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A New Leaf: Episode 16 (Final)

We’ve reached the end of Seok-ju’s journey, even if that end came earlier than we might have hoped. Seok-ju continues to fight the good fight even after losing the big case, maturing along the way and strengthening his ties to friends and family. Seok-ju’s memory may yet return, but whether that happens or not, he’s reforged himself into the person he wants to be. It’s a satisfying and assured ending, although many promising plotlines that were so gripping halfway through the show had to be sacrificed to satisfy the time constraints. A New Leaf could have been amazing, if there had been time enough to bring the same amount of depth to the other characters as was given to Seok-ju. But it’s useless to grieve over what can never be, so I’ll try my best to remember what was good about Leaf, rather than what I hoped it would be. And looking back, there are more than enough bright memories. A New Leaf, you’ll be missed!

 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

Seok-ju does his best to help Baekdu Soju, but Chairman Jin is not making it easy. The pictures were only the beginning, as Seok-ju finds out that he’s also initiated a lawsuit against Goldrich and the Cha Yeong Woo firm. This is very bad news for our side, because Chairman Jin has no hard evidence of wrongdoing.

We cut back and forth between Seok-ju’s team and CEO Cha’s, getting a sense of the furious legal struggle through snippets of alternating strategy sessions. The Cha Yeong Woo firm is going to go on the offensive, filing an injunction in Japanese court and planning to approach Chairman Jin’s stepbrother, who might be persuaded to testify against the chairman in court regarding personal use of embezzled funds.

Chairman Jin is exposed because of his efforts to gain the respect he wanted for his Top 10 company. Seok-ju scrambles to mitigate the damages, recommending that he sell Baekdu Japan. Then word comes in about the firm’s actions against them in the Japanese courts.

Chairman Jin and Seok-ju meet with a Japanese chairman to discuss the sale of Baekdu Japan. The chairman received an e-mail from Goldrich letting him know about Baekdu Hong Kong’s shares in Baekdu Japan, and the pending seizure application. Seok-ju counters that they own the stocks, so the sale can still go through. The chairman says that he will return to Japan to consider the sale.

As they leave their meeting, Seok-ju tells Chairman Jin that he may have to part with Baekdu Japan for less than he wants. Speed is the most important thing for this sale, which means he has to prepare himself for possibly even selling at half price.

CEO Cha arrives with his legal team just as Seok-ju and Baekdu’s chairman are leaving, and the former partners square off in the courtyard. Chairman Jin seems to be enjoying the tension, and thanks CEO Cha for doing such good work for the public by letting Seok-ju go. They leave, and CEO Cha’s vice president points out that Seok-ju once represented Goldrich. CEO Cha orders him to dig through Seok-ju’s computer history, hoping to find some evidence that can trap Seok-ju in legal snags.

Ji-yoon comes across former Baekdu Soju employees protesting Goldrich’s actions. They were all fired after the company underwent management restructuring, thanks to the deal that was brokered on the golf course and caught on film by Chairman Jin’s people. The ex-employee Ji-yoon talks to says that Chairman Jin isn’t perfect, but he wouldn’t have fired his employees so ruthlessly when the company itself was healthy.

At his office, Seok-ju complains to Sang-tae about Chairman Jin’s irresponsibility. His unprofessional actions are making everything more difficult for Seok-ju. Sang-tae tells him that starting a new life isn’t easy: The old Seok-ju wouldn’t even have listened to the small companies that bought the exchange rate options, let alone Chairman Jin.

Ji-yoon joins them, and Sang-tae asks if Prosecutor Lee has been around lately. She hasn’t, and Ji-yoon says she must be busy. She then thanks Seok-ju for taking this case, as what has happened to the workers is grossly unfair. It reminds her of her father’s situation, where his company was also at risk of restructuring that could lead to mass layoffs.

It’s time for the court session to determine whether the seizure application for Baekdu Soju will be granted. The opposition defends the management restructuring, while Seok-ju says that the company only had a temporary cash flow problem that will be resolved after the sale of Baekdu Japan. But Seok-ju’s adversary is prepared for this with a last-minute document from the buyer stating that they have ceased all negotiations with Baekdu until the seizure issue is settled. There will be no sale for Chairman Jin unless he can win in court.

