Reach of Sincerity: Episode 14
Life goes on for our heartbroken couple, as everyone around them can see how miserable they are without each other. But our hero has just taken on a case that could sink the whole company, so he’s too preoccupied to think about the big mistake he’s made in his love life. And it’s not just his love life that’s in trouble – old friends begin to question him now as well. This really would be so much better if he had an adorable, sweet girlfriend to lean on…
EPISODE 14 RECAP
With no new clients, the phone ringing off the hook with complaints, and Attorney Yeon still on the outs with Jung-rok, the mood at the office is strikingly glum. And when Ms. Yang suggests that Attorney Yeon be friendly to Jung-rok since what’s done is done, he doesn’t take it well. Attorney Yeon points out that Jung-rok always does what he wants, just like 5 years ago.
Feeling the weight of his decision, Jung-rok decides that the only thing he can do is resign. But Attorney Yeon gets even madder at this. He accuses Jung-rok of running away, and says, “You know what? I never once thought of you as my employee. You were my precious friend and a trustworthy brother.”
Jung-rok pleads with Attorney Yeon that he’s just trying his best – to help the law firm and right his wrongs with Soo-myeong. Attorney Yeon flares up and tells Jung-rok to just leave then, since Always Law doesn’t need someone irresponsible like him.
If the mood in the office was tense before, it just got a lot worse. No-one can focus on anything apart from the blow-up between Jung-rok and Attorney Yeon (mostly because Attorney Yeon won’t let them). Alone in his office, Jung-rok stares at Yoon-seo’s sticky notes.
Troubled over Jung-rok’s decision herself, Yoon-seo wonders if she should call Se-won to get information about him.
Maybe she did? Se-won calls Jung-rok later that night and asks him out for a drink because ‘someone can’t let him go’. Jung-rok obviously leaps to the conclusion that it’s Yoon-seo…
…but when Jung-rok arrives, it’s Attorney Yeon waiting for him instead.
Like the only real adult in the room, Se-won scolds Jung-rok and Attorney Yeon for letting it get to this point. Haha, then Attorney Yeon and Jung-rok take turns to defend the other from Se-won’s accusations. His job done, Se-won leaves the two children behind to make up.
Yoon-seo continues to fret over asking Se-won about Jung-rok, and sighs that she can’t ask the Always Law team again about him.
Solemn, Attorney Yeon asks Jung-rok if he really believed that he would be fired after all their years together. Jung-rok replies that Attorney Yeon was right that he was irresponsible, and says, “From start to finish I’ve been nothing but selfish and opinionated.”
Jung-rok explains that’s why he had to quit – because the team shouldn’t suffer for his mistakes. Understanding, Attorney Yeon tells him of course he knew that – but gently says that he can’t stand back and watch Jung-rok get hurt again, like five years ago. Attorney Yeon asks, “Do you know what my biggest regret is?”
Five years ago
Jung-rok and Attorney Yeon meet late at night. Jung-rok discovered the company he’s defending fabricated lab results, and believes now that he needs to stand by the victims. What’s worse – Jung-rok thinks his boss is in on the cover-up.
Attorney Yeon can’t believe that Jung-rok is even thinking about blowing the whistle. Impassioned, Jung-rok asks Yeon “Even if I’m defending the company, I can still have a conscience, can’t I?”
But Yeon points out that his law firm will completely end his legal career if he does this. Jung-rok admits that he knows, but can’t stand by and do nothing because, “Once becomes twice, and I might end up becoming a monster. That’s what I’m more scared of.”
The fallout was as bad as Yeon feared, but Yeon did his best to help Jung-rok out, including collecting signatures from influential people.
Attorney Yeon sighs that five years ago, “I saw you crumble before my eyes.” Jung-rok looks down in regret, but Yeon continues, “Still, what was the best thing I’ve ever done? Saving you five years ago.” Yeon says that they have become friends who count on one another – which is why Jung-rok’s resignation made him rethink his life.
Yeon declares, “That’s why we must do this together.” With a smile, the two friends agree to tackle the case together, even though it will be difficult.
Afterwards, Jung-rok’s heart is lighter. Staring up at an ad of Yoon-so, he promises, “Now, I won’t waver.”
Attorney Yeon’s good mood infects the office the next day, as he assembles an emergency meeting to save the ‘nation’s most hated man, Kwon Jung-rok’. Aww, the team all rally round.
