A New Leaf: Episode 3
We get our first look into a new Seok-ju, and boy, is it fun. He’s definitely a better version of himself, and the episode has plenty of funny to balance out the seriousness and complexities of lawyering. This is just a sneak peek and introduction to our hero’s transformation, but redemption for our cold-hearted lawyer is looking pretty optimistic. Look out, because our golden boy at the firm is about to get himself into some risky business.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
The regular morning hustle continues at the firm, and an associate comes into Seok-ju’s room only to find his workaholic boss absent.
Seok-ju’s assistant also stops by to get the documents approved and notes how uncharacteristic it is of Seok-ju not to come to work. He’s seen him not leave work but never not arrive at work.
A meeting for the Taejin Group acquisition proceeds, but nothing can actually be done without Seok-ju, who’s the lead on this case. The team goes into a frenzy and starts looking through all of Seok-ju’s documents in his office and computer.
Sang-tae and Yeong-woo arrive just in time to witness the madness going on in Seok-ju’s office. The team has minutes before the final settlement deal deadline, and they’re cutting it close.
Luckily, the final deal gets sent in on time. But only Seok-ju knew details of the transaction price, so the team has no idea if they sent in the document with the correct price and how he arrived at it.
Yeong-woo looks into Seok-ju’s whereabouts and figures out that the surveillance footage by his home showed no signs of Seok-ju returning. He also tracks Seok-ju’s phone and finds it heading towards China. Where the hell is he going?
Cut to the hospital, where an ambulance pulls in with an unconscious Seok-ju. He doesn’t respond to the doctor, and it looks like he’s injured his head.
Back at the firm, Yeong-woo and the associates attempt to cover all of Seok-ju’s appointments, which is a lot if you’re a workaholic machine like Seok-ju. It’s obvious how big Seok-ju’s role is at the firm because everything important seems to depend on his presence.
Yeong-woo decides to plan on cancellations, rescheduling, and proxies for the week because he knows something is up and thinks Seok-ju was involved in an accident.
At the hospital, Seok-ju, still unconscious, is put through a CT scan. The doctors decide that he won’t need surgery, but they’re going to wait it out and monitor him.
After the meeting, Yeong-woo calls Sang-tae to his office to ask about Seok-ju. After the funeral ceremony last night, the two went out for a drink and nothing seemed unusual. But when he thinks back, he remembers seeing a text from That Intern aka Intern Park Ji-yoon.
Yeong-woo asks if Ji-yoon is at work today, and he’s told that she’s not here. So Seok-ju isn’t here, Ji-yoon isn’t here, but they’re not dating. Hmmmm….
On her way to the firm Ji-yoon gets a call from Sang-tae, who asks if she’s coming alone. It’s an odd question for her because she no idea what’s going on, but she gets a weirder call on the elevator. It’s from the hospital, and the nurse asks her if she knows a middle-aged man. Ji-yoon brushes off the call as a wrong number and continues off to work.
But everyone at the firm gives her strange looks when she arrives, whispering behind her back. She thinks it’s because she’s late, so she explains that she had a group project for school and asked for permission to be late.
She only figures out what’s actually going on when she sits down at her desk and is called into Yeong-woo’s office. He asks her about contacting Seok-ju, and she says she only messaged him to apologize for her harsh words about him earlier.
Then Ji-yoon gets another call from the hospital, and the nurse says that her number is the only contact information they could find on their mystery patient. But again, Ji-yoon claims that they’ve got the wrong number and hangs up quickly.
After Ji-yoon is excused, Yeong-woo asks Sang-tae about what he thinks the relationship is. He doesn’t speculate anything serious is going on between the two and leaves it at that. But Yeong-woo is suspicious and asks one of his assistants to look into Ji-yoon in addition to the Taejin Group settlement deal.
News breaks about the Taejin Group acquisition, which is no longer in our client’s favor. Since losing the bid to their competitor, they’re going to look for the lawyer in charge of the deal who quoted their bidding price, which happens to be Seok-ju. So Yeong-woo decides that he’s going to need to step in.
At the meeting with the Taejin Group president, Yeong-woo tries to convince the board that he can take care of things from here on out. But the president feels betrayed by Seok-ju. He instructed them up to this point on manipulating the deal in their favor, and now that things are going downhill, he’s nowhere in sight.
