’s bad personality… just as Yeo-reum appears behind her. Prosecutor Lee doesn’t look repentant, even as Yeo-reum warns her about her nasty temper.
Using her newfound knowledge, Prosecutor Lee casually asks Se-won about his relationship with Yeo-reum, hinting that things that are broken can never be put back together. When Se-won replies that he can’t stand to see broken things, Prosecutor Lee thoughtfully murmurs that she should just become broken then.
The Always Law crew go out for lunch, and Attorney Yeon is still stuck on who to choose for the TV appearance. Ms. Kim puts a vote in for Attorney Dan, but when Ms. Yang voices her preference for Attorney Choi, Mr. Lee hurriedly agrees with her. Attorney Yeon muses that he thinks Attorney Dan would be better, before he gets pulled away on a call.
Attorney Dan confides to the team that she really wants to go on TV so that she can get more clients. She explains that Attorney Yeon has been suffocating her with his complaints about her performance… just as Attorney Yeon appears behind her and peevishly gives the TV slot to Attorney Choi. Womp womp.
Attorney Choi is delighted though, and immediately scurries off to tell his mother the good news. Attorney Dan watches in disgust as he even begins to cry. When Choi sees Dan watching, he smoothly tells her that any of his colleague’s grief is like his own… and walks away with a big ol’ smirk.
Later that evening, Jung-rok sees Yoon-seo working past leaving time and tells her to go home. Yoon-seo, still vexed about Yoo-reum, irrationally gripes about how important leaving time is to Jung-rok, and how many important people he has in his life, before flouncing out.
Yoon-seo is so worked up that she spends the car-ride with Hyuk-joon complaining about it. Hyuk-joon, finally catching on, asks Yoon-seo if she likes Jung-rok. Hyuk-joon stuns Yoon-seo into silence when he tells her it seems as if she is jealous. Yoon-seo hadn’t even considered the possibility, and scoffs that she should be careful from now on before anyone gets the ‘wrong’ idea.
The next day, Ms. Yang asks Yoon-seo where Jung-rok is. Yoon-seo overcorrects and assures everyone she doesn’t know because it isn’t like she likes him.
The rest of the team gather round the TV to watch Attorney Yeon and Choi on the panel show. But a hangdog Attorney Choi shows up at the office and explains he got booted because there were too many people. Attorney Dan doesn’t even try to contain her glee, ha. Attorney Yeon’s appearance doesn’t go well at all, and he gets too nervous to say anything. Oh, I’m cringing for him.
Later that day, an anxious young woman — Seung-hee — shows up at the law firm, looking for Jung-rok’s help. Clearly uneasy, Seung-hee asks that Yoon-seo, as a woman, sit in for the meeting – and explains that she thinks her ex is stalking her.
Seung-hee says that at first, everything was great, because her ex seemed to know just what she wanted. But she found out the reason for that was because he was going through her phone, and broke up with him. He wouldn’t accept that. Even when Seung-hee changed the code to her door, he somehow kept finding his way inside her apartment.
Jung-rok gently tells Seung-hee that this might not be enough to get a restraining order. Yoon-seo, rightfully outraged, demands to know why there isn’t a law to protect people from such actions. Seung-hee timidly admits that her ex used to put sleeping pills in her drink so that he could go through her phone.
Disturbed, the confession causes Yoon-seo to flashback to the time of her scandal – and her memory of a powder being poured into a drink.
Late at night, Ms. Yang takes a shortcut through a dark tunnel. She screams bloody murder when someone puts his hand on her shoulder from behind – but it’s just Mr. Lee. They walk to the bus stop together, where they spot a small patch of grass. Mr. Lee ponders, “Like us waiting at this stop, that grass may be waiting for a bus named Spring.” Lol.
On the bus, to Mr. Lee’s delight, Ms. Yang falls asleep with her head on his shoulder. Spotting that her shoe is undone, he reaches down to tie it (how long are his arms?) and wakes her up at her stop. Aww.
At Jung-rok’s apartment, Se-won resentfully watches the latest news about a powerful CEO and his gambling charges. With ire, Se-won complains to Jung-rok that defense lawyer Choi Yoon-soo is famous for taking such dirty cases. Choi even took a case defending the vice president of Jeguk group, Lee Gang-joon, after Lee got caught up in a drug scandal with an actress – Oh Yoon-seo.
Jung-rok is shaken to hear that Lee stalked Yoon-seo, and when she rejected him, he framed her as a drug user. Lee got away with everything because he was so powerful.
With this new understanding, Jung-rok tries to take Yoon-seo off Seung-hee’s case the next day. But Yoon-seo has other ideas, and adamantly asks Jung-rok to trust her to do a good job. In the face of her insistence, Jung-rok has no choice but to accept.
Later that day, Yoon-seo meets up with Seung-hee at her apartment to gather evidence about her ex. Yoon-seo reaches down to pick up a fallen bottle of water…
…And reels back in shock when she spots Seung-hee’s ex hiding under her bed. I just got chills.
