Reach of Sincerity: Episode 9
Our couple enjoys their own private world as they get to know one another better, oblivious to any threats to their happiness. Jung-rok and Yoon-seo have the law firm to thank for their unlikely pairing but all of that will change with the end of Yoon-seo’s assignment, which is quickly approaching. But that’s not the only wrinkle in their future, because someone dangerous from Yoon-seo’s past has returned and is ready to make his presence known.
EPISODE 9: “A special date”
Jung-rok meets a new client who’s been the target of malicious comments, the owner of a macaron shop. The client confesses that he has a newfound respect for celebrities who must deal with vicious comments all the time. Suddenly, the client points out that Jung-rok’s secretary must really like macarons as Yoon-seo inspects his selection.
On the drive back to the office, Yoon-seo holds a box of macarons that she’s to sample to determine if any of the harsh comments are deserved. When Yoon-seo reads the label on one of the macarons, “A taste that calls for a kiss…,” she’s reminded of Jung-rok’s kiss and has to calm herself.
At the office, Yoon-seo shares the macarons with Hye-young, Mr. Lee and Ms. Yang. When Ms. Yang offers Yoon-seo the “A taste that calls for a kiss” macaron, Yoon-seo overreacts when she protests, “…I don’t want to kiss anyone.”
With all of the “kiss” references, Yoon-seo misunderstands Jung-rok’s announcement, “From now on, I’m not going to ask.” It’s close to what he said when they kissed so Yoon-seo assumes that Jung-rok intends to kiss her, but he just meant that he’ll no longer check her work. Flustered, Yoon-seo escapes to the kitchen to clear her head so that she can focus on work, not that amazing kiss.
Yoon-seo hands Jung-rok copies of the malicious comments made against the macaron client and confesses that some of her vicious comments still haunt her. Curious, Jung-rok looks up Yoon-seo’s comments and then storms out of his office to announce, “I’m pressing charges.”
Yoon-seo smiles when she sees that Jung-rok is outraged on her behalf and he promises, “From now on, what’s your business is my business.” Yoon-seo insists that she’s fine and places her hands on Jung-rok’s shoulders reassuringly, which is how Attorney Dan finds them when she barges in.
Yoon-seo shoves Jung-rok away and shouts as if they’re in the middle of an argument. Attorney Dan apologizes and once she’s gone, Yoon-seo checks on Jung-rok, who compliments her quick thinking and her strength. Heh.
On the drive home, Jung-rok raises the issue that negative comments are part of an actor’s life. Yoon-seo insists that her good experiences outweighed the bad ones and that she found her work gratifying. Yoon-seo knows that Jung-rok can’t appreciate what she’s talking about since he’s never seen any of her dramas.
An incoming call interrupts them and Jung-rok promises to send a document as soon as he returns to the office. Yoon-seo questions why he left if he has to return, touched when Jung-rok confesses, “I wanted to give you a ride home.”
Jung-rok works late into the night, but takes a break to look up Yoon-seo’s favorite role. He watches scenes from her dramas and chuckles at Yoon-seo’s bad acting but finds himself mesmerized by her red carpet appearance. Jung-rok then gazes at Yoon-seo’s face during one of her commercials and confesses, “I miss her,” and rests his head in his hand just as she does in the ad.
Jung-rok is surprised when Yoon-seo walks in with a late-night snack and explains, “…I missed you.” It’s Yoon-seo’s turn to be surprised when Jung-rok thanks her with another kiss.
Yoon-seo wonders what Jung-rok was watching and he admits that he was sampling her work and emphasizes that she looked amazing. Yoon-seo admits that she’s not a good actress but knows that she’s not that bad either. Jung-rok encourages her to ignore her negative comments since they’re not true and Yoon-seo urges him to give those comments a thumbs down whenever he sees them.
Jung-rok stares at Yoon-seo thoughtfully, “I wonder how much you were hurt in order to become this composed” Jung-rok hugs Yoon-seo and adds, “I know you went through some hard times. I’m happy that you overcame it.”
At the office, Ms. Yang invites Yoon-seo to join them for lunch, but she decides to wait for Jung-rok. While the gang is at lunch, Attorney Yeon and Attorney Choi argue over the dumplings. Attorney Yeon wants one of Attorney Choi’s dumplings but is told, “It tastes too great to give up on.” His words remind Attorney Dan of the confrontation with the cafe owner and when she looks up at Attorney Choi, she remembers his abs.
