A New Leaf: Episode 7
The transformation process continues as Seok-ju deviates more and more from his previous ego. But change is for the better: We see Seok-ju applying his master lawyer skills for the people who need it the most. It’s a praiseworthy accomplishment, but one accomplishment leads to more headaches and mysteries of the self. There’s no break from figuring out yourself if you’ve lost your memory, I guess.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Walking back from visiting Hye-ryeong, Ji-yoon asks Seok-ju why he decided to take the case. He says that he felt that he needed to and that he wants to reveal the truth. Look at that, our new Seok-ju has a conscience.
Ji-yoon smiles at his reply and happily takes Seok-ju’s orders to look into all the evidence. They both seem pretty content with the decision.
At the firm, Seok-ju hands his Warrant of Attorney to his secretary and tells her to file it as a pro bono case. Seok-ju goes into his office, and Sang-tae takes a look at the warrant. He’s noticeably shocked by the listed client – Jung Hye-ryeong.
Sang-tae barges into Seok-ju’s office to refer him to a psychologist. He says that if Seok-ju feels guilty, he should cope by getting counseling, not by taking Hye-ryeong’s case. Then he asks Seok-ju, “Who are you? Are you really Kim Seok-ju?”
Seok-ju’s façade wavers at the question, but he’s interrupted by his secretary, who says Yeong-woo would like to see him.
Naturally, Yeong-woo has been notified of Seok-ju’s intervention in Hye-ryeong’s case. He tries to convince Seok-ju out of the pro bono case and gives him documents of other lawyers at the firm who specialize in criminal cases.
Yeong-woo even gives his own recommendation for a lawyer who made national news in proving his client innocent. But this lawyer will only take the case if the client is surely innocent. Still, Seok-ju concludes that it would be better for him to take the case. He doesn’t give Yeong-woo a reason, so Yeong-woo decides to take some time to contemplate what would be best.
Seok-ju and Ji-yoon head to the nightclub, where Park Dong-hyun’s pregnant ex worked as a hostess. Inside, the hostess who accompanied Seok-ju and Dong-hyun previously recognizes Seok-ju and invites them into a room.
When asked about Young-ah’s (the pregnant hostess) relationship with Dong-hyun, the hostess says that it should have been an honor, given that he was a chaebol. Ji-yoon questions her response, asking why anyone would be honored to be associated with such a belligerent man.
The hostess says that there are plenty of rich and hostile men who frequent the nightclub, but Dong-hyun was not just another rich guy, he was a chaebol. So if you’re getting treated equally bad, it’s better to associate with the richer guy. Ick. Seok-ju leaves his contact information and asks the hostess to contact him if she gets in touch with Young-ah.
At the prosecutor’s office, our double-crossing prosecutor finds out that Seok-ju is the new lawyer representing Hye-ryeong. He runs into Prosecutor Lee Sun-hee and tells her of this nonsense. Like everyone else, she’s surprised that of all people, Seok-ju’s the one to represent her.
Back at the firm, Seok-ju and Ji-yoon look over the evidence files. He tells her to look into the DNA reports again and check the identity of the delivery guy caught on camera.
On his way to court, Seok-ju is stopped by Sun-hee, who asks why and how he’s representing Hye-ryeong. Does his firm approve? Seok-ju simply states that he’ll do his best and heads on his way.
In court, the prosecutor approaches Hye-ryeong and makes snide remarks on her new lawyer. Hak-tae (who served the deceased Park Dong-hyun) sits down in the audience and looks wide-eyed when he notices Seok-ju.
Once the court is in session, the prosecutor first questions Seok-ju’s qualifications in representing Hye-ryeong. He previously represented Park Dong-hyun against her, and he is not allowed to represent both parties. The judge says that such a regulation is put in place to protect the defendant and asks Hye-ryeong if she feels that Seok-ju will be acceptable as her lawyer.
The prosecutor and Hak-tae look smug while Ji-yoon and Sun-hee look hopeful. And after a long pause, Hye-ryeong says, “I believe that Kim Seok-ju will do his best in defending me.”
Seok-ju stands up to plead innocence, and with that, court is in full session. He denies all the evidence with exception to a few, including Kim Hak-tae’s statement. He also denies the prosecutor’s account, saying that the prosecutor induced a confession from Hye-ryeong under the charge of manslaughter, which was later changed to murder.
During a break in the trial, Seok-ju and Ji-yoon sit down with Hye-ryeong to discuss what actually happened. Flashback to the day of the crime. Hye-ryeong returned to Dong-hyun’s house to collect the last few things she left there. On her way out, she sees Dong-hyun and tries to sneak out, but he grabs her. After a struggle, she escapes his grip and Dong-hyun falls to the ground with Hye-ryeong’s scarf in his hand. He’s still conscious after the fall, meaning someone else committed the crime.