The next stumbling block is whether or not Chairman Jin should be allowed to retain management rights. He’s under investigation for embezzlement, which would invalidate his claim that he can revive the company if only given the chance. Seok-ju counters this with his own accusation, that Goldrich abused the trust placed in them as consultants. There is no formal contract showing their involvement, however.

Last but certainly not least for that session, the leader of the protesting former employees takes the stand. He delivers an impassioned argument that Goldrich was only after profits and laid off over a thousand employees through text message. He says that these workers can keep their jobs if only the sale of Baekdu Soju is completed, and asks the judge to make a wise decision.

After the trial, the defense team leaves the courtroom. Seok-ju is worried about Chairman Jin being arrested, and asks if he knows who could have tipped off the other side that the chairman supposedly used funds for personal reasons.

CEO Cha has followed up on Seok-ju’s past involvement with Goldrich. He did not represent them in anything immediately relevant to the Baekdu case, but the CEO isn’t willing to give up this lead yet. He asks who has Seok-ju’s company hard drive, and is informed that Ji-yoon took it.

In his office with Ji-yoon, Seok-ju puzzles over Goldrich’s stock purchases in Baekdu Hong Kong. That particular subsidiary wasn’t doing well, so it makes no sense for a prosperous bank like Goldrich to buy them. They bought similar stocks in Korea as well, and Seok-ju says that this pattern seems familiar.

Seok-ju finally prepares to look through the contents of his hard drive. However, just as he is about to turn on the computer, he gets a call from his father. One of the small business owners has committed suicide.

Seok-ju leaves to meet his father. The men who brought the news apologize, hoping that their bad news won’t aggravate Seok-ju’s father’s condition. Father and son grieve together, and Seok-ju admits he didn’t think an issue that was primarily about money would end like this. “What is only hope for some people,” Dad replies gravely, “can be a matter of life and death for others.”

Back in his apartment, Seok-ju opens up his computer after contemplating it in silence. He finds a list of files relating to Goldrich stock purchases, and begins looking through them. Whatever he finds is clearly of great interest to him.

Seok-ju calls an employee of Goldrich Hong Kong to ask about the shares they bought. The man remembers him, saying that the person who accompanied him when they met before recommended the purchases. Seok-ju’s curiosity alerts him, however, and after hanging up he calls someone to report the phone call. He says he answered general questions, but did not give Seok-ju any specifics.

CEO Cha soon hears of the phone call, which was surprisingly obvious for someone like Seok-ju. His second-in-command thinks that Seok-ju must not have anything more concrete than an intuition, or else he wouldn’t have called. CEO Cha says that Seok-ju has caught on, though, and that they need to push for Chairman Jin’s arrest as quickly as possible.

Seok-ju receives a follow-up call from his contact at Goldrich Hong Kong. The man explains that the shares in Baekdu Hong Kong were part of a long-term investment strategy aimed at expanding into the Chinese markets. Seok-ju scoffs after hanging up the phone, saying sarcastically that it was “very nice” of the man to give him that information. Chairman Jin also weighs in, saying that the market for soju in China isn’t worth the cost.

Ji-yoon comes in and shows Seok-ju a video on her phone: the arrest warrant has been issued for Chairman Jin. Not knowing the bad news, the chairman laughs that the two of them look like a couple. Ji-yoon shares the truth with him, and it’s shortly corroborated by a call from a prosecutor. Chairman Jin expresses faith in Seok-ju, but Seok-ju doesn’t look all that confident.

At the trial to decide Chairman Jin’s guilt, CEO Cha’s master plan works as intended. Chairman Jin’s half-brother arrives, startling the chairman out of his seat, and testifies about Chairman Jin’s unethical use of company funds.

Chairman Jin talks with Seok-ju after the trial, and Seok-ju tells him flatly that he should be prepared to go to jail. The good news is that there is a chance he can get out after six months with an appeal. Seok-ju has plans in place, and he tells Chairman Jin that he can’t falter now. They have to keep fighting, and remember that the plan to sell Baekdu Soju isn’t destroyed, only delayed.