On a break from shooting her drama, Yoon-seo reminisces fondly about Jung-rok (without crying this time) to a quiet Hyuk-joon when she spots Se-won. Se-won catches on quickly that Yoon-seo is really just angling for news on Jung-rok, and honestly tells her that he’s not doing well after taking the Soo-myeong case.
Worried, Yoon-seo asks Se-won to look after Jung-rok. Alone, Se-won wonders if he shouldn’t have told her, and then shrugs, “Well, I told her so she would be worried.” You cunning man.
Back at Always Law headquarters, Jung-rok briefs the rest of the team on the suspicious circumstances of Im Yoon-hee’s life and disappearance. Including the mystery man she was seen with. The team speculate he may have been her accomplice in the disappearance of her father, and the murders of her first and second husband for the insurance money.
Attorney Yeon takes charge and sets tasks for the rest of the team. Impressed, Attorney Choi compliments him that this is the first time in a long time he’s seemed like a proper lawyer, lol.
As if to highlight just how large a Yoon-seo shaped hole there is in Jung-rok’s office, Attorney Yeon decides that the intern Pil-gi should temporarily become Jung-rok’s assistant on the case. Well, Pil-gi is certainly (over)eager. Jung-rok hurriedly pulls down Yoon-seo’s heart post-it notes when Pil-gi looks at them quizzically.
Pil-gi finds one of Yoon-seo’s pens in the desk – and like the eager beaver he is, calls Yoon-seo and asks to keep it as a memento. Yoon-seo agrees, but then asks him to wait.
When Jung-rok gets back to the office, Yoon-seo is waiting for him – on the pretense that the pen was so important to her she needed to pick it up in person.
Aww, Yoon-seo awkwardly tries to make light of the situation (which must be difficult given how Jung-rok is staring at her). She points to the research she did for him, and asks for lunch in exchange (as ‘compensation’). But Jung-rok just asks, “Oh Jin-shim. Did you forget we broke up?”
Gosh, just break her heart again, why don’t you. Though, it looks like Jung-rok’s is breaking as well when Yoon-seo answers that of course she can’t forget, but she’s worried about him.
Yoon-seo says that she wants to support him now the way the he supported her, but she can’t because they aren’t a couple. She even admits that she was worried Jung-rok wouldn’t want to see her, but she was more worried that he wasn’t taking care of himself and eating well.
Trying to keep his emotions in check, Jung-rok flatly tells Yoon-seo that she was right – they aren’t a couple any more, so she doesn’t need to worry about things like that. He tells her to forget their time together and bids her goodbye, “So don’t worry about me and focus on your career.”
Yoon-seo tearily leaves – but not before noticing that her notes are gone. Craaack. Another heartbreak. She thinks this means Jung-rok really is over her, and wonders how she will cope.
Powering through his own heartbreak, Jung-rok turns to work – and notices something strange about the crime scene. Although there are messy blood spatters all over the walls and floor, there is hardly any blood on Soo-myeong’s jacket. Odd.
So for the first day of Soo-myeong’s appeal, Jung-rok presents a strong case that Soo-myeong only stabbed the victim once. Between the blood, and Yoon-hee’s disappearance, it looks like the judge and jury are on Jung-rok’s side.
But then the prosecutor smirks. He presents his witness – the only witness to the crime. Im Yoon-hee.
Soo-myeong is delighted to see his ‘noona’ again, but this can’t be good.
The prosecutor asks Yoon-hee, “Who stabbed the victim twice and killed him?”
Yoon-hee looks over at the unsuspecting Soo-myeong. Her face crumples, and she cries, “Soo-myeong, I’m sorry.” The prosecutor presses for an answer – and Yoon-hee affirms that it was Soo-myeong who stabbed her husband twice.
Chaos follows her statement. Poor Soo-myeong looks like he can’t believe what she’s saying, and Jung-rok is greeted by the press clamoring for his head.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor looks thoughtful at the serendipitous return of Yoon-hee – because she came forward to be the witness voluntarily.
Following the case closely, Yoon-seo looks forlorn at this unpleasant turn. Hyuk-joon finally can’t take it any more, and pulls the car to the side. He says, “Yoon-seo, first you should slap me really hard. I deserve it.”
Yoon-seo is too sad to respond to Hyuk-joon’s theatrics, but she does a double-take at what he says next. Hyuk-joon admits that Jung-rok didn’t break up with her because he stopped liking her! Yay, go oppa!
Mr. Lee might have finally found the break in the case they need – blurry CCTV footage of Yoon-hee and her partner. They can’t see his face, but Jung-rok ropes in Yeo-reum, and they team up to pull the man’s fingerprints from the spot on the glass they see in the video that he fell against.
Yoon-seo is having her own breakthrough, as she thinks over Hyuk-joon’s confession. Suddenly the break-up looks a lot different, and Yoon-seo smiles in relief, “Jung-rok didn’t mean it.”
So irrepressible Yoon-seo formulates a plan of attack: kill him with kindness. She shows up at Jung-rok’s home with food, and dashes away from the flummoxed man before he can protest. But Jung-rok is a fast learner. So when Yoon-seo pops up at his work, and tries to invite Jung-rok to dinner, he recovers quickly enough to pull her away to a secluded spot.
Jung-rok worriedly tells her that if she keeps coming round, she could end up in a scandal. He reminds her to forget about him. But Yoon-seo crossly tells him she doesn’t want to and rightly points out, “I’ll decide whether I forget or not. I’ll do what I want to do, and not forget you. I’ll long for you and come to see you if I’m worried and when I miss you.”
Yoon-hee finally visits Soo-myeong in prison. She asks him if it’s tough in here, and pitifully says, “You just wanted to save me.” She softly asks if he really doesn’t remember stabbing her husband twice. Even though Soo-myeong still doesn’t understand what’s going on, and is overjoyed to see Yoon-hee, he doesn’t lie. He only remembers stabbing the man once.
Suddenly, Yoon-hee drops the act. Her face twists, and tone hardens as she tells Soo-myeong he’s wrong. She cruelly says, “You stabbed him twice. You killed him.”
Yeo-reum really delivers with the fingerprint evidence – since it turns out that the fingerprints belong to a dead man. Specifically, to Yoon-hee’s ex-husband, Choi Sang-ho.
Jung-rok triumphantly presents this new information in court – along with one last, very important detail. The dental records of the man who actually died in the fire match none other than Yoon-hee’s missing father. Everyone at court gasps.
Sang-ho is hauled into police custody. Yeo-reum warns him that unless he confesses, Yoon-hee is planning to pin all the blame on him. So Sang-ho confesses that Yoon-hee was planning her second husband’s murder for a week before.
She deliberately called Soo-myeong over to see her wounds, and repeated her wish that someone would just kill her husband for her. Ah, so Soo-myeong was manipulated, which was why he stabbed Yoon-hee’s husband for her.
After Soo-myeong left, Yoon-hee coldly explained to Sang-ho that she was going to confess, so that when it came out later that Soo-myeong was the real killer she would get the nation’s sympathy. That way, no one would suspect it was an insurance fraud.
But her husband wasn’t dead – and it was Sang-ho who struck the killing blow.
The Always Law team are jubilant over the success of Soo-myeong’s case. And Attorney Yeon is the most jubilant of all, because there is a deluge of interviews to soak up. He smugly explains to one caller, “Yes, I’m Kwon Jung-rok’s spiritual leader and role model. He’s an excellent attorney and doing a very good job of following in my footsteps of righteousness.”
Aw, but even after their heart-to-heart, Jung-rok doesn’t want to go celebrate with Attorney Yeon. At least I can believe his excuse that he’s too tired this time though – and Attorney Yeon promises they’ll go out and get wasted next time. Lol.
The offer sparks Jung-rok’s memory of going out for drinks with Yoon-seo – and as if they are connected, he gets a text from Yoon-seo asking him out to drink.
Yoon-seo waits for him at the same place they celebrated last time – and her face lights up when Jung-rok walks in. But he’s not there to recreate their date (why nottt), and asks her outside to talk.
Jung-rok asks her seriously why Yoon-seo is doing this when she knows they can’t be together. But Yoon-seo is done playing games, and says, “No, not really. I don’t know why we can’t.”
And she’s not done. Yoon-seo says, “I heard… why you really decided to break up with me.”
Yoon-seo says that she went through a lot of things, and the only reason she survived was because of Jung-rok. Firmly, she tells him, “I’m more scared of losing you than opportunities in the industry because of a scandal. So… if you really care about me, stay by my side.”
Although Jung-rok looks touched by her plea, he doesn’t say anything. Yoon-seo asks if he really isn’t going to hold on to her. She says, “If you let go of me now, we’ll never get to see each other again.”
Something in Jung-rok breaks at the thought.
He takes one step closer, and says, “Oh Jin-shim. I love you.”
One more step. Jung-rok sweeps Yoon-seo into his arms, and they kiss. For a long time.
Phew, at least the break-up is over heading into finale week. I’ll have to disagree with Teriyaki here and say that I didn’t think Jung-rok’s noble idiocy was an understandable choice. Not when Yoon-seo had explicitly said that she wanted to tell the public about their relationship, made that choice for her career herself, and he never even talked to her about his concerns. I know I’m being hard on him, but it’s only because I was so enamored with how cute, and transparent, his relationship with Yoon-seo was up until he came down with that unfortunate bout of noble idiocy. I’m not going to lie, it has taken some of the lustre off the drama for me. Especially since it was Yoon-seo who did the hard work healing the rift! Yes, so I found Jung-rok’s “I love you” and kisses swoony – but slightly unearned. However. His principles have proved to be so unbending, even in the face of great personal loss, that I believe he thought he was doing the right thing. And that he would stand by them for as long as the risk to Yoon-seo was there – so his confession marks him giving in because he loves Yoon-seo so much.
Once again, Yoon-seo has impressed me with how mature she has become. She suffered through the break-up by herself, only trying to give support to Jung-rok when he became embroiled in a professional scandal. Those two were so close, and Yoon-seo came to love everyone on the Always Law team, that she wants to see them doing well. It gives me comfort that although Yoon-seo and Jung-rok were broken up, the spectre of their relationship gave him strength to get through the difficult case. So, really, she was the support that he needed. To be honest though, Yoon-seo’s story has been put on the back-burner this week. Which is a shame, since this legal drama is the whole reason she came to work for Always Law, and her celebrity is ostensibly the reason she and Jung-rok had to break up. It would be nice to spend more time on that storyline, and with Yoon-seo, when it has been developed so much.
Instead, another plot ingredient has been thrown into the plot soup. I kid. But it did feel a bit out of left field to develop Jung-rok’s whistleblowing incident so far into the show. It makes a lot of sense though, and explains why he was so doggedly pursuing Soo-myeong’s case. But poor Attorney Yeon, he’s gone through so much. I have enjoyed the silly-aloof dynamic between Yeon and Jung-rok, so knowing there’s more to their relationship is surprising but sweet enough. It’s poignant that Jung-rok always seems so alone, and annoyed by the people around him – but they love him so much anyway because they can see through it. Se-won and Yeon both had to break through Jung-rok’s gruff outer layer, but they’re rewarded with his loyalty. And we saw the very same thing happen between Yoon-seo and Jung-rok. But Jung-rok – you really should go out to drink with Yeon. He deserves it.
And then we come to the case of the week. I applaud the writer for returning to an old story that already has stakes built in – it’s generally a good way to get the audience invested. And Jung-rok certainly needed comeuppance for tricking Soo-myeong into incriminating himself the first time round. But the twist in this case is just baffling. I don’t understand how Yoon-hee thought it would be a better plan to confess to the crime and wait for Soo-myeong to come forward – because if it wasn’t for Yoon-seo, Yoon-hee would have gone to prison. I know I’m expecting too much from the legal cases, but it was very difficult to give it the benefit of the doubt when it took up so much of the screen time.
On the other hand, I am massively looking forward to next week – all the misunderstandings have been understood, and most of the plot lines wrapped up. Let’s get away from this unnecessary turn to the crying side and back to the pinku-pinku! Maybe next week we’ll actually see the fallout of the dating ‘scandal’ but now Yoon-seo and Jung-rok will weather it together. And I demand more Attorney Choi and Dan as well! There was far too little of them in this episode. Choi clearly likes Dan when she’s being herself, but Dan has bought so heavily into romantic cliches that she tried to mold herself on those lines when they were dating.
- Premiere Watch: Reach of Sincerity, Legal High, Trap
- Take two for Lee Dong-wook in tvN’s Reach of Sincerity
- Lee Dong-wook and Yoo Inna take the bickering to court in tvN’s Reach of Sincerity
- Reach of Sincerity to pull off last-minute casting switcheroo
- Wishing for a lucky start for Reach of Sincerity
- Yoo Inna and Lee Dong-wook get cozy in first teaser for Reach of Sincerity
- Yoo Inna and Lee Dong-wook to reunite for Reach of Sincerity