Remember—Son’s War: Episode 5
Yes, that is a smiling Jin-woo, proudly showing off his lawyer pin. But sadly, it’s not reflective of the turbulent road he has ahead. We’re shown most of the groundwork for Jin-woo’s vendetta in this episode, which hints at the immense powers that our young hero will need to overcome. He’s clever and knows how to manipulate players on both sides, even if he’s not wielding the power. Good thing he’s putting that lawyer pin to use.
EPISODE 5 RECAP
In front of the courthouse, Lawyer Song anxiously calls his boss about his late colleague, who’s supposed to appear in court alongside him. His boss tells him to cover for Lawyer Seo since he’s on his way right after his previous case, but Lawyer Song complains that he still can’t control his stuttering.
As expected, Lawyer Song stutters through his examination of the witness, the wife of a deceased worker in an unfair labor practice case. Things are not going smoothly, but thankfully, Jin-woo arrives, nonchalantly walking past the protests by overworked guards. He makes his entrance, and Lawyer Song looks at him with relief gleaming in his eyes. Jin-woo apologizes for this tardiness and announces that he will begin his cross-examination.
In-ah tracks down a goshiwon and rips off the police tape to investigate the scene herself. The policemen warn her that she’s disturbing the robbery scene, but she flashes her prosecutor badge to prove her authority. She criticizes the inaccurate reports of the robbery and decides to meet directly with the police chief.
In court, Jin-woo clarifies with the witness’s claims: an overworked guard with hepatitis B, whose illness deteriorated into liver cancer due to overworking. She confirms her claim, and Jin-woo immediately begins his argument. Based on a credible scientific journal, hepatitis B naturally progresses into liver cancer, with stress or overexertion contributing very little to its progression.
Jin-woo argues that the deceased worker had a responsibility to request less hours, yet he voluntary worked extra hours and worsened his health. The witness loses her cool and starts to yell that they didn’t receive any payment for that overtime. But Jin-woo begs to differ and submits evidence that they did indeed receive fair compensation.
On top of that, the guard charged residents extra money for waste disposal stickers. Jin-woo has a document of signatures by the villa residents to prove this fact, and he calculates the extra money the guard would have accumulated. He claims these actions were voluntary, all in an effort to pay his daughter’s art school tuition.
At the police department, In-ah sees a woman desperately asking a detective about her robbed money, so she approaches the woman to introduce herself as the prosecutor for the case. As they talk over coffee, In-ah learns about the struggling woman, Kim Hana, trying to save enough money for her mother’s hospital bill while hopping from job to job every couple of months. She promises to find the robber and return all the money to her.
As In-ah enters the courthouse busily in a call, Jin-woo exits after his trial. They both pass each other without noticing. Jin-woo walks out with Lawyer Song and explains that he was suddenly able to change the residents’ minds after making a deal with the resident representative about disclosing another facility concern.
Just as Lawyer Song starts to question if their argument was excessively harsh, the deceased guard’s daughter comes running towards him. She trembles with anger and accuses him for defaming her father without considering their dire situation. But Jin-woo doesn’t flinch and shamelessly stares right back into her eyes. “I’m sorry, but if you are looking for someone to vent at, look for someone else. Don’t blame me — go to your lawyer who didn’t do his job right. Or blame this nation’s laws.”
As he walks away, the girl yells with indignation that her dad lived trying to appease rich people and now died a dishonorable death. “Do you think rich lawyers like you know how we feel? Is this what you call justice?” With that, she sinks to the ground in tears, and Jin-woo walks away. The judge watches this scene unfold solemnly.
Dong-ho is surrounded by reporters and cameras after his trial, which he won for Gyu-man’s friend. Despite the clear evidence of illegal drug usage, he was able to prove his client’s innocence. Gyu-man calls his friend and brags that they can always depend on their ace lawyer.
At the Il-ho group law firm, Dong-ho enters his office and briefly meets with Gyu-man’s friend and his father. They praise the work he’s been doing for Il-ho group and even credit him for keeping Gyu-man obedient. Dong-ho is all smiles as takes the compliments and offers his services anytime.