CEO Cha’s vice president reports to him about the successful implementation of their plan. Chairman Jin will be arrested, the sale has been delayed, and Goldrich will likely assume management of Baekdu Soju for good. CEO Cha says darkly that there’s one thing left to do, and they have to pull the plant up by the roots.

Seok-ju counsels Chairman Jin on what he should do to keep Baekdu Soju out of Goldrich’s control. He needs to choose a team he can trust to continue managing the company while he’s in jail. He’s wary of letting control leave his hands, but Seok-ju convinces him it’s the only way. Chairman Jin promises Seok-ju 20% of Baekdu’s shares if he can keep the temporary management team from taking control permanently. Seok-ju agrees to the amount, but stipulates that Chairman Jin must give the shares to the labor union, not him.

With his course of action set, Chairman Jin is taken into custody. Before leaving for good, he tells Seok-ju that he trusts him.

Ji-yoon sets up a meeting between the labor union representatives and the men taking over for Chairman Jin while he’s in jail. They have a proposition that could possibly save the company, if the labor union agrees. The company needs the workers to agree to a 30% pay cut for a while, long enough to pay back their loans and keep the company from undergoing legal management. The eventual sale of Baekdu Japan would then generate enough revenue to pay them back. The labor union is also offered three positions in upper management.

The labor union rep doesn’t seem all that enthused, and Ji-yoon calls her father to find out if he knows anything. He says he can help her, and the representatives also seem a bit more open once they learn of her connection to labor workers facing the same challenges they are. They don’t make any promises except to consider the offer carefully.

When Ji-yoon meets with Seok-ju, she shares the challenges faced by the labor unions. Their opponents use dirty tactics like texting the families of the laid-off workers, saying that striking will only make things worse. The workers then have to face opposition from their own families, in addition to the concentrated power of the big companies.

CEO Cha watches the protestors in front of his building from on high, while receiving a report from his vice president. They’ve sent the text messages to the families as deterrents, but that may not break the spirit of the protesters. The next step is to arrest some of them, and see if the rest fall in line.

Seok-ju visits Chairman Jin in jail, asking whether he would rather give up his claim to his company and go free, or endure for a while for the sake of the company. Chairman Jin is not quite broken, as he says that he can stick it out for a few months. He begs Seok-ju to save his company.

At his apartment, Seok-ju continues to search for hidden files on his hard drive. Finally, he finds a voice recording of various calls made from CEO Cha’s office, including one where he and Seok-ju agree to have Goldrich purchase shares in Baekdu Hong Kong. Evil Pre-Amnesia Seok-ju strikes again!

Seok-ju immediately calls Sang-tae, and asks him to get this recording secretly to CEO Cha. Sang-tae cautions him, saying that this kind of information will immediately put a target on his back. The Goldrich employee who initially dug into Baekdu’s finances was found dead in Hong Kong, so the threat Seok-ju faces is very real. Sang-tae doesn’t think that Seok-ju should put himself in the crosshairs, but Seok-ju is resolved.

In spite of the late hour, Seok-ju calls Jung-seon and tells her he missed her. She comes to his office after he asks if she’s eaten, and she can tell that something is bothering him. He doesn’t share his recent discovery, but instead asks if he only called her out in the past if there was a problem. She says that was indeed the case, and that he probably agreed to marry her only because she was never demanding of his time and never gave him any problems. He promises to try harder as a fiancé, if he has the chance.

Sang-tae fulfills his end of the bargain by delivering the recording. The vice president takes it immediately to CEO Cha, who surmises that Seok-ju got Sang-tae involved as a safety measure. Now if anything happens to Seok-ju, suspicion will be leveled at the firm. “Does that mean we now have to protect Kim Seok-ju?” the vice president asks bluntly. CEO Cha does not respond.

When Seok-ju returns home with dramatic music in the background, he finds that his apartment has been ransacked. He says mysteriously that they were desperate enough to search two places.