On the way out of the building, reporters surround Seok-ju with questions about his stance. Does he really believe that Hye-ryeong is innocent? Seok-ju says that he believes her innocence, but when he’s asked about her innocence in the previous trial with Dong-hyun, Seok-ju has nothing to say.
Before getting in his car, Seok-ju is approached by Hak-tae, who finds his actions outrageous. How could he represent the woman who killed his former client? Seok-ju says Dong-hyun’s death cannot be reversed, but Hye-ryeong is alive. He’s going to find the real truth because the living deserve to fight for it.
Ji-yoon listens to this from inside the car and smiles. After a curt goodbye, Seok-ju gets in the car, where Ji-yoon tells him that she thinks he won the argument. He tells her that a lawyer has to win in court, not in a mere argument, and they drive away as Hak-tae curses at Seok-ju.
Chaebol client Park Ki-chul (Dong-hyun’s father) calls Yeong-woo to his office, naturally upset over Seok-ju’s actions. He yells at Yeong-woo for allowing this to happen, but Yeong-woo doesn’t have control over this situation. According to his firm’s contract, he cannot stop Seok-ju from taking this case, but he promises to take care of the situation as quietly as possible.
But Ki-chul isn’t satisfied with Yeong-woo and decides to end all the current company proceedings with Cha Yeong-woo Law Firm. He tells Hak-tae not to entrust new cases with the firm until the current situation gets resolved. The effect is immediate, as we see both Sang-tae and Team Leader Kang receive calls to cancel cases.
Meanwhile, Seok-ju goes back to the scene of the crime to investigate the evidence. He talks to the man with the voice recording on his phone and tells Ji-yoon to shout from inside Dong-hyun’s house on the other side. He can barely hear Ji-yoon’s shouting and asks the man to send him the recording.
Outside the apartment complex, Ji-yoon checks the surveillance cameras and the exact times. One of the cameras is broken, and the security team has yet to fix it. As they finish up the investigation, Seok-ju gets a text from the nightclub hostess with Young-ah’s new contact information.
When Seok-ju arrives at the firm, Team Leader Kang accuses him of causing this big blow to the firm. It’s not only Seok-ju’s cases; everyone else’s cases are being cancelled. Yeong-woo comes from behind just as Sang-tae receives another cancellation call and asks Seok-ju if he must continue with Hye-ryeong’s case. Seok-ju apologizes and says that everything should be fine once he leaves.
Yeong-woo sits down with an employee to discuss how they’re going to deal with this mess. He orders a consistent, organized message to be sent out for all the inquiries and also mentions the processing of Seok-ju’s resignation, which can be timed to their favor.
And as an extra security measure, he orders the employee to collect any sensitive files and information on Sung-hwa Group, Ki-chul’s company. They never know if and when that’ll come in handy.
Sang-tae comes into Seok-ju’s office and tries to convince him out of the case. Seok-ju tells him that if you can’t live doing what you think is right, there’s no purpose to what we do in life. Sang-tae responds with frustration but seems intrigued when Seok-ju mentions that the assistant Hak-tae purposefully ignored a key suspect in the case. Why?
He probably has something to hide and knows that it isn’t worth going to great lengths to uncover the real suspect. With a company as large and rich as Sung-hwa Group, they could have easily handled the suspect with bribery. Same goes for the lawyers: they don’t have access to Seok-ju’s insider evidence from Hak-tae, proving innocence looks doubtful, so they could have easily been bribed to work as puppets.
Even though he wants to kill him, Sang-tae concludes that he should support his friend, and given how far they’ve gotten, they should win. But before he leaves, Seok-ju tells Sang-tae to stand still as he tries to reenact a situation. They end up in an awkward back hug, and Sang-tae asks Seok-ju if he’s lonely these days. Seok-ju immediately lets go of Sang-tae as Ji-yoon holds back a laugh.
At Seok-ju’s house, Ji-yoon finishes up the timeline from the surveillance cameras, and they listen to the voice recording. The time where they hear Hye-ryeong’s voice in the recording matches the time on the surveillance footage. But Seok-ju knows that this doesn’t prove Hye-ryeong is the murderer.
Back to the timeline, Ji-yoon explains that according to the surveillance camera time, Hye-ryeong got from point A to point B in two minutes. But Ji-yoon ran the course, and it takes at least four minutes to go that distance. Something is wrong with the surveillance time.
Seok-ju gets a call from Young-ah, the former hostess at the nightclub, and they meet. At the café, Seok-ju asks about her abortion, and she says that she received a large compensation. She wasn’t sure if the baby was Park Dong-hyun’s or her boyfriend’s, but she went through with the abortion because she was thinking about it anyway.