At the board meeting, President Nam Il-ho provides updates about the company’s profits. Joo-il’s presence in the meeting seems to irk Gyu-man. He’s even more enraged when he witnesses Joo-il’s friendliness with the Vice President Kang, who took credit for the increase in life insurance sales — credit Gyu-man believed was owed to him.
Gyu-man reacts with uncontrollable anger, sliding all the items off of his desk. Secretary Ahn tries to look on the bright side but quickly goes back to cleaning when Gyu-man accuses him of taking the wrong side. He looks like he’s about to burst a blood vessel with this much anger.
Jin-woo drives his boss and Lawyer Song to their new office space. It comes as a surprise to both of them, and Lawyer Song doesn’t believe it’s possible with the expensive rent of this area. But it’s clear to their boss once they arrive at their space, which is covered with debris and on the verge of falling apart, how Jin-woo was able to find affordable rent. As the other two argue about the condition of the place, Jin-woo intently at the Il-ho building across from them.
In-ah walks past Jin-woo’s old house, which has piles of newspapers at the door. She thinks back to her last interaction with Jin-woo — his refusal to trust another lawyer and identify as a killer’s son — and worries about his whereabouts now.
Jin-woo walks around his room, filled with shelves of books, and stops at his case board displaying all the links and players that framed his father for Jung-ah’s murder. It’s extensive and thorough, even showing Dong-ho and Joo-il as a part of the bigger puzzle.
Jin-woo visits his father in the prison, but Dad doesn’t seem to recognize him at all. Then, Jin-woo takes out his necklace with his mother’s ring and hands it to Dad. He looks at it carefully, sensing some familiarity with the object, and then he realizes that Jin-woo is his son. He reaches out to hold his son’s hands and happily greets him. Jin-woo shows off his lawyer pin, and Dad shouts in celebration of his son’s success.
Suddenly, Dad’s smile fades away as he comes to another realization. He’s done this before. Jin-woo showed him the ring, and they’d already celebrated him becoming a lawyer. Though Jin-woo insists that he just got his lawyer license today, Dad knows that he’s lying. Dad trembles with tears falling, and Jin-woo tells crying Dad that he can trust him now. On the verge of tears, he says in his mind, “There should be someone else in your place. Dad, now is just the beginning.”
Jin-woo visits his family on their memorial day, and Dong-ho arrives at his father’s urn as well. Dong-ho notes how they’re tied by an unfortunate twist of fate and claims to have considered skipping his visit today to avoid Jin-woo. He asks if Jin-woo will be getting his father out, now that he’s a lawyer, and Jin-woo responds that he’ll make some money first.
Jin-woo approaches Dong-ho to offer his business card and walks away. Dong-ho looks at the business card, which has the tagline: “We become the truth that wins.” It seems like an accurate representation of the fine line he’s walking, and Dong-ho looks a little unsettled.
As he drives away, Jin-woo thinks back to his father’s trial, Dong-ho’s sudden change of heart, and the incriminating handshake between Dong-ho and the prosecutor. He swerves to the side of the road with flashbacks flooding his mind.
In-ah runs into Yeo-kyung as they enter the prosecutor’s department, but Yeo-kyung is quickly distracted by our observant judge from Jin-woo’s trial. He greets In-ah, and Yeo-kyung later asks if they’re close. He assures her that they’re on friendly greeting terms, and they overhear In-ha’s conversation with her boss, Prosecutor Tak, from the floor above.
Prosecutor Tak scolds her for wandering into the police’s realm of investigation. They’ve been getting complaints about her overstepping her role as a prosecutor, and he warns her to stay dedicated to her role. In-ha argues that she ventures into the different investigation sphere because everyone involved is just human. Their clients, the detectives, and even them — they’re all human, prone to make mistakes. And if they make a mistake, they could unintentionally change someone’s life.