CEO Cha discusses the turn of events with the vice president, deciding to change his approach to negotiation. He aims to drive a wedge between Chairman Jin and Seok-ju, relying on the fact that Seok-ju has a deep-seated hatred for weak, hypocritical people. It all goes back to when his mother was injured by a mentally challenged laborer, and his father was out fishing when it happened. This event ruined Seok-ju’s relationship with his father, and it set the framework for his eventual lack of sympathy for those wronged by the rich and powerful.

CEO Cha’s plan is to negotiate with Chairman Jin secretly, offering to get him out of jail in exchange for betraying Seok-ju. Unaware of the CEO’s machinations, Seok-ju continues to defend the chairman. After yet another appeal, he leaves the courthouse with Ji-yoon and asks about the recording. It comes out that he gave the original to her, and even though her apartment was ransacked it’s all right, because she gave the recording to her aunt for safekeeping.

Seok-ju meets with Chairman Jin, who tells him to stop coming to visit. It seems like he’s going to do what CEO Cha wants him to do… until Seok-ju reveals a list of the secret accounts that he got from the labor union. The representatives warned him that they didn’t trust Chairman Jin, and got together with the office workers to amass a list of financial transactions.

They put their trust in Seok-ju, so he is prepared, although disappointed, by Chairman Jin’s predictable selfishness. CEO Cha’s voice plays in voiceover as Seok-ju regards the incarcerated chairman: “He’ll see how little his sacrifice was worth. It will be a good lesson for him.”

At Seok-ju’s office, he, Ji-yoon, and Sang-tae celebrate the labor union throwing in with the new management team to save Baekdu Soju. Ji-yoon and Sang-tae are also disappointed by Chairman Jin, but Seok-ju seems to have weathered it well. Sang-tae says that he’s truly matured.

Seok-ju talks with his father, now that he knows the reason why his father no longer enjoys fishing. Dad is worried that he has set his son on a difficult road, but Seok-ju protests that this is how he needed to grow and learn.

He wants to live up to his name now, and tells his father to come with him, fishing poles at the ready. “You don’t really hate fishing, do you?” he asks, as their car heads down the road.

CEO Cha looks out from his office at the union workers protesting in the street down below, and his second-in-command comments that he looks sad. He says that it was actually Pre-Amnesia Kim Seok-ju who originated these terms with the labor unions, back when he was on the mergers and acquisitions team and companies needed a solution to the constant battle with unions. The CEO of Evil looks out from his Tower of Corruption and sighs: “That’s why life is interesting…”

COMMENTS

I don’t think it’s any secret by now that I was hoping for more from A New Leaf. Part of that was beyond the show’s control, with the pruning of two episodes that could have gone a long way towards diluting the concentration of fast-and-furious court battles while giving us some more satisfying closure. But even though the writer did a great job under pressure, I think that the show ended with a fizzle. The final court case did not have the same power as the ones from the middle episodes, nor did it tie in as crucially to Seok-ju’s inner struggle or growth.

The murder trial, for example, was all kinds of satisfying. Seok-ju was trying to save someone he was responsible for victimizing in the first place, and fighting the trial made him battle his inner demons as well as the opposition. The same holds for the fishermen he wronged; in particular, I remember that one oil-soaked fish that seemed to condemn Seok-ju while flapping helplessly on the pavement. Those court cases, and Ji-yoon’s defense of the boy who may have actually been a murderer, perfectly blended the legal action with individual growth. As we went on, we seemed to lose that connection, because Seok-ju had already discovered pretty much everything he needed to know about himself before he lost his memory: He was a bad guy.

What should come next is the new Seok-ju forging new relationships with the people around him. To some extent I thought I saw that happening, as Seok-ju gathered his underdog legal team and began to clash with Ji-won. But in this final episode, we lose every bit of interpersonal traction we managed to gain. Jung-seon appears long enough to say two lines, Ji-won and Prosecutor Lee are basically sidelined, and a ridiculous amount of screen time is devoted to Chairman Jin, a character you couldn’t pay me to care about this late in the game. What’s worse is that by this time, Seok-ju has already learned the lessons that the trial is supposed to teach him!