Young-ah says that although she did receive a large amount, it ultimately didn’t end up in her favor. Her body needed to recover, and she couldn’t return to work. She also comments on how chaebols don’t like spending their money, but these chaebols were naïve enough to give her that much money without even knowing if she was pregnant with Park Dong-hyun’s child.
Seok-ju asks Young-ah if she’s talked to her boyfriend recently, and she worriedly says that he’s been out of contact for about a week. The information seems compelling enough, since Seok-ju asks Young-ah to say everything in court and testify against her boyfriend.
Upset that he would request such a thing, she angrily refuses and gets up to leave, but Seok-ju pulls out a recording of the whole conversation. He says the recording is legal and that she’ll be legally mandated to appear in court.
Ji-yoon looks frustrated with Seok-ju’s actions and rebukes him for completely disregarding Young-ah’s trust and emotions. Seok-ju reminds himself that she’s an intern and says that everything he did was legal.
But Ji-yoon stubbornly argues that legalities aren’t the problem; human emotions are the issue at hand. Disappointed, she reminds herself that he always used to be this way.
In court, we see that Ji-won is now part of the judiciary panel, and as always, Ji-yoon smiles at his presence. The prosecutor cross-examines Hye-ryeong under the impression that she did kill Park Dong-hyun, but she denies all his claims. When Seok-ju takes the floor to examine her he explains that Hye-ryeong was grabbed by force.
Through a nifty demonstration with ink, Seok-ju and Ji-yoon show that the scratches on Hye-ryeong’s right arm would come naturally from someone grabbing her from behind. The DNA found on Hye-ryeong’s right arm matched the DNA found in Dong-hyun’s right hand and only his right hand.
Seok-ju goes on to cross-examine Hak-tae about the delivery guy, former hostess Seo Young-ah’s boyfriend Yoon Tae-young. Hak-tae admits to paying Young-ah and accompanying her to the abortion clinic. He says that the money was compensation for the work she would miss while she recovered. He also admits that the delivery guy Tae-young came to him asking for more money.
Seok-ju delves deeper into Hak-tae’s motives, first confirming that he was in charge of maintaining Dong-hyun’s private life. If anything went wrong and Dong-hyun’s child was born, what would happen to his position in the company? Hak-tae hesitates but responds that he would have been dismissed, since he did not fulfill his duty. There’s his motive: his position.
Hak-tae insists that he didn’t recognize Yoon Tae-young from the surveillance footage, but it’s no use. Tae-young is already their new prime suspect. There’s already evidence that he started working in delivery a month ago but only started to deliver to Dong-hyun’s area four days prior to the incident. And now, he’s missing.
The judges demand the prosecution to find their witness, Yoon Tae-young, and summon him to court. Seok-ju wraps up the day with an approval for his witness Young-ah, though we don’t know if she’ll actually show up.
On their walk out of the courthouse, Ji-yoon compliments Ji-won’s sharpness in court and asks Seok-ju about Young-ah. What if she disappears? But Seok-ju’s a pro, and he’s already got people tracking her.
Good thing, because she’s meeting with Hak-tae, and it’s caught on camera. Seok-ju is notified, and he calls Hak-tae, warning him that the prosecutor’s witness meeting with the defendant’s witness can cause misunderstandings. Hak-tae scans his surroundings and assures Seok-ju that he was simply addressing Young-ah’s concerns about her boyfriend.
Seok-ju and Ji-yoon are back at Dong-hyun’s house to investigate further. Ji-yoon accidentally turns on the TV while sitting in an armchair, and it sparks something in Seok-ju’s head. He tells Ji-yoon to go the next room and turns on the TV with the highest volume.
Ji-yoon can hear the TV from the other room, so Seok-ju tells her to look into all the TV programs at the time of the crime. Aha, so the yelling in the recording could have been from the TV.
Seok-ju waits in front of Young-ah’s house to meet with her and asks about her boyfriend, Tae-young. She has yet to hear from him, and Seok-ju catches onto her desperation and concern for her boyfriend’s safety. He advises her to tell the truth before regretting it later in life, and she accusingly asks what he knows.
But Seok-ju knows what it feels like to create a bigger hell to avoid another one. He tells her that testifying is the way to ensuring her safety and leaves her to her thoughts.
Seok-ju visits his father in the hospital again with another fruit basket and lets him sleep as he looks over court documents. When he wakes up, he asks Seok-ju if he isn’t busy and coldly tells him to leave. Seok-ju is still hesitant in approaching his father, but he tells him that he’ll be back tomorrow. Baby steps.
Back in court, Seok-ju shows a clip of Hye-ryeong’s drama that was rebroadcast on TV at the time of the crime. The voice recording that the neighbor caught was Hye-ryeong’s voice from the drama. But that’s not it.