She insists that she’ll continue to visit the crime scenes for this reason but promises to stay on top of her prosecutor duties. Observant judge and Yeo-kyung watch all of this from above before going on their way.
Hana, the struggling woman In-ah met earlier, tries to stay awake and sober during her company’s dinner. When she returns to the tables, a coworker insists that she sit next to Vice President Kang and share a drink with him. She reluctantly does a love shot with him upon the audience’s request. He’s old enough to be her father, which makes things very uncomfortable.
Dong-ho and Joo-il share a drink, teasing each other about the people they serve. They ponder about how on different days, alcohol tastes bitter or sweet; sometimes one drink is enough, sometimes there’s never enough to make you drunk. Dong-ho reveals that the kid became a lawyer. Joo-il doesn’t know who’s he’s talking about at first, so Dong-ho clarifies that he’s talking about the one case he lost.
A bruised pair of bare feet stumbles into the police department, and we see that it’s Hana. She collapses onto the floor, and the police officers surround her urgently calling for emergency help. The police find Vice President Kang and arrest him for sexual assault, though he seems completely confused by the charge.
The next morning, Jin-woo looks at the newspaper article of the sexual assault and tells his colleagues that he wants to take this case. Lawyer Song tries to discourage him, but Boss gives her approval of anything that Jin-woo does. Unamused by their partnership, Lawyer Song steals the coffee he made for both of them and looks back at the paper. He notices that it’s connected with Il-ho, so it would automatically be handled by their law firm, but Jin-woo’s expression shows that he’s not too sure about that.
President Nam eats breakfast with this children, who seem to have opposite reactions to this breaking news. Yeo-kyung doesn’t seem convinced that the vice president would commit such a deed, but President Nam only seems worried about the company’s image. Gyu-man benevolently offers their law firm’s services for their vice president of 20 years, but his words don’t seem sincere at all.
In-ah asks Prosecutor Tak to assign her this sexual assault case, but he refuses because he believes that she’ll be overwhelmed. But In-ah isn’t one to give up and follows him into the bathroom to convince him that she can handle this case. She explains that Hana is linked to the robbery case and that she promised to help her. If she doesn’t take this case, it’ll remain on her conscience.
Dong-ho enters his office to find an unwelcome guest, Gyu-man, who asks if Dong-ho can distinguish the innocent from the guilty after practicing law for so long. Dong-ho admits that no one knows a person’s inner thoughts, and Gyu-man readily assigns him to the vice president’s case.
Outside on the stairs, the underlings share a hobbang while their bosses meet. Secretary Ahn complains that the Daddy’s boy Gyu-man always blames him, and Dong-ho’s assistant expresses his sympathies. When given his turn, Dong-ho’s assistant admits that he has no complaints. None at all. Haha.
Dong-ho’s assistant reports that their opposing prosecutor is someone they know, Lee In-ah. Jin-woo receives the same report from Lawyer Song while surveying the crime scene. He pretends not to know her and goes on to reimagine the sequence of events. Lawyer Song also revelas that Il-ho group’s Dong-ho has taken this case, so their investigation will mean nothing unless Jin-woo plans on stealing this case from them.
They hear the police and In-ah arrive on the scene, so Jin-woo quickly pulls Lawyer Song into hiding with him. Since the surveillance cameras failed to capture the scene due to its angle, In-ah orders the police officers to report all the cars that passed through the garage and find any significant black box footage.
Dong-ho meets with VP Kang, who claims to have no memory after entering the garage. Dong-ho says that he has no interest in the facts, but facts are important to building their strategy. VP Kang admits that he has no memory but claims that he didn’t do it. That triggers a memory of Jin-woo’s father insisting that he knows that he didn’t commit the murder.
Jin-woo looks at his comprehensive wall of Il-ho’s inner workings and decides to meet with one of his contacts. The man he meets at the café ends up being the resident representative that Jin-woo helped in the previous trial. He works under VP Kang and secretly tells Jin-woo some background regarding Gyu-man’s place in this issue.