Yeong-woo says there is a legitimate reason for Seok-ju’s absence, as he’s hospitalized at the moment, and asks for some flexibility. President Kim still doesn’t seem convinced, but Yeong-woo suggests a loophole for his company, which allows him to gain more of his client’s trust.
Yeong-woo leaves on a good note, but President Kim is still doubting the whole situation. Seok-ju is the type of person who came to the golf course under his request even with a dangerously high fever. Where is he now?
At the hospital, we see Seok-ju’s gradual awakening. He opens his eyes and scans his surroundings. He gets up to find his head and hands tightly wrapped up and calls for a nurse.
Sitting on his hospital bed, Seok-ju’s casual drama watching is interrupted by a representative from an insurance company looking for Kang Ho-young. Seok-ju has no idea who that is but assumes it’s him when the lawyer says something about an accident.
But the real Kang Ho-young comes back and says that Seok-ju lost his memory and doesn’t even know who he is. At that, all the other patients in the room turn to stare at him, but Seok-ju just gives them a relaxed smile and returns to his drama watching. Heh.
During the conversation, the wife asks the insurance representative if they are also given compensation for their GPS and baby car seat from the accident. The representative says that they can’t cover personal items not included with the car, but Seok-ju interrupts them with his lawyer knowledge. Since a car seat for younger children is required by law, the couple can get compensated by the insurance company for that as an item associated with the car.
The other patients in the room compliment Seok-ju’s smarts, but Seok-ju’s attention is on the TV screen, which is now showing news. He notes the odd trend with the Taejin Group transaction and predicts that something’s up. In the back, a police officer comes in to observe Seok-ju and takes Ji-yoon’s contact information for further investigation.
Ji-yoon is going for a run in her neighborhood and runs into Ji-won, the swoon-worthy guy from the wedding. He’s moving into the same area, and she looks quite happy at the fact that they’ll be close by.
Ji-won continues with his move-in process, and Ji-yoon gets a picture message on her phone. It’s a picture of her handwritten contact information and Seok-ju in hospital garments. She lets out an “Oh my god” and heads straight to the firm.
Without Seok-ju, the firm is busier than ever, and Sang-tae doesn’t seem to have time to listen to Ji-yoon when she comes in with information on Seok-ju. Yeong-woo notices her at the office and says that her information must be urgent, seeing that today is an off-day for her.
She starts to mention Seok-ju, but Yeong-woo catches on and leads her to his office. After confirming the picture, they both head over to the hospital.
At the hospital, an elderly man and his wife are being told by the staff that they cannot reimburse any additional hospital costs. The man worsened his leg injury by not staying in his hospital bed and the doctor insists that it’s entirely his fault. The wife worries about affording hospital costs, but Seok-ju intervenes again.
He says that they can be compensated, if the fault lies with the incompetent hospital staff. The nurse argues that the overnight nurses check on the patients three times a night, but Seok-ju knows that last night, they only checked twice.
They look through the shift records, and lo and behold, the nurses did miss a round last night. Seok-ju goes on his lawyer flow and says that this proves that the nurses did not execute their role to the best of their ability, making them responsible for the patient’s worsened injury. He may have lost his memory, but his lawyer instincts are as sharp as ever.
Rumor has spread about Seok-ju’s lawyer skills, and all the hospital patients come up to Seok-ju for advice on their hospital problems. The nurse gets worked up with an amnesiac patient’s lawyer cosplay and scatters the patient crowd around him. At this point, Yeong-woo and Ji-yoon have arrived at the hospital and watch the scene unfold from a distance.
Seok-ju casually walks into his hospital room with his drink and glances at Ji-yoon and Yeong-woo in the hallway. At the sight of Seok-ju, Yeong-woo smiles, relieved that he seems pretty normal. But the face quickly turns into one of worry when Seok-ju continues walking without giving them a flash of recognition.
Yeong-woo instructs Ji-yoon to keep quiet about the whole situation and goes to meet with the doctor about Seok-ju. The doctor says that surgery wasn’t an option possibly because of Seok-ju’s late discovery, but he seems to have a curious case of memory loss. While most patients lose skills from the brain damage, Seok-ju seems to have maintained his skills but lost his memory.