Forgetting herself, Attorney Dan raises her hand to her face and gushes, “Oh gosh.” Caught, Attorney Dan looks up wide-eyed, but Attorney Yeon decides that she must have a toothache. Despite Dan’s protests, everyone urges her to see a dentist right away. Poor Dan!
Yoon-seo fantasies of yummy food go poof when Jung-rok calls to let her know that he won’t be able to have lunch with her.
Yeo-reum returns to her office after lunch and finds a tumbler on her desk with a note from Se-won, “I heard dandelion tea is good for gastritis.” She smiles at a second note underneath, “By the way, when are you going to pay me back?”
Se-won reviews a case with Prosecutor Kim and explains that he once worked with the culprit’s attorney, a former prosecutor who now does the dirty work for large companies. Prosecutor Kim is curious when Se-won smiles at a text but her face falls when she learns that it’s from Yeo-reum. Se-won makes it clear that Yeo-reum is the only woman that he’s interested in and warns Prosecutor Kim not to cross the line.
Yoon-seo’s stomach growls when she brings Jung-rok a file because she never ate lunch. Yoon-seo reminds Jung-rok that as a celebrity, she never learned how to eat alone and she’s delighted when he suggests going out to eat.
Yoon-seo isn’t so delighted when Jung-rok takes her to a one-person restaurant where all of the seats are separated by partitions. He announces it the perfect place for Yoon-seo to learn to eat alone.
With lots of patience and encouragement from Jung-rok (and in spite of her cute pouts), Yoon-seo finally manages to eat alone and she asks Jung-rok to capture the momentous occasion with a photo. Yoon-seo hands over her phone with a request, “Make it look like a paparazzi photo if you can.” Yoon-seo poses cutely while Jung-rok snaps away and he can’t help but grin as she eats.
Mr. Lee and Ms. Yang run into each other at the bus stop and when Ms. Yang falls asleep on the ride home, Mr. Lee remembers the first time that he saw her. Mr. Lee noticed Ms. Yang when she almost fell off of her seat after dozing off and he recognized her as soon as he arrived for his first day of work at the law firm.
Mr. Lee soon learned that Ms. Yang was a single mother and remembers her smiling at a cute photo of her daughter. Mr. Lee realizes that’s probably when he started to like Ms. Yang, because he’d hoped that her life was filled with happiness. Thanks to Mr. Lee, Ms. Yang wakes up in time to get off at her stop but when she gets home, she finds her daughter sitting in the dark.
After dinner, Jung-rok parks in front of Yoon-seo’s complex where she gives him a boyfriend score of 99 out of 100. Of course Jung-rok wants to know why he lost one point, so Yoon-seo explains that it’s because of the formal way that he talks to her.
Yoon-seo wants Jung-rok to act more comfortably with her, like he is around Se-won and Yeo-reum. In the end, Yoon-seo agrees when Jung-rok argues that such a noticable change might cause suspicion at work.
At the mention of work, Jung-rok asks if Yoon-seo plans to study law once she leaves the firm. Before she can answer, Hyuk-joon knocks on her window and Yoon-seo jumps out of the car in surprise. Hyuk-joon warns Yoon-seo about paparazzi while she pushes him inside, after sweetly telling Jung-rok, “Mr. Kwon, I hope you go home safely.”
Inside, Yoon-seo explains to Hyuk-joon that she wants to tell Jung-rok the real reason for her assignment at the law firm. He reminds her that in order to protect Writer Lee’s project, no one else can know. When she’s alone, Yoon-seo worries that Jung-rok will feel betrayed once he finds out the truth.
At home, Jung-rok heads for his office and uses a photo of Yoon-seo on his phone to practice greeting her casually. When Se-won walks in and teases, “It must be love,” Jung-rok checks online for apartments that would suit him.
The next day, Hye-young shows Attorney Dan and Yoon-seo a disturbing video of some middle school girls bullying another girl. At the same time, Ms. Yang get a call notifying her that her daughter is at the police station.
A detective shows Ms. Yang the same video that Hye-young showed Yoon-seo. Ms. Yang’s daughter, Jin-yi, insists that she isn’t the girl in the video even though the victim and the other bullies identified her as the assailant.
The victim’s mother walks in and accuses Jin-yi of stealing money as well. When Jin-yi insists that she’s innocent, the mother calls her a liar, but Ms. Yang defends her daughter. Ms. Yang points out that the face of the attacker wasn’t captured by the video and adds that her daughter doesn’t own a down jacket like the one worn by the attacker.
Jung-rok overhears Attorney Yeon speak with Ms. Yang on the phone and guesses that she’s in trouble. Attorney Yeon explains that Jin-yi may have been framed and asks Jung-rok for his help, surprised when he readily agrees.
