The Good Wife: Episode 2
Dealing with a case that could have been ripped from recent headlines, Hye-kyung begins to realize that her husband’s scandal has perhaps affected her more than she lets on. It can’t be easy being constantly reminded of the scandal at every turn as she tries to focus on her new career. She can’t let her private concerns get in the way of seeking justice for her client — or can she?
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Hye-Kyung prepares dinner — a delicious looking stew — but when she opens the lid, the pot is empty. She calls her children to the dinner table but they’re entranced by the television which replays the clip of their father’s scandal. She opens the door to the bedroom to find her husband in the arms of another woman. But it’s all just a dream. Whew.
In the morning, after she sends her kids off to school, Hye-kyung has an unexpected meeting with Chief Prosecutor Choi. He asks if she thinks Tae-joon is innocent, and she admits that she didn’t at first, but thanks to the prosecutor’s repeated attempts to discuss it with her, she’s beginning to wonder if her husband was framed after all.
Chief Prosecutor Choi says that he has more videos that he could release, but hasn’t because he’s thinking of her and her kids first. Oh, did Tae-joon tell her that the known scandal was the only one? There’s a lot she doesn’t know about her husband, who had no qualms about abusing his power.
Hye-kyung cuts him off, telling him that he should stop trying to use her to get information about her husband, and instead just find evidence to back up his claims. Chief Prosecutor Choi ominously mentions that he’s checked into her background and knows about a certain car accident — possibly something that could discredit her as a lawyer. But she refuses to be blackmailed and tells him to just do whatever he wants.
At work, the M&J staff are all buzzing about the latest news report regarding Tae-joon’s appeal. Joon-ho asks if she’s seen it — there’s a lot of information about her in the video, too, and offers to send her a link so she can watch it online.
Right now, though, she’s got a new client who specifically requested her as her lawyer. Joong-won says it’s a case that will likely settle out-of-court, but will also garner the firm a hefty sum.
The case is about a rape victim, Lee Eun-joo, who quietly explains her side. Even though Joong-won and Myung-hee are the ones asking the questions, and Eun-joo’s boyfriend is the one most vocal about wondering how much money they can get from the chaebol who raped her, Eun-joo keeps her focus on Hye-kyung.
Joong-won warns them that the Moo-il Group has deep pockets and high-priced lawyers, so they’ll have to tread carefully if they want a high settlement. But if they do get a settlement, it’s as close to an admission of guilt as they’ll be able to get — there’s no way this case will actually ever go to court.
Eun-joo whispers that all she really wants is an apology, and Hye-kyung slides over a box of tissue so Eun-joo can dab her eyes. She seems the only one attuned to what the victim is actually feeling.
In private, Myung-hee and Joong-won argue about the case. Myung-hee thinks that Eun-joo is lying in order to get money from Moo-il Group, but Joong-won doesn’t really care if Eun-joo is telling the truth. What matters to him is that the firm is set to get a lot of money from the commission of this case.
Hye-kyung doesn’t think Eun-joo looks like a liar, but Myung-hee points out that lawyers can’t go by how their client looks — they must go with facts and evidence. She warns Hye-kyung not to let her personal feelings interfere with her judgement.
Moo-il Group’s lawyer happens to be an old classmate of Joong-won and Hye-kyung, so Joong-won sets up a lunch meeting with him to talk “baseball.” Until then, Hye-kyung studies up on Moo-il Group, and Joon-ho follows through on his promise to link her to Tae-joon’s news report.
She clicks on it, and watches the video discuss her husband’s scandal and upcoming court date for appeal. Then the video switches over to an audio recording of the sex tape, and Hye-kyung immediately shuts it off. Dan arrives just then to deliver her files on Moo-il Group, telling her that the entire office has watched the video, so she shouldn’t be embarrassed about it.