Seok-ju is back to taking notes on the news, and Yeong-woo and Ji-yoon approach him. Before they can speak, Seok-ju says he recognizes them from outside his hospital room; they were observing him. He says that because he’s lost his memory, he’s keener on being aware of his surroundings.
When Yeong-woo asks him about the Taejin Group case on TV, Seok-ju seems to have analyzed the whole case already, down to the core motives of the dealmakers. Yeong-woo seems impressed and explains that he worked for his firm and on that particular case. Seok-ju isn’t sure what side he would have been on, but he says he probably was on the winning side because he feels some inherent competitiveness in himself.
Seok-ju notices Ji-yoon staring at him and asks her if she has something to say. She asks if he knows his name, and he jokes that his name is Mu Myung-nam (John Doe, or literally “No Name Man”). He laughs at his own joke while the other two are unsure of how to react to this new Seok-ju.
When Seok-ju’s told his name, he writes it down in his notebook and jokes again that Myung-nam also sounds pretty good. Then, he does a double take and stares at Ji-yoon, commenting that it seems that she doesn’t like him. Haha, you got that right.
They go to the hospital roof and Ji-yoon keeps her distance on another bench as Yeong-woo sits down next to Seok-ju to discuss his life: he has a widowed father, an older brother who’s a professor in the states, and an older cousin who’s like his sister.
Then Seok-ju deduces that he must have been on the Taejin side of the acquisition case, seeing that Taejin is on the losing end and Yeong-woo seems desperate to get him back on the job.
He doesn’t know if he can play the game-changer in the acquisition case, but he starts to be thankful for his seemingly normal life and smart legal mind. As a lawyer, he assumes he must have done some good deeds.
At that, Ji-yoon chokes on her drink, amused at Seok-ju’s assumption that he was a humane lawyer. But Yeong-woo assures him that he did good work (well yeah, for your firm). He tells him that he will be given resources to continue with his job, and Seok-ju agrees to take responsibility for any cases and clients that need his personal attention.
Yeong-woo calls over Ji-yoon and tells her that Seok-ju’s memory loss is confidential information, and they will cover up his state as long as possible until his memory returns. It seems impossible, but for the sake of the firm, there is no other choice.
On their way back, Yeong-woo asks Ji-yoon again for help with Seok-ju, and she agrees to aid their interests. Meanwhile, Seok-ju does research on himself, looking through the company website and finding his impressive resume with some top notch law schools. He’s going to have to live up to that.
The next morning, Ji-yoon and a firm assistant arrive at the hospital to escort Seok-ju back home. In the hospital room, Ji-yoon asks for Seok-ju’s clothes, but they’re dirty and ripped up from the accident. Then, the assistant arrives with a new suit set ordered by Yeongwoo, and Seok-ju smiles, taking note of the difference between an intern and a CEO.
When they arrive at Seok-ju’s house, Ji-yoon tries to figure out his security passcode by looking through his profile. She tries his birthday and the last digits of his phone number while Seok-ju blankly stares at her. Then, he reminds himself that she’s just an intern, implying that she’s of little to no help to him at this point.
They eventually get the door open with the help of the security guard, and Seok-ju enters in a state of wonder, discovering his own home. He notices a dog bowl and wonders if he owned a dog. That, Ji-yoon doesn’t know, but we know that he seemed to care a lot for his dog.
Seok-ju rests on his couch, and Ji-yoon offers to call up his father, who lives close by. But he doesn’t pick up because he’s at the hospital getting a scan.
Unfortunately, Seok-ju’s home didn’t trigger any memories, and he’s summoned by Yeong-woo to come to the firm. Ji-yoon gets super jumpy at the firm, afraid that Seok-ju will somehow mess up.
As they approach the elevator, two of the associate lawyers see Seok-ju and ask him what happened. Ji-yoon quickly intervenes very loudly and clearly greets them, “Hello Lawyer Kim Jung-wook and Lawyer Kim Seok-young.”
She quickly ushers Seok-ju into the elevator, and of course, the two associates find it suspicious that Seok-ju and Ji-yoon walked in together. Elevator rides always seem to be so uncomfortable here.
When they exit the elevator, Seok-ju heads in the wrong direction but turns around with Ji-yoon’s help. But the moment they step in, they’re approached by the team leader, who asks about Seok-ju’s condition and mentions the craziness of the last few days.