In a quick flashback, we see that Gyu-man seems pretty lax about breaking some rules here or there to get the results they want, but VP Kang argues that they’ll put the company’s image at risk. Gyu-man reminds the old man that he’s the company’s heir, which supposedly makes him more qualified.
In-ah interviews Il-ho’s workers and works hard to put together the case against VP Kang. While venturing around Il-ho, she runs into Gyu-man in the elevator. He doesn’t know who she is, but she’s well aware of him. She freezes, eyes wide with horror as she remembers the clip of him admitting that he killed Jung-ah.
Jin-woo looks at the Il-ho building outside of this office, and Boss approaches him to ask if he’s officially beginning. Oh, so she knows? He tells her that everything had already begun four years ago.
It’s the day of the trial, and Dong-ho greets In-ah in a light-hearted manner. But she’s in no mood for a friendly reunion and accuses Dong-ho for reaping the benefits of abandoning his client. Dong-ho reciprocates her accusations by criticizing her assumption of guilt before proving it.
In the courtroom, In-ah begins her prosecution with VP Kang’s call records as evidence that he did not call a driver, even though he claimed to have. She brings Hana to the stand and asks her for more occurrences of sexual harassment. Hana claims that VP Kang would massage her shoulders without her consent, and she couldn’t refuse because of his authority.
VP Kang erupts at the false accusations, but Hana goes on with more details about the night. She had been threatened with her job if she reported the assault to the police. In-ah uses this testimony to prove the power imbalance at the workplace and the exploitation of that power being manifested in this case. Jin-woo watches the trial from the seating above.
Before he leaves, Dong-ho compliments In-ah on her performance. She reminds him that Jin-woo’s father’s trial isn’t over yet and asserts that she’ll prove his innocence. He figures that she took this case to take her first jab at Gyu-man, and he tells her that she’s still naïve. He warns her that it won’t be easy, since the world isn’t that simple.
She glares at him as he walks out and notices Jin-woo exiting on the second floor. She runs out to catch him, but he’s already gone. Observant Judge finds In-ah and comments on her impressive performance. He returns her dropped pen, and she thanks him before swiftly running off to catch Jin-woo.
But he’s already working on the next phase of his plan, now approaching VP Kang to serve as his lawyer. VP Kang seems to believe that Gyu-man and Il-ho are still on his side, but Jin-woo argues otherwise. They’ve already turned their back on him, and Jin-woo has proof. He shows VP Kang the list of VP candidates, provided courtesy of Jin-woo’s contact. Whether or not they win this case, Il-ho is ready to kick him out.
Jin-woo also has information on our Observant Judge, Kang Suk-gyu. Two years ago, he ruled a man guilty for sexual assault, and the innocent man committed suicide in response to this unfair ruling. He’ll be extra cautious this time, wanting solid evidence before making his decision. And as for the opposing prosecutor, she’s also someone he knows very well.
Dong-ho thinks back to Gyu-man’s request to lose VP Kang’s trial. Gyu-man figures that it won’t be too difficult to lose a trial for him, implying the past loss. Dong-ho’s assistant suddenly rushes in with news that VP Kang has cancelled his contract with Dong-ho and took on a much younger lawyer as his replacement.
After his late night swim, Gyu-man asks Dong-ho why the prosecutor didn’t destroy this case, since it was practically handed to her. Dong-ho responds that the prosecutor is still a newbie and that the new lawyer defending VP Kang is a person they both know: the son of Seo Jae-hyuk. Gyu-man freezes but feigns lack of recognition. But Dong-ho makes it absolutely clear to him. Seo Jae-hyuk, the man in prison for Gyu-man, has a son who’s now returned as a lawyer.
We return to a familiar scene: Jin-woo walks into the courtroom as the new lawyer on the case, and In-ah looks at him with shock. Dong-ho slips into the back to observe.
