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Defendant: Episode 1

Defendant promises to be a gripping drama as it introduces complex characters and situations right off the bat. Ji Sung is riveting as a prosecutor who suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the prison bars, and Eom Ki-joon is not to be missed playing dual roles. This episode takes viewers from cute to tragic, with not a second wasted as we are dropped into Jung-woo’s present, which contrasts ever so sharply with his idyllic past. As a prosecutor, Jung-woo was committed to finding the truth, and he will need that resolve now more than ever.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

Guards patrol a prison at night as an escapee runs through the surrounding woods. A siren begins to sound, alerting the facility of the escape. Woljeong Prison begins a search for the missing prisoner and, as dogs bark in the distance, the escapee runs for his life. He stumbles and falls just as he makes it to a street. An oncoming semi-truck honks insistently as the battered prisoner stands up and stares straight toward the truck.

A sedan stops at a light, allowing the driver time to call someone named SHIN CHUL-SHIK, and he screams as he accuses Chul-shik of being a backstabber. The caller is his boss, but Chul-shik seems unconcerned as he enjoys the hostesses in his private lounge room. Another car stops behind the boss as a dump truck pauses before accelerating into them.

The prison escapee from earlier carries his young daughter to school. She sings a song, substituting a cat into the lyrics so that she can ask her father, yet again, about getting a cat. Before running in to school, she gives her dad a fist bump and a cute “Meow!” As he walks away, the father answers a phone call from a detective.

A number of sedans pull up to a hospital, and Chul-shik emerges from one of them dressed for a funeral. He is now the new boss and he is announced as such to the many men already gathered. They scramble to line up and greet him, causing him to smile, until he sees the photograph for the deceased boss, KIM YONG-JOO. Chul-shik tries to look serious, but one of the men struggles with a pair of sandals much too small for him. It’s our prosecutor, PARK JUNG-WOO (Ji Sung), who stands and stretches, and when he is instructed to bow, he answers, “Should a prosecutor bow to guys like you?”

Inside, Chul-shik pays his respects, making a huge display of grief without shedding a single tear. The prosecutor has waited, so Chul-shik sits across from him, calling him Prosecutor Park. The new boss proceeds to pick his nose before sticking that same finger into a bowl of soup that he serves to Jung-woo.

Jung-woo downs the soup before serving Chul-shik with an outstanding summons. Chul-shik rips it up and orders the men to take care of Jung-woo in a nearby room. As they lead him away, Jung-woo holds up a pen that plays a recording of Chul-shik ordering someone to get rid of Boss Kim Yong-joo, either by hitting him with a truck or drowning him. The men start asking questions of their new boss as Jung-woo arrests Chul-shik for the murder of the Kim Yong-joo.

It’s pandemonium as Chul-shik ends up fighting for his life alongside Jung-woo. The two manage to get away, running in their socked feet to a waiting car. And, just like that, Jung-woo gets his man. Later, Chul-shik shouts from a cell, protesting his innocence as he asks for Jung-woo.

Jung-woo returns to his office with his colleague, who scolds him for not arranging for police support. Jung-woo insists that he is fine, but gets questioned about his missing shoes, causing both men look at his feet and notice that he is bleeding. Jung-woo limps into his office to find that someone is waiting for him.

His visitor is a lawyer, YEO SUNG-SOO, who explains that he has come to offer Jung-woo a job with his prestigious firm. He places a generous contract before the prosecutor, detailing how much Jung-woo’s life will improve with the increase in salary while the rest of the office listens in. Jung-woo explains that it’s too big of a decision to make on his own, and asks to make a call.

Jung-woo puts his phone on speaker to call his wife, YOON JI-SOO. He explains that he has an offer from a law firm where he could earn his annual salary as a prosecutor in only one month. Ji-soo scoffs at the money, reminding her husband, “I married you because I wanted to be a prosecutor’s wife. Don’t even think about it.” She then asks him to pick up a cake on the way home before hanging up. As Attorney Yeo leaves, Jung-woo picks up a thick file with a photo on top, promising to examine it carefully.

Outside of the office, Attorney Yeo makes a call, and the man on the other end looks like the man in the file photo. As the call ends, the man, President CHA SUN-HO (Eom Ki-joon), is approached by an assistant who tells him, “It’s time.”

Sun-ho approaches a nervous looking young woman, wondering why she isn’t smiling on a good day. He takes her hand and leads her to a room filled with people and photographers, along with a banner announcing the inauguration of him as president of the company. Smiling, Sun-ho places his arm around the young woman’s shoulders as the assembled group claps in congratulations.

Back in his office, Jung-woo announces the end of the work day. His colleagues present gifts for his daughter, teasing that because of her, they get to go home on time once a year, leading them to inquire about plans for a second child.

Jung-woo stops to pick up the cake, giving his name to receive it. It turns out that there is no order under that name, but there is a cake for Park Bong-goo. Jung-woo later walks into his home with the cake, announcing, “Bong-goo is here.”

Jung-woo picks up his daughter as wife Ji-soo greets him as Bong-goo. He welcomes a friend, YOON TAE-SOO (Kang Sung-min), who has stopped by. Their daughter, PARK HA-YEON, wonders why her father called himself Bong-goo, and he explains that it was her mother’s name for him when they first dated. Ji-soo explains to Ha-yeon that her dad used to look countrified, making everyone laugh at the thought.

Tae-soo has to leave, explaining that he was waiting to greet Jung-woo. Ha-yeon shouts after him, “Bye, Uncle.” The celebration continues as the family dons festive birthday hats. Jung-woo sings an enthusiastic birthday song while Ji-soo records the event, shaking her head when he mistakenly declares their daughter five years old instead of six.