Joong-won and his old classmate, attorney Jang Dae-suk, happily discuss baseball over lunch while Hye-kyung, as requested by Joong-won, silently stares at him. It seems he’s brought her there as a distraction, because Dae-suk is surprised to recognize his old classmate, especially considering her now infamous status as the disgraced prosecutor’s wife. Dae-suk admits that even though he lost cases to Tae-joon, he really respected him.
Joong-won brings the conversation to Moo-il Group’s walking headache, the chaebol Jung Han-wook. Dae-suk immediately says that M&J used to be a reputable firm, but now they’re wasting time on Eun-joo’s case. She slept with Han-wook because she wanted to, and now is trying to twist things around just to make some money.
When Dae-suk asks her opinion, assuming based on her husband’s scandal that she’ll be on the side of someone defending against baseless lies, Hye-kyung tells him that it isn’t a “scandal” — it’s rape, pure and simple. Dae-suk reiterates that it was totally a consensual act, and then scribbles down an amount for them to take back to Eun-joo the “blackmailer” in order to keep the scandal from going public. Based on the big number he wrote down, Hye-kyung concludes that it was definitely rape.
Back at the law firm, Hye-kyung asks Eun-joo why she specifically requested her as her lawyer. Eun-joo explains that she saw Hye-kyung on television, and figured that she would be more understanding of her situation since Hye-kyung had to suffer thanks to someone else.
The Seo siblings and Eun-joo’s boyfriend are already discussing how to accept the nearly $400,000 that Moo-il Group is offering as a settlement. The catch is that if Eun-joo accepts it, she will also have to sign a nondisclosure agreement. If she signs it and then tries to talk about what happened that night to anyone, Moo-il Group can sue her for defamation.
Eun-joo asks what Hye-kyung thinks she should do. With a quick glance at her bosses, Hye-kyung explains that $400,000 isn’t exactly a paltry sum, and if she went to trial, there’s no guarantee they would get any amount of money. Plus, it would be emotionally taxing for her to have the details of her rape analyzed in court. But Eun-joo wants to know what Hye-kyung would personally do if she were in Eun-joo’s shoes.
She hesitates for a second, but then firmly answers that she would go to court. Relieved, Eun-joo admits that what she really wants is an apology, not money.
Joong-won pulls Hye-kyung aside, asking why she’s making their life more difficult. As lawyers, their job is to win money for their clients. That $400,000 is as close to an apology Eun-joo will ever get, but Hye-kyung wants the truth revealed for their client so that they will know she’s the true victim. Joong-won points out that Moo-il Group’s lawyers will just keep dragging out the case in order to make it difficult for her — is she ready to fight until the end?
Hye-kyung doesn’t care if she’s naive — she believes that Eun-joo deserves more than just money. She accepts full responsibility for how the case will turn out, knowing that it could end up with her being fired.
Everyone nervously waits for Dae-suk to call back, letting them know if Moo-il Group has accepted their terms demanding Han-wook’s apology. But Dae-suk says they refused, and instead they’ll charge Eun-joo for false accusation, proving she’s just a gold digger attempting to blackmail someone who’s innocent. Eun-joo’s so-called boyfriend is angry that this means they won’t get the money, but Eun-joo sticks to her desire for an apology.
Considering that Moo-il Group seems to think they have evidence to shut down M&J’s threat to go to trial, Hye-kyung asks Eun-joo exactly what happened that night. She explains that she was at a club when someone in the VIP section requested she join him. Everyone started drinking way too much, and all she remembers is that she passed out.
When she woke up, Han-wook was on top of her. She tried to resist, but he was too powerful. Then, adding to her disgrace, when he was finished, he tossed a stack of money at her. She went to the hospital with Sang-man, the so-called boyfriend, because she couldn’t think of anyone else to take her.
Dan arrives with the results of her investigation, revealing that Eun-joo once worked at a hostess club — which is also where she met Sang-man, who would drive the girls to their “appointments.” Dan points out that Eun-joo having worked in a place of prostitution will be considered a weakness in her testimony, even though Eun-joo angrily points out that no matter what her background is, rape is till rape.