I know that I’m probably being too harsh and, to give the show its due, when it was good it was damn good. Seok-ju’s gradual process of recovery and discovery was extremely compelling, and his reconciliation with his father makes up for a lot in my book. Still, I can’t help feeling that a lot of potential went untapped, sacrificed for legal skirmishes that were sometimes fascinating, but also sometimes smacked of heavy exposition and lacked human warmth.

Even the twists in this episode, including the explanation about Seok-ju’s mother and the reveal at the very end from CEO Cha, seemed rushed. Trying to cast doubt on Pre-Amnesia Seok-ju’s true nature doesn’t really justify all of the horrible things that can be laid at his doorstep. It took the new Seok-ju to actually begin fighting for his principles for anything substantial to happen, so the final moment fell very flat to me.

In my opinion, and it’s only my opinion, a strong ensemble cast beats a one-man show any day. I thought we had a strong ensemble cast from about Episode 2 through Episode 10, with strong and complex female characters in Ji-yoon, Jung-seon, and Prosecutor Lee. But they were gradually written out or made less interesting, and what did we get instead? Chairman Jin and his soju shares.

My ranting is only due to disappointed hopes, and not meant to be a condemnation of the writer or the team. On the contrary, I look forward to their next drama very much — I only hope they have the time to do it justice.

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This was such, a terrible disappointment for me. Being a huge fan of Kim Myung Min, I had such high expectations for this drama, and it was actually met on the first few episodes.

Agreed on episode 2 to 10, It was so interesting to watch the murder cases and the conflicts going on, what with Seok Ju losing his memory and trying to tie everything back together with his new life. Then, it fell so flat. I almost died with the law jargon, my only saving grace was that i understood the finance bit, having study it and all. I can see why it lost a huge part of the audience.

And my highest point of frustration is, where the heck is the romance around here? Granted, maybe the show isn't supposed to focus on it but mannn, I would have like to see at least SOME spark between ANYONE. I'd root for Ji Won and Ji Yoon anytime. I'd even give second leads a chance.

Ah man, A New Leaf. I wished I could have loved you 'til the very end. Such disappointment..

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For real. The last 6 episodes were nothing but one exposition scene after another. American law shows are boring, and Korean law shows even more so when the whole premise is that all the judges can be bribed. the final 4 eps I tried watching but after 15 mins quit in favor of the recap because I JUST DIDN'T CARE. Park Min Young was totally misused as well. Why give her character so much set up when ultimately she is just a broody secretary. The same for Prosecutor Lee.

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YESSS. The drop -off in quality seemed so jarring, but I pretty much became more engrossed with pre-folded laundry than with anything to do with court cases (which became 89% of the show)

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Thanks for the recap~!! Appreciate your dedication to the task.

I watched this a couple of days ago, and was sooooo disappointed at the end... cut so short.. not anyone's fault really, just time slipped away and they were unable to wrap the project up properly.

wonder if there will be a sequel....

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This is one case where I put no blame on the writers. I think that given the situation they did the best that they could. I mainly blame the network for poor planning, and it ended up making a great show with a totally over-rushed ending.

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Ah, look. My very thoughts are perfectly captured with this comment.

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That's it. Rushed ending. The writer did what s/he can with the material and time. But I still think it's good drama.

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I think the same way, too. The writer have known about the ramp down from around the same number of episodes, more or less, Episode 10. So, then onwards, we see that there is less they can have more time focused on.

The second lead was too good in this and I rather enjoyed their interactions. One of a Kind, I guess. And, I think all others also might have pointed out much more of these.

But after all the expectations, I still thought, "Wow! That was rather a good, open-ending to the show which otherwise couldn't have possibly finished all it's plots. Second lead, Prosecutor Lee - and, with Sang-Tae, the opening case of soldiers and their connection to Ji-yoon/Soek-ju, Ji-won,et al."

You have to give credit for Ji-won's open ending though.
They gave the reason for his reason with one conversation with ji-yoon; They could not give him any more screen time, so they atleast gave an explanation to why he chose Lawyer to Judge.