Ha-yeon looks expectantly at her dad as he presents her with her gifts, which are all stuffed animals. She looks visibly disappointed that not one of them is a cat, but after an encouraging look from her Mom, she acts excited. At the end of the happy day, Jung-woo sings a familiar lullaby to Ha-yeon. Ji-soo later finds both father and daughter asleep.

Ji-soo shakes Jung-woo awake, and he gazes lovingly at his sleeping daughter. In their bedroom, Ji-soo treats the injury on Jung-woo’s foot, wondering what happened to his shoes. At his complaining, Ji-soo marvels how a prosecutor can be such a coward. Jung-woo asks about Ji-soo’s mother, who is traveling, and he promises that they will join her on the next trip. Ji-soo gently tucks in Jung-woo as he mumbles, “I need to follow the rules.” He asks Ji-soo to wake him up at six o’clock before falling asleep, and his wife kisses him on the forehead before turning out the light.

As Jung-woo sleeps, he hears his wife and daughter trying to wake him, and suddenly his smiling face disappears. Appearing pale and worn, Jung-woo opens his eyes to men in prison garb, who are looking down at him anxiously. They call him Inmate 3866, and Jung-woo jumps up, disoriented.

Jung-woo doesn’t recognize the men, prompting one of the men to comment that Jung-woo has gone mad again. He orders a younger prisoner, LEE SUNG-KYU, to keep a lookout at the door. Jung-woo is told that he is in prison, where his explanation that he is a homicide prosecutor seems to have been one they all know well.

The prisoner reminds Jung-woo that they showered together the day before, which causes Jung-woo to lunge at him. The other inmates break them apart as Jung-woo calls out the names of his wife and daughter. They call him crazy as he demands to know where they are. A smiling inmate tells him that he killed them, and jabs Jung-woo on the red inmate patch on his clothing for emphasis.

That earns him a slap on the head as he is reminded not to joke about the red tag, which indicates a death penalty. As Jung-woo tries to take in his clothing and the red inmate number, the smiling inmate notes that after Jung-woo ate his dinner, he woke up mad again.

Jung-woo swears that he was sleeping in his house, only to be told that he has been in prison for three months. The smiling inmate shoves an unbreakable mirror in front of him so that Jung-woo can see for himself that he is a prisoner. His eyes widen at his reflection as the other prisoners comment on how believable he can be.

Sung-kyu announces, “He’s coming,” and the men help Jung-woo as they all sit down. A guard knocks on the door and Jung-woo leaps up, asking to make a call. Sung-kyu appears at Jung-woo’s side, explaining that he had another nightmare as he promises the guard that he’ll take care of him. He wrestles Jung-woo back to the floor while the guard informs the men that the warden will conduct roll call, warning them to behave.

During roll call, Jung-woo fails to call out, prompting the warden to enter the cell. The warden asks Jung-woo if he’s lost his memory again. When he insists that he has to go home, Jung-woo is told that the prison is his home now. Jung-woo asks again to make a call, so the warden hands him his phone. Jung-woo dials a number that no longer exists. The warden nods knowingly as Jung-woo dials again. He urges Jung-woo to accept reality as he retrieves his phone.

Jung-woo tackles the warden, muttering that nothing makes sense. The guards wrestle Jung-woo away, throwing him into a single cell. He remembers that the previous day was Ha-yeon’s birthday, calling it nonsense that he killed her and Ji-soo.

As the shadows lengthen, Jung-woo notices that the cut on his foot has healed. He begins to cry in grief as the reality that his wife and daughter are dead sinks in, his tormented screams echoing throughout the prison. Jung-woo narrates that even though he believed that Ha-yeon’s birthday was the previous day, in reality, it was four months earlier. He became a death row inmate for killing her and Ji-soo, even though he had no memory of anything at all.

Four months earlier, a man brags to a woman in a club that he has had every single woman except for her. She calls him funny, but he proceeds to suggest that they spend the night together. Excusing herself, the woman makes a call, promising the person on the other end that she will leave soon.

The woman explains that she thought that the man she was with was Cha Sun-ho, but instead, it’s his playboy brother. The woman defends herself to her friend, commenting that the men look the same. She hangs up and turns around to see the playboy brother standing in front of her.

A man staggers downstairs, dragging a golf club. It is the playboy brother, who proceeds to search throughout the house until he finds the woman from the club in a closet. Her face is battered and she kneels to beg to be let go. Instead, he strikes her repeatedly with the golf club.

Jung-woo interviews the brother, CHA MIN-HO (also Eom Ki-joon), and his attorney. The woman is barely alive after the attack that took place at the brother’s villa. The attorney instructs Jung-woo to get a warrant for further questioning. Addressing his client as “Vice President,” the attorney suggests that they leave. Jung-woo grabs the brother on the way out, suggesting he pray for the victim, since that means the difference between an attempted murder or murder charge.

At the villa, an investigation is underway. The golf club is retrieved from a pond on the property, and a detective identifies it as the weapon used by Cha Min-ho, the playboy identical brother of Cha Sun-ho.

The news reports that the Vice President of Chamyung Group, Cha Min-ho, is suspected of murder. Jung-woo arrives with a team at Chamyung Group, announcing that he has a warrant for the arrest of Cha Min-ho, but they are held back by a security team. Jung-woo sees Min-ho and calls out to him, only to be told that he is actually speaking to Cha Sun-ho.

Jung-woo produces an arrest warrant for Min-ho. Sun-ho orders his employees to cooperate with the prosecutor, allowing Jung-woo to continue with his investigation. As he walks off, Sun-ho asks after the whereabouts of Min-ho. The fugitive happens to be holed up in a very nice apartment, watching a news report on