When Hye-kyung asks if there are any other witnesses, Eun-joo admits that one of her coworkers, Ye-ji, went to the hospital with her because she happened to be in the car at the time, but she’s not sure where Ye-ji is right now. She could be vital in helping them bring their case to trial and prove that Han-wook raped Eun-joo, if only they can find her.
Dan offers to find out what information the Prosecutor’s Office has — she’s got a friend there. Yeah, sure, a “friend.” As her friend looks through some documents, it’s revealed that Tae-joon seems to have a connection to Moo-il Group, but before anything else can be revealed, Prosecutor Park suddenly appears.
Chief Prosecutor Choi sits down with Hye-kyung, demanding to know why Tae-joon put her up to this. She scoffs at the idea, telling him she’s just trying to get an agreement with Moo-il Group. But Chief Prosecutor Choi still finds it suspicious that the very company Tae-joon was threatening to go up against is the one she’s willing to take a stand against with some random woman.
He advises her to cut her ties with Tae-joon and just live her own life. As Dan gives Hye-kyung a goodbye hug before the prosecutors take her away for questioning, she slips a piece of paper of into Hye-kyung’s pocket — it’s the address of the club Eun-joo used to work at.
While the boss lady of the hostess club remembers Eun-joo, she isn’t forthcoming when Hye-kyung asks about Ye-ji. It’s not until Joong-won suddenly shows up and offers to get the Prosecutor’s Office interested in her business that she gives them the information she has on the girls.
Joong-won tries calling the phone number on file for Ye-ji, but that phone number is no longer in service. Meanwhile, Hye-kyung idly flips through the photo book of the call girls, wondering why some are ranked differently than others. It’s all about what services the girls were willing to provide. She stops on a photo of the girl that’s in the video with her husband, and the boss lady sighs.
Amber was her “ace” but right after the scandal erupted, she disappeared and hasn’t been heard from since. Hye-kyung starts to ask if “that prosecutor” asked for any other women other than Amber, but stops when the boss lady recognizes her as Tae-joon’s wife.
The next day, Hye-kyung visits Tae-joon in jail, telling him all about Chief Prosecutor Choi’s warnings. She bluntly asks if he took bribes, but he insists he didn’t, and the evidence will bear that out. He brings up the rape case, revealing that he was the one who recommended Eun-joo go to Hye-kyung.
She latches on to the fact that he knows Eun-joo’s name, asking if he slept with her, too. She then asks about Amber — did he pay extra for her to role-play, or maybe not use a condom? Did he take her with him to his trips to America?
Tae-joon slams down his fist on the table, angrily telling her he’s not like that. When will she finally forgive him? But she keeps remembering all those times when Tae-joon said he had to take care of business and left early during family events. She’s not sure what to believe in any more.
But he insists that he only recommended Eun-joo knowing it means bringing in a client who would make some money for M&J, thus giving Hye-kyung some prestige with her bosses. Hye-kyung points out that means he’s been checking up on her. He calmly explains that he just wants to do all he can to help her in her fledgling career, but she doesn’t want his help.
Prosecutor Park meets with Dan, slipping her a flash drive with a copy of the file she wanted. Looks like she has more than one friend in the Prosecutor’s Office, although it’s not one I would have guessed.
Dan and Hye-kyung go to Eun-joo’s college to reveal that, according to the prosecutor’s report, the sperm found on her that night wasn’t Han-wook’s. Eun-joo is shocked, insisting that he was the only one she slept with that night. She begs Hye-kyung to trust her, but Hye-kyung keeps thinking about Tae-joon and longs to ask if Eun-joo slept with her husband.
She keeps quiet, though, as Eun-joo desperately insists that Ye-ji saw her with Han-wook that night. Except they aren’t able to find Ye-ji, and Hye-kyung heartlessly tells Eun-joo that she may end up going to jail if it’s revealed that she made a false accusation in an attempt to avoid indictment for prostitution.