So, KUDOS to the writer and the Director and all others. I really liked the show..

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I sat for a few minutes after the ending to take it all in. In all honesty, I think they didn't do the show justice by cutting it short. The storyline was good, the cast was good, and for those of us who like shows which challenge us mentally, the show absolutely did that. However, there was so much of that "untapped potential", and I really hated to see it go to waste. Simply put: why wasn't there more?

I think I will rewatch the show to gain a better understanding of the cases and to once again admire the solid acting. Then likely I will once again shake my fist at the screen and bemoan the fact that it's over!

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Remind me again why our lead actor couldn't properly finish the drama. I really feel bad for everyone else in the production who suffered on behalf of his career demands. They must be pretty upset right now.

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I am upset too. But I wonder if it is all lead actor's fault to cut the episodes short. Someone mentioned it is possible that the show might have had some pressure from outside because show reminded people some real incidents. Really this show should have been longer, or the writer shouldn't spend that much time in explaining the details of incidents and should spend more time on characters.

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The production, or rather channel, should have thought about that when it kept postponing the episodes. His schedule was fixed already and the station should have taken it into consideration.

Or do they expect an actor to be unprofessional and go back on the contracts he has already made, delaying an expensive movie production and possibly damaging his career, just to cater to their own suddenly changing plans?

Blame the channel for changing its schedule without notice, not the actor for keeping to his predetermined own.

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In my opinion, the real villain here is the live shoot system. I would genuinely like somebody to explain to me why this system is so popular.
I hope there is some good reason for all shows to go that route.
I just really want to know them reasons.

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As far as we can tell, it's the instant feedback. If netizens whine that "oppa's" hair is bad or they want less of something, more of something or something changed, then the production can make the creators (if unwilling) apply those changes, to chase ratings.

It's to minimize risk of failure (they clearly can't see it's not working), but throwing artistic quality, coherence, the creators' efforts and theirs, their cast's and crew's health and sanity out the window in the process.

Those who created and those who keep sticking to this system are to blame and in this specific case, the channel, for expecting everyone to ask "How high" when they say "Jump".

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alrighty where to begin.
Anyone else feel that even with the episode cut, The Writer had the final scripts written and had no intention of a major rewrite even for the FINAL EPISODE?
Episode 16 was just a bad episode period. Finale or no finale. As mentioned why have the annoying chairmen be the second lead, especially when you have one of the deepest benches (character-wise) In all of dramaland.

Some of the problems that plagued this show often remind me issues you'll find with American episodic television. Where characters lose out to a meaty plot that goes nowhere, and leaves our cast out in the cold.

I wasn't fully paying attention but did we get closure for wither Pro. Lee or Ji-Won? Thats a pretty big misstep no matter how you shake it.

As purple cow said previously, its not like the last few episodes were perfect either, which is why glad its over. Hopefully next time this writer (who is legit talented) gets paired with a producer or another writer to make some of the plot points more concise.

Thanks for recapping!

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Thanks for the recap purplecow!

I was really disappointed with this ending, but I can't be too sad because I'm so excited for FTLY!

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Thank you for the recap!

Can someone explain the ending to me, regarding what Cha said? I can't quite understand it, does it mean that Seok-ju is still screwed or did they have the chance to win the case?

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I am not going to disagree that I would have liked to see more resolution, but I thought one of the messages of the final episode is that there really is no resolution in life. We just continue the struggle for meaning. I gathered from CEO Cha's comments at the end that Seok Ju was using tactics he created as a bad guy to do good, and that was what made life interesting.

Thank you for the recaps. I could not have enjoyed the series as much as I did without them.

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I actually stopped watching new leaf in the middle, but I feel like spoiling the ending to myself.

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I actually thought that the ending was very real. In life, there is no end (save for death!) - life just goes on with or without you. There will always be a new battle to be fought once an old war ends. And so it continues.....

It is a good opening for another run for A New Leaf Part II!

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I feel that the writer is taking a stand, making an objection with this final ep, as if saying:
I've more material planned, for 2more eps, but since you cut them off, this is what you get; I'm not compromising my writing bcos of your scheduling problems. Take that!