In-ah continues her examination of the victim, Hana, who expresses more shame about this situation being her fault. In-ah tells Hana to keep her head up, since this is not her fault. Hana expresses disgust and fear about being in the same room as her suspected perpetrator, and the crowd murmurs in response.
Jin-woo has no questions for a cross-examination and brings out his own witness to the stand. Hana recognizes the man and stiffly returns to her seat. He introduces himself as one of Hana’s college professors and confirms that he was sued by Hana for sexual harassment. But they never went to court because they settled with money.
Hana insists that they didn’t agree on a settlement, but Jin-woo has proof of the transaction. In-ah objects at the irrelevance of this case, but Jin-woo argues that a previous sexual harassment suit is relevant to their current trial. As he continues with his examination, the professor reveals that he was also in a romantic relationship with Hana.
From behind the stand, Hana argues that she sued him because he had lied about already being married. She felt betrayed when she figured out that he’d fooled her, so she decided to take action against him. To make matters worse, the professor reveals that Hana was the one who requested the money for settlement. Looks like the tides have turned.
Oof, this case is complicated. I had an inkling that there was something else going on with our victim, since the show didn’t give us proper hints that our VP was a creepy dangerous dude. I’m suspicious that Gyu-man had something to do with framing the VP, but I also don’t want to overestimate his villain abilities. This show has to be careful about writing off this sexual harassment case as a poor girl’s attempt to earn settlement money, but thankfully, In-ah’s prosecution is doing a thorough and sensitive job at humanizing this issue. Although In-ah may still be unrealistic and naïve to those jaded by the justice system, she still brings out a passionate and hopeful message about justice.
This episode feels like part two of the introduction, since we’re now in the current day setting, but I’m not too disappointed with the lack of plot in this episode. We needed to establish the players and the dynamics between them, and I can see the mechanisms being put in place for Jin-woo’s ultimate revenge plot. Though I’m engrossed by the intensity of Jin-woo’s uphill battle, I’m also happy to see some irrelevant lighter moments to release some of this high pressure. The unexpected bromance between Secretary Ahn and Dong-ho’s assistant has got to be my favorite — they’re fulfilling a need I didn’t have to begin with. It’s good to see that poor Secretary Ahn has got someone to rant to, since it doesn’t seem like he’ll be leaving our psychotic Daddy’s boy any time soon.
This father and son pair never disappoint, especially when they’re together. The infectious happiness between Dad and Jin-woo was quickly followed by regret and sadness, but that transition didn’t feel disjointed at all. But as compelling as their performances are, I wonder how much Dad can contribute to prove his innocence, plot-wise. Looking at where we are now, it doesn’t seem like he’ll play any role in his release, since his Alzheimer’s is only getting worse and his deteriorating memory will have little ethos in court. I guess his condition only reinforces the fact that Jin-woo is on his own in this battle.
Sure, he’s got In-ah and potentially Dong-ho, but I don’t foresee either of them fighting alongside him until much later. He’s got to prove himself alone first, though I fear that he may play death (read: Gyu-man) too frequently in the process. It’s easy to distinguish who to root for and who to hate, but Dong-ho lies somewhere in between.
I’m frustrated with Dong-ho for not revealing his circumstances, when clearly there are some misunderstandings that could be resolved with communication. To some extent, his explanations may just sound like excuses, but I don’t see how keeping silent will get him anywhere. It’ll only serve as his punishment, which could possibly be what he’s doing — punishing himself for not fulfilling his promise. He’s an interesting character who’s really difficult to read, and I hope that his character won’t be wasted observing for too long when he could dive into the real nitty-gritty of this story.
- Remember—Son’s War: Episode 4
- Remember—Son’s War: Episode 3
- Remember—Son’s War: Episode 2
- Remember—Son’s War: Episode 1
- Light and dark posters for Yoo Seung-ho’s legal thriller Remember
- Double the Yoo Seung-ho in Remember’s fragmented memory teasers
- Yoo Seung-ho and Park Min-young’s emotional reunion in Remember
- Script read for SBS’s legal thriller Remember