Maddened, Seung-hee’s ex jumps out and grabs Seung-hee, ranting about their break-up. When Yoon-seo tries to pull him away, he turns on her, fist raised. Just as Yoon-seo flinches away, Jung-rok appears from behind and tackles the ex to the ground.
The ex is safely taken away by the police. It was just lucky that Jung-rok was there because he wanted to gather information from Seung-hee himself.
Jung-rok confirms to Yoon-seo that Seung-hee has enough evidence now for a restraining order. Yoon-seo anxiously asks if that will be enough to stop the ex, but she still looks downcast when Jung-rok agrees that it should be.
Understanding, Jung-rok reassures her, “Stealing someone’s privacy and forcing your feelings on someone else is wrong. So the one who did that should suffer. The victim shouldn’t have a hard time. So stop suffering, forget about the bad memories and live a happy life for your own sake. Do you understand?”
Yoon-seo, somewhat confused, asks why he’s telling her that – but she does look comforted by his words. Pulled back into the present, Yoon-seo notices the cut on Jung-rok’s neck, and insists on treating it for him. Ha, Yoon-seo proudly tells Jung-rok she knows exactly what she’s doing because she played a top surgeon in a drama once.
The tension in the air heightens when Yoon-seo leans in to put the disinfectant on the cut, their faces so close together they are almost touching. Awkward, Yoon-seo says that Jung-rok can do it himself if he feels uncomfortable. Almost too quickly, Jung-rok says no, and they sneak adorable little glances at each other as Yoon-seo leans in again, blowing lightly on his neck.
The cute continues that night, as they trade sweet text messages back and forth in bed. Although Yoon-seo informs him that she only cares since he got hurt because of her, the big grin on her face tells a different story. Jung-rok smiles, and promises to get better quickly so she won’t worry.
But all is not well… as their text message conversation pops up on a computer screen in the apartment of a young man. Yoon-seo and Jung-rok, blissfully unaware that they are being spied on, bid each other good night.
Aww, this show is really sweet.
Yoon-seo and Jung-rok have very quickly moved beyond the bickering stage, largely because Yoon-seo is crushing on him so hard without even realizing it. I do love that she engineered her own date with Jung-rok, at the movie, in this episode (and it gave me welcome memories of a very similar tactic being used in Queen In-hyun’s Man), though she seemed to be running more on instinct here than tactics. Because of course, Yoon-seo doesn’t even recognize her feelings for Jung-rok yet — the top star couldn’t fall in love with a normal person first. So instead, Yoon-seo projects them onto Jung-rok.
Watching that progression continues to be delightful. There was a lot of comedy to be mined from Yoon-seo’s growing awareness of Jung-rok running straight into his obliviousness regarding women. The running theme over Jung-rok’s smiles was a cute one as well – and not just because Lee Dong-wook looks adorable. Yoon-seo is a naturally cheery person, but she also uses her smiles – as a way to hide her feelings, as an actress, and as a woman. She understands their power, and knows that Jung-rok isn’t someone who smiles easily, so knows what it means when he smiles – whether that’s for her or for Yeo-reum.
I’m getting fonder and fonder of Jung-rok as well, with his gestures of understanding towards Yoon-seo. Sometimes completely missing their mark – and at other times, hitting dead on. His speech about perpetrators being the ones who should suffer, not the victims, was very affecting and genuine. Even if it was a tad simplistic, it was a lovely sentiment that came right from Jung-rok’s heart, wanting to help Yoon-seo heal. And Jung-rok is definitely looking at Yoon-seo differently now, and not just because he’s realized he underestimated her. The chemistry was in full force between them when Yoon-seo was tending to his cut – I got quite the thrill when Jung-rok told her to keep going.
That’s not to say it’s all sunny. There are hints of darkness to the show, although I’m dubious right now whether it will be able carry off the heavy storyline lurking in Yoon-seo’s history. For example, I was interested to see that the show highlighted how difficult it still is for people – and mainly women – to get protection from romantic partners or exes via the law. But Seung-hee’s story was wrapped up very neatly, with help from an obviously crazed ex and a credible witness – and that just doesn’t happen often in real life. The show pulled its punch at the last moment in this case-of-the-week. I don’t especially think this storyline should have gone any bleaker, because I would like it to stay on the lighter side. But it does give me pause about how well they will handle Yoon-seo’s own stalker, Lee Gang-joon. But holy smokes, what a twist. We all knew there was a mystery behind Yoon-seo’s ‘scandal’ and the fact it has been uncovered this early in the story makes me think the meat of the plot will be taking Lee down. And I’m even more impressed with Yoon-seo’s continued optimism in the wake of this reveal. Yoon-seo isn’t unrealistically cheerful, she’s just determined not to let Lee continue ruining her life. That takes real guts.
- Premiere Watch: Reach of Sincerity, Legal High, Trap
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