Of course it can be totally my imagination, but I respect the writer for not 'jumping' when the network say "JUMP!

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I cannot believe that a drama ended like that. It was so abrupt.

I wish I could've seen how the final case panned out. I wish that there were more character interactions. It would've also been interesting if Ji-yoon found about Seok Joo's involvement with her relative's case.

A New Leaf had many shortcomings but I still love it. It was so different from many Korean legal dramas or movies, which are usually centered around criminal cases and dumbed down for the audience.

Thank you purplecow for recapping this drama!

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Thank u for the recap!

Was a bit disappointed with the ending..felt there were a few loose ends... I dint get to know y was ji yoon's friend running away from seok ju in the first episode? Who was responsible for seok ju's accident?

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do we really need to know anything and everything in a drama?

in one hand i'd say yes, if not why show it in the first place, right? but then again some are better left as it.

maybe ep 17 & 18, did cover the accident, who knows? tho initially i suspected it was the soju CEO's doing when he appeared at random. ah well

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Ji yoon's friend was having an affair with Seok Ju's cousin. It was mentioned in the 2nd episode, I think.

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That was his Cousin's husband actually.

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thanks purplecow and dramallama for recapping and the rest of the beanies for the comments. not the best ending but im taking it as glass half full.

just think, it could be worse, like no fiancee or khan. imagine the 'tiny' uproar.

i was watching this episode with my 12 yo son, he asked me what happened to the young judge since he wasn't around. i said, him he's a lawyer now, remember? and his reply was, oh yeah, he must be busy. LOL..

anyway, where was Khan when the firm's goon raid his house? honestly, what im gonna missed most is looking at his house. i really fell in love with the structure of his/intern's house.

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A great drama with an abrupt ending. I can't say I'm too disappointed with the ending coz everything is so perfect. Until the last 5 mins...
Now that's rushed ending. My biggest questions of the show is what really happened during SJ's accident? Who put him and how? We don't get answers from many questions.
But overall, it's still good drama with refreshing plot, humanly characters and good acting from everyone. I would really recommend it to someone who is either bored by romance drama or looking for legal drama.

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Wait, so the accident that cause his amnesia was just a mugging gone wrong? Not because of some revenge planned by a disgruntled client?

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Many thanks to the recappers and commenters (looking at you, Lord Byron) and subbers, especially for this drama. Usually I can understand 60-80% when I watch raw, but with this drama it was around 20%. I thought it was worth it, though. :-)

Very open ending ---> perfect opportunity for Season 2

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I really wished they used those last 3 minutes to show a bit more of the drama rather than a slideshow presentation/highlight reel though. I know they have to show end credits/thanks and whatnot, but I think the actual episode only clocked in around 55mins iirc (unlike the usual 58mins). They could've used a minute or 2 to draw out the scene with his dad (!!!) and/or the last scene with Seok Ju, Sang Tae & Ji Yoon together. Those scenes felt incomplete.

Despite the lacklustre ending, I still enjoyed this show's run immensely. I appreciated the show's pacing (save for the finale), which is more realistic than what you'd normally get in dramaland--I really like the gradual steps that Jung Seon & Seok Ju are taking to actually get to know each better this time 'round. I'm fine with how things stand with those two, as I don't have to see them getting from point A to point B.
The legal scenes were captivating, though they did fizzle out in the finale. Its character study of Seok Ju and Kim Myung Min's portrayal were top-notch. I would've liked the supporting players to get the same treatment, but oh well. I'm assuming it's because of the lack of time and/or maybe the writer didn't feel the need to flesh out secondary characters.
I liked this drama for its slice-of-life-ness, so I didn't expect everything to be resolved neatly--I just wanted more screen-time for Seok Ju's A-Team and Khan (KHAAN!). I've love to see a Season 2 of this drama.

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Miss Korea, Secret Love Affair, and A New Leaf are sophisticated 2014 kdramas that deserved more attention than they received.