Dan is surprised at Hye-kyung’s sudden change in attitude, pointing out that the sperm could have been from one of Han-wook’s friends who might have raped her when she was still unconscious. Dan’s change in opinion regarding the case is due to the suspicious way the prosecution is acting — why would they threaten Eun-joo if nothing happened that night?
Hye-kyung arrives home with a pizza to share with her kids. Her son tries to hide his face, but she immediately spots his bruises and bloody lip, clearly revealing that he was in a fight. She’s ready to head down to the school and demand to know why the teachers didn’t do anything about it, but he shrugs her off. If she goes, she’ll just make things worse because they’ll recognize her as the scandalous prosecutor’s wife.
Trying to hide her emotions at being rejected by her son, she heads out and collides with Joong-won, who was just on his way to see her. She buries her face in his chest as she cries, telling him that she’s worked so hard to keep things together, but she’s finally reached her limit. He gently comforts her.
After she pulls herself together, he shows her results of the sperm DNA test. It belongs to a man who’s been indicted for rape before, but is suspiciously not the kind of person that would ever be admitted into the club Eun-joo was at that night. The man was arrested yesterday, but is at the hospital in a coma, so it’s impossible to get his testimony.
Hye-kyung still wonders if Eun-joo is lying to her — if she was sincere when she said that Hye-kyung would be the only one who’d understand. Joong-won counsels her to trust Eun-joo for now, and then asks what’s really going on with her. But despite his offers for help, Hye-kyung says he’s done enough and that she’s fine. If she needs him, she’ll let him know.
Aw, her son apologizes for his earlier outburst. He knows his mom is having a hard time right now and he just didn’t want to burden her about what was going on at school. But he got into a fight with another boy who called his father names — and the real reason he didn’t want her to go to school is because he gave better than he got. Ha!
In the morning, Hye-kyung and Dan escort a masked Eun-joo into the courthouse, ignoring the crowd of reporters around them. While they wait to enter the courtroom, Eun-joo hesitantly confesses that the reason Han-wook asked her to join him at the club was because he recognized her from when she worked as a call girl — which explains why he treated her like a prostitute.
During the trial, Prosecutor Park calls Sang-man to the witness stand, where his story has suddenly switched to support Han-wook, declaring that Eun-joo is only concerned about money. When it’s her turn to question him, Hye-kyung asks if he was bribed to say that, and he sighs deeply, confessing that he was.
But he points towards Eun-joo, insisting he was temporarily swayed by Eun-joo’s offer to pay him if he lied for her, but it was only due to his sense of integrity that he decided to tell the truth in the end. Ugh, what a liar. The women look deflated as Dae-suk silently cheers from his spot in the courtroom audience.
Dan thinks she’s found evidence that the rape kit was switched at the hospital, showing that Dae-suk is suspiciously friendly with the doctor who performed the test that night. But that means he won’t likely testify, at least not truthfully, so they’re back to square one.
Hye-kyung’s got a plan though — they just need to give the doctor another way to weasel out of admitting the truth. The next day, they call the doctor to the stand, and based on his testimony of what happened that night, trap the doctor into confessing that there’s a chance that the sperm sample was taken incorrectly and got mixed up with another sample.
She then requests the court permission to do another DNA test, surprised Prosecutor Park is awfully eager to support her request. Except Hye-kyung herself has just proven that the DNA is too faulty to be tested correctly, and the evidence is thrown out of court.
Hye-kyung is even more determined to track down Ye-ji, who’s now their only witness. In order to do that, she and Joong-won head to the hotel where the rape happened to convince the front desk to give them any information about that night. As they head up in the elevator, they run into one of Joong-won’s ex-girlfriends, who assumes the two lawyers are there for pleasure, not business.