The surveillance cameras were broken and did not record the correct time at which Hye-ryeong left the scene. The surveillance camera time was about eight minutes off real time, and with the camera time reset, we see that it was Yoon Tae-young, not Hye-ryeong, who was at the scene when the drama voice was recorded.
The prosecutor’s witness, Yoon Tae-young, is not in attendance and neither is the defense’s…. But she’s here! Young-ah arrives just in time to testify for the defense. Yeong-woo has entered the courtroom and leaves after watching this scene unfold.
Seok-ju examines Young-ah as the prosecutor and Hak-tae throw him some dirty glances. Young-ah confirms that Hak-tae approached her to go through with an abortion and that her boyfriend, Tae-young, demanded compensation. He never received the promised amount, so he ended up losing all the money he put down on a real estate investment.
Tae-young ended up meeting with Hak-tae again a second time but didn’t give Young-ah any details. But he did tell her that he found where Dong-hyun lives and planned to take matters into his own hands.
With that, the judges decide that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove Hye-ryeong guilty. And with a new suspect, they must submit more evidence if they plan to continue with this prosecution. Court is dismissed, and the defense has won.
Hye-ryeong looks at Seok-ju with gratitude and sheds tears of relief. As Seok-ju exits the building, the reporters ask if he knew Hye-ryeong was innocent from the start. He answers yes and briskly walks on his way.
He meets Sun-hee outside, and she congratulates him on his win. She’s curious to why Seok-ju did such a thing but doesn’t question any further since he did the right thing and won. She shakes his hand and congratulates him on becoming human. Seems like a joke, but it’s true.
Next to congratulate him is Ji-yoon. She looks overjoyed and says that she’ll buy chicken later. Then, she runs off to meet with Sun-hee. Seok-ju looks pretty satisfied himself, having won with the real truth behind this whole case.
The elevator at the firm opens, and a mysterious woman enters. We can only see the back of her head, but by now we know that the elevator can only mean trouble.
She enters the firm but doesn’t seem too familiar with it. The lawyers and other employees don’t seem to recognize her either. Yeong-woo and Seok-ju come out of the office and notice her. Yeong-woo seems to recognize her, but Seok-ju just walks past, sharing weird looks with her.
Yeong-woo comes from behind and whispers to him that she’s YOO JUNG-SEON (Chae Jung-ahn), one of their client’s granddaughters but more importantly, his fiancée. Wait, what?! Cold-hearted lawyer machine had a fiancée?
She congratulates him on his win, and he thanks her, still visibly unsettled by the situation. He excuses himself to use the bathroom, so Yeong-woo escorts her into the office. Seok-ju turns around one more time to look at his fiancée but can’t seem to shake off the shock.
Hahahaha, I was not prepared for that. But even if I was, I think it still would have been funny, seeing how far Seok-ju has come, only to know that he’s still got a long ways to go in figuring out himself. Winning that case was quite a feat, but Seok-ju has just got obstacle after obstacle. Based on my first impression of them, the couple seems to be engaged on business terms, not because of some chemistry or romance. She spoke to him in a more formal manner, so I’m guessing she doesn’t know too much about Seok-ju in a personal way. It will be interesting to see if that changes, as this new Seok-ju is not like the old Seok-ju she knew.
This new Seok-ju actually stands up for the oppressed, and that was shown so well throughout this episode with Hye-ryeong’s case. I’m glad he won the case for Hye-ryeong but also because that filthy prosecutor makes my blood boil. Everyone knows Seok-ju has the competence and skill to win in almost any case he takes, so it’s quite powerful when he chooses to represent Hye-ryeong pro bono. It’s like he’s trying to make amends and ask forgiveness for his past self, even though he has no recollection of his evils. And he’s doing so in the best way possible: using his skills for good. His apologetic attitude towards everything – the case, his father – is heartbreaking yet so admirable because he’s acting from his gut feeling, also known as your conscience or morality. Seok-ju’s whole identity is turning into some sort of paradox, and it’s so interesting to watch.
Ji-yoon had a pretty big role in this episode, and I think she does have quite an influence on Seok-ju. Her hard work and attention to detail are clear in the episode, and it shows that she is capable and competent. She’s the one who always goes with her gut – not that it’s always the right way to go – and I think it’s helped this new Seok-ju to discover a more human side of himself. Ji-yoon is smart and very in sync with her emotions, but sometimes, I think her emotions take over.
When she argues with Seok-ju that he betrayed Young-ah’s trust and played with her emotions, she did have a point, but she’s also a law firm intern. Are you sure you want to be a lawyer? Because you’ve got to lay down the law, girl, and sometimes that requires thinking of legalities above all else. Maybe she’s just naïve, but I don’t know if compassion is the best way to defend someone in court. You’ve got to lay down the facts and deal with the legalities. But again, as Seok-ju always says, “Right, she’s an intern,” and I’m sure she’ll learn a few things from her realistic and cunning boss.