A New Leaf was different from the normal archetype found in kdrama genre. This drama was intellectually appealing and definitely not easily susceptible to light viewing. A New Leaf succeeded at being a refined, knowledgeable, perceptive,
and subtle kdrama. Not only did it manage to make complicated legal issues exciting, but many of the cases showcased were intelligently presented (with highly complex legal cases and terminology) and were definitely thought provoking.

Great performances from Kim Myung-Min and Kim Sang-Joong. I applaud the writer for making the amnesia trope a cerebral process and ultimately solely about the new path/leaf in Seok-Joo's life of him trying to recover his memory and identity. Again, kudos to the writer for the courage to limit the cliched romance trope and still keep the drama entertaining.

The finale ended by showing us that everyday is a new day and indeed life does go on. "...Let go of yesterday’s struggles. – The story of your life has many chapters. One bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end... Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what could be. Remember, life does not have to be anywhere near perfect to be wonderful in the end."~Marc & Angel
http://www.marcandangel.com/

Positives:
Kim Myung-Min as Kim Seok-Joo
Oh Jung-Se as Park Sang-Tae
Kim Sang-Joong as Cha Young-Woo
Kim Seo-Hyung as Prosecutor Lee Sun-Hee
Bromance of Park Sang-Tae & Kim Seok-Joo (The Odd Couple...Isn't it bromantic!)
Father & Son Relationship of Kim Shin-Il (Seok-Joo's father) and Kim Seok-Joo ("His Imperfect Life with His Dad is Now the Oddest Gift he Treasures."~Poet Barbara Tremblay Cipak)
Idealism vs. Reality in the Workplace (The clever and manipulative boss character of Cha Young-Woo definitely exists in real life.)
Strategic Planning behind professional advancement and mechanisms employed within institutions for political rule-making and enforcement.
Behind the scenes look at the various ways the law can be used and twisted in order to secure a win.
The relationship between Kim Seok-Joo and Lee Ji-Yoon remained as mentor/mentee and was relegated to just professional colleagues.
Yoo Jung-Sun remained as Kim Seok-Joo's fiancée and they both decided to continue to build upon their relationship. (“There cannot be a relationship unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty, unless there is understanding, patience, and persistence.”
―Cornel West)

Negatives:
Episode count was decreased from 18 to 16 by the network which forced the drama to have a rushed ending.
The actor Jin Lee-Han and his character Jeon Ji-Won was underdeveloped and underutilized.
Prosecutor Lee Sun-Hee and Jeon Ji-Won were absent in Episode 16.

No regrets about watching A New Leaf...I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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This show could have been so much more, such a shame that it got cut like that!

Anyway, looking forward for next week drama!

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I agree with you 100%.

I really enjoy reading your digest. You have connected the dots for me. Keep up the good work!

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Thank you for the recap.
I loved the drama (I even felt it is one of the best this season) but the ending leaves me wanting for more... SIGH!!!

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Excited over A New Leaf because it is legal based series. I was hoping to see a more meaningful relationship between Kim Seok-Joo and Lee Ji-Yoon since they do work well together. There is an understanding between both of them. It is like they know each other well to know what each needs.

On the other hand, the relationship between Kim Seok-Joo and Yoo Jung-Sun is more of a transaction and a reluctant deal if I may say so. Sadly only Yoo JS knows the truth behind their relationship since Kim SJ does not remember as yet. And I feel Yoo should actually let Kim knows the truth instead of hiding it and hoping for a better deal.

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concuerdo con muchas de ustedes, este dorama pudo ser de lo mejor, todo iba tan bien, como dicen tambien falto romance, el romance lo es todo! le da vida al dorama.
tenian buen elenco, buena historia pero creo que le dieron mucha importancia al concepto de lo que es el dorama (derecho, abogados etc.) y dejaron muy de lado lo que a la gente le gusta o por lo menos a mi, que es el romance!
en fin no me arrepiento de haber visto a new leaf sin embargo en los ultimos episodios se enfocaron tanto a las leyes que aveces no le entendia y tenia que regresale y volver a leer y entender las cosas, pero en fin gracias por el dorama!

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I'm going voting crazy!

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