Turning on her empathetic charm, Hye-kyung asks the front desk agent to see if any calls were made that night from the hotel room. As the agent goes back to check with her manager, Joong-won babbles that he went on a lot of speed dates for networking purposes which is how he met the woman they ran into just now, much to Hye-kyung’s amusement.
Thanks to hotel, they’re able to track down Ye-ji and bring her in as a witness. Ye-ji admits that Sang-man threatened her to keep quiet about what happened that night since Han-wook is a rich and powerful chaebol, who could ruin her life if she said anything. Due to the conflicting testimonies and lack of concrete evidence, the judge rules to acquit Eun-joo of the false testimony charges. Aw, it’s a win for Hye-kyung, even if she wasn’t able to get an apology for Eun-joo.
As they leave the courthouse, Hye-kyung asks Eun-joo one last question: when did she meet with Tae-joon? But Eun-joo sincerely tells her that she never did.
Hye-kyung visits her husband in jail, asking if he still has connections within the police department — enough to get a case reopened. She asks him for a favor.
As reporters surround Han-wook, asking him about Eun-joo’s acquittal, he grandly declares that she’s a liar and a blackmailer who only wants to besmirch his reputation. Just then a detective shows up to arrest Han-wook for rape — based on new irrefutable DNA evidence. Pleased, Hye-kyung watches the broadcast online and then calls Dae-suk to gloat.
Later, when she’s home alone, she finally hits “play” on the full audio recording of her husband’s sex tape. In the morning, her kids find a mysterious envelope at their door containing pictures of their father with another woman.
Dae-suk visits Tae-joon in jail. He confirms that if Tae-joon helps out with Han-wook’s case, then Moo-il Group will help him in return.
Ohhhhh, Tae-joon — you are definitely not to be trusted. There is some shady business dealings going on, and it seems like the sex scandals are merely a distraction from the corruption that lies beneath that pretty face.
Speaking of sex scandals, I have to remind myself that this episode was filmed at least a month or so ago, since it seems like it could have been inspired by the recent sexual assault scandals that have been occupying the media as of late. I really enjoyed the dichotomy of Hye-kyung at once standing up for Eun-joo, pointing out that rape is still rape even if the victim was once a prostitute — but then having to deal with the personal scars of thinking her client might have once slept with her husband. I love watching how strong she is as she fights to maintain her image as the “lawyer” instead of “wife of a disgraced prosecutor,” but I definitely can understand her breakdown in Joong-won’s arms. She has to be strong for everyone else in her life, pretending it doesn’t bother her, but who gets to be strong for her?
I unabashedly love Hye-kyung, but she is (if fans of the original will pardon the expression), no “saint.” She’s idealistic and determined, following her instincts — but there’s also a petty humanness to her that keeps her from being perfect. Really, it seems there is so much more to every character than we’ve seen so far, but I’m trusting the show to gradually reveal each character’s layers in due time.
I’m still waiting to see what they’ll do with Joon-ho, because right now he just sort of floats in and out a couple of times each episode, more proof of the ticking clock against Hye-kyung than anything else. Not just reminding her (and us) of the six month deadline, but also that she’s late to start her career and, despite her age, is theoretically no better than someone fresh out of the Training Institute. I want to sense a real competition between them, and believe that there’s a real desperation behind their attempts to prove they belong at M&J. Basically I just want Joon-ho to step up his game and realize that his pretense at pleasant politeness isn’t going to cut it.
Then again, if there’s one complaint about this show I can make, is that there is a woeful lack of Kim Seo-hyung each episode. She’s such an amazing actress and I want more scenes of her and Jeon Do-yeon together. The reluctant mentoring relationship between Dianne and Alicia from the original version was one of my favorite relationships, and I’m really hoping they’ll somehow recreate that in this version as well.
Mostly, though, I continue to be thrilled at the artful balance of keeping true to the original series, yet making this show still seem unique and fresh. Provided they keep up this magic combination, and Jeon Do-yeon continues to prove that she’s the queen, then there’s a strong chance this show will maintain its level of excellence until the very end.
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