Ji-yoon faces Seok-ju and mouths “Team Leader,” so Seok-ju gets through the conversation pretty smoothly.
Seok-ju goes into his office, where Yeong-woo has placed stacks of papers for him regarding Taejin Group. He needs to have a thorough understanding of the situation by the meeting tomorrow, and he’s going to need Ji-yoon’s help to analyze the specific problem points in the documents.
In his office, Yeong-woo gets a briefing on Ji-yoon. Her father’s business was acquired by a company represented by Seok-ju, and he’s currently a leader of a union on strike against that company. Ji-yoon’s grandfather was also wrongly accused of a crime, and the compensation money was used for her law school tuition.
Yeong-woo is a little worried about her father, but it’s too late to cut off Ji-yoon from the job; she already knows too much.
Ji-yoon is invited for some chicken and beer with her fellow interns after work, but she’s called to Yeong-woo’s office again and asked to help Seok-ju. She seems a bit hesitant on being heavily involved with Seok-ju’s case as a mere intern, but Yeong-woo offers her an official position at the firm.
She asks why he would hire someone like her, but Yeong-woo tells her that this kind of opportunity doesn’t come every day, and working with Seok-ju would be a great learning experience. All she needs to do is decide whether or not she’ll take the job.
Looks like she’s taking the job, as she walks into Seok-ju’s office to tell him that she’ll be helping him out. He replies by asking why she doesn’t like him. Did he perhaps dump her?
Ji-yoon scoffs and says that he’s not her type: his looks, and more importantly, his personality. Seok-ju responds with a smile, relieved because even though he doesn’t remember, he’s pretty sure Ji-yoon wouldn’t have been his type either. HA.
He says that he already knew all the material in the documents and won’t need to review. But the next morning, he’s studying the faces of the Taejin Group board and the partners of the firm. It makes sense because he’s got the material down, just not the people.
The meeting begins, and Seok-ju puts each name to a face in his head. The board members from Taejin Group review how Seok-ju advised them on their losing bid against Taeahn Group and demand evidence for how he arrived at the price. But Seok-ju doesn’t remember and looks to Yeong-woo, who also doesn’t have the answer.
The Taejin Group president says that he expected more from the top notch firm. He threatens to terminate the contract and ask for compensation for his company’s losses. He needs Seok-ju to explain himself and the reasoning behind his advice that left Taejin group with the lower hand. But Seok-ju simply stares at his client with no idea what to say.
I am loving this Seok-ju. He’s still an asshole, but he’s quite funny. And I can see him being a riot in our future episodes. He also seems so much more human because he expresses emotion, and I definitely prefer the human Seok-ju over the machine Seok-ju. It’s a more endearing side of him that I’m warming up to, and I think the previous episodes that showed a stoic hero served their purpose in making this an impactful transformation. The stark contrast is hilarious and quite meaningful, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else will change in his approach to lawyering and in his personal life.
The amnesic patient and badass lawyer combination made me chuckle, and I enjoyed it more than I expected. The amnesia trope usually has some element of funny, but I think the whole nonchalantly representing patients at the hospital while having no recollection of himself – that was impressive and hilarious. Also, his face. He’s a lot more smiley and relaxed, which is normal for any other human being but Seok-ju, and the reactions from Yeong-woo and Ji-yoon seemed pretty spot on. Like who is this man?
We’re still on a pretty slow but steady pace for this show, but I would say it’s still a quite enjoyable watch. I know it’ll get better between our leads because Ji-yoon’s role as the assistant and confidant is guaranteeing some solid interactions. There’s definitely more banter going on since Ji-yoon’s not talking to a wall; she’s actually getting some sass. The amnesia hijinks have only just begun, and I hope they will live up to their glorious potential.
- A New Leaf: Episode 2
- A New Leaf: Episode 1
- Kim Myung-min turns courtroom shark for A New Leaf
- Stills from the courtroom (and wedding hall) in A New Leaf
- Jin Yi-han joins the cast of MBC’s A New Leaf
- Kim Myung-min dresses to impress for A New Leaf
- Park Min-young to play Kim Myung-min’s leading lady
- Kim Sang-joong faces off with Kim Myung-min in A New Leaf
- Kim Myung-min considers A New Leaf