Later, when Ms. Yang puts some clothes away in Jin-yi’s room, she finds the down jacket. Ms. Yang tries to call Jin-yi on the way to her academy and arrives in time to see her push another girl to the ground.
The next day, Attorney Yeon tries to lift Ms. Yang’s spirits with news that Jung-rok has accepted the case. When Jung-rok mentions that Jin-yi was framed, Ms. Yang has to admit that she might be guilty and breaks down, “I guess I didn’t raise her right.”
Yoon-seo sits down for a private chat with Ms. Yang and learns that Jin-yi won’t tell her mother where she got the jacket. Convinced that her daughter bought it with stolen money, Ms. Yang is devastated by the thought that her daughter is a bully.
Attorney Yeon and Mr. Lee watch the video with Jung-rok and he summarizes their dilemma — Ms. Yang now believes that her daughter is the girl in the jacket but Jin-yi denies it. Jung-rok notes that parents are too emotional to be objective, making it even more important to focus on the facts.
Mr. Lee and Yoon-seo interview Jin-yi outside of her school and the girl insists that she’s innocent. When Mr. Lee asks why she was identified as the culprit, Jin-yi refuses to answer any of his questions. When she walks away, Mr. Lee runs after Jin-yi to invite her to join him for tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes).
Mr. Lee finds Yoon-seo when he returns to the office and reports that Jin-yi had nothing more to say. Mr. Lee speculates that Jin-yi may have been threatened just as Jung-rok joins them and explains that victims who don’t talk have either been threatened or want to protect their assailant.
Jung-rok informs them that he checked the school’s CCTV footage with Ms. Yang and discovered another incident involving the girl in the jacket. It was the same girl that Jin-yi pushed outside of the academy.
It turns out that the girl was once a close friend of Jin-yi’s, who borrowed her jacket the day of the assault. When the video when viral, Jin-yi’s childhood friend framed her to avoid getting caught. Now that the real attacker’s identity has been confirmed with video evidence, Jin-yi has been cleared.
Troubled, Mr. Lee finds Ms. Yang to explain, “I promised Jin-yi that I’d keep this a secret. But I think you should know.” As Ms. Yang walks home, she thinks about what Mr. Lee had to say, “It turns out, Jin-yi sometimes met with her dad.”
Ms. Yang arrives at her complex in time to witness Jin-yi tearfully tell her father that she can’t meet him anymore. We see in flashback that Mr. Lee explained that Jin-yi’s father bought her the down jacket but Jin-yi didn’t want her mother to find out, which is why she kept it a secret.
Ms. Yang finds Jin-yi and admits that she saw her meet her father. Jin-yi apologizes for seeing him behind her back, knowing that he hurt her, but Ms. Yang is sorrier for not realizing how much Jin-yi needed her father and for not believing her. Jin-yi and her mother reconcile and it’s a happy day when they hand out cookies to everyone at the firm as thanks for the help with Jin-yi’s case.
Hyuk-joon meets with CEO Yeon and assures him that Yoon-seo isn’t having anymore problems with Jung-rok. They’re excited when the secretary delivers a gift for Yoon-seo, since she hasn’t received one in so long. CEO Yeon and Hyuk-joon are shaken when they see that it’s the same plant that Lee Gang-joon used to send to Yoon-seo.
Meanwhile, Lee Gang-joon arrives at the airport and ignores a company briefing to study a photo of Yoon-seo and Jung-rok, telling himself, “I guess she’s doing well.”
In his office, Jung-rok catches Yoon-seo staring at him so she explains that she had no idea that being an attorney was so cool, even though she went to law school. Yoon-seo only went to law school because her father insisted on it before he’d consent to her career as an actress, certain that she’d never get accepted. Even though she wasn’t good at studying, Yoon-seo got in thanks to her excellent memory, but now she regrets quitting.
Believing that she came to the firm to learn more about the law, Jung-rok assures Yoon-seo, “It’s not too late. If you wish to study law, I’ll help you out.” They’re interrupted when Attorney Yeon invites them out for drinks in appreciation for helping Ms. Yang.
Yoon-seo accepts but once Attorney Yeon is gone, she confesses that she’s not feeling well. Jung-rok offers to drink on her behalf and when Yoon-seo asks if he can hold his liquor, he admits, “I have never gotten drunk in my entire life.”
Jung-rok ends up drunk for the first time and wants to discuss philosophy and law with Attorney Yeon, who wonders, “How is that you’re boring even when you’re drunk?”
When Yoon-seo asks if Jung-rok is always like that, Attorney Yeon confirms that he’s never seen him drunk before. Jung-rok explains that he drank more that usual because Yoon-seo wasn’t feeling well.
When Jung-rok takes a bathroom break, Attorney Yeon acknowledges that he must really care about Yoon-seo and believes that Jung-rok will be sad when she leaves. Attorney Yeon can’t believe that Yoon-seo only has one month left at the firm, “We only just said hello, but you’ll be leaving soon.”
While in the bathroom, Yoon-seo gets a text from Ms. Yang thanking her for her help. Ms. Yang adds that she and Jin-yi promised to never have secrets between them, “We felt that those closest shouldn’t keep such things.”
Yoon-seo sits outside with Jung-rok while he sobers up and teases him about being such a serious drunk. She happy that she got to see another side of him and Jung-rok is happy that he saw Yoon-seo’s adorable side as an actress.
Ms. Yang’s words weigh heavily on Yoon-seo though, so she confesses, “There are things I still haven’t told you.” Yoon-seo struggles to explain without betraying her secret but finally gives up and suggests going back inside.
Jung-rok stops Yoon-seo to tell her that it’s all right if there’s something that she can’t tell him. He hugs her and then stands back and speaks comfortably, “I like you, Jin-sim. I’ve thought about it, and I don’t want a point deducted.” Jung-rok hugs Yoon-seo again and they both look so happy, unaware that Lee Gang-joon is watching them from a car nearby.
Here we go, Yoon-seo’s chaebol stalker is back and it doesn’t look as if he’s lost interest in Yoon-seo at all after that chilling cliffhanger. Lee Gang-joon sent his calling card to CEO Yeon, so he’s essentially announced that he intends to pick up where he left off as far as Yoon-seo is concerned. Even though he’s ready to exert his power over Yoon-seo once again, she’s not the same person that Lee Gang-joon intimidated in the past. As we saw when Yoon-seo stood up to CEO Yeon in episode 7, she’s not as naive as she used to be thanks to her work at the law firm. Plus, Yoon-seo now has a very capable and devoted ally in Jung-rok and the other friends that she’s made at Always Law.
The bond between Yoon-seo and Jung-rok strengthens the more that they get to know each other and Se-won is probably right when he teases his “roommate” that it’s love. Jung-rok wants Yoon-seo to be the best person that she can be, which is why he coached her on how to eat alone. How cute was that? Their bond needs to be unbreakable in order for Jung-rok to successfully help Yoon-seo fight back against Lee Gang-joon and restore her reputation and career. However, it’s beginning to look as if Yoon-seo will be tempted by the road that she chose not to travel and I’m curious about what she’ll pursue once her three month assignment comes to an end. While Yoon-seo enjoyed her acting career, it never impacted people’s lives the way that Jung-rok’s does, which is why she has so much respect for his accomplishments. Will it be enough for Yoon-seo to return to a career where she just has to be pretty, or does she want to pursue something more meaningful? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Yoon-seo proves herself a capable actress with Writer Lee’s drama, only to walk away from her career to study law. Whatever path Yoon-seo decides to take, Jung-rok is sure to be by her side.
I have to confess, I just love the quirky bunch at Always Law, who are consistently obtuse when it comes to recognizing what’s going on within their walls. No one has picked up on Attorney Dan’s crush on Attorney Choi, even though she’s given away ample clues. A toothache! How about Mr. Lee’s years-long crush on Ms. Yang? He didn’t seem to realize his own feelings until Hye-young mentioned it. Even worse, no one suspects that there’s anything more than a professional relationship between Jung-rok and Yoon-seo, mostly because he’s so cranky, but how many times has she overreacted about dating and kisses? No one has noticed how much Jung-rok has loosened up since Yoon-seo started to work for him. The entire team is adorably dorky and it’s so much fun to watch them stumble around the truth.
So far, Reach of Sincerity has been a light and fun drama, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t given me something to think about. It’s interesting that Yoon-seo’s hiatus has lasted two years, which is slightly longer than the time that young male actors are away when they fulfill their mandatory military responsibilities. It even approximates the break that some actresses take to have a baby. Two years is a long time in the competitive entertainment industry, where the world rushes ahead without you. It’s why young actors and idols pack their resumes before military duty, so that there’s enough momentum to sustain their careers until they can work again. Career breaks are a very real challenge, but they also offer opportunities to rethink your life and to be more deliberate going forward. I think that’s what’s in store for Yoon-seo and it’s a worthy subject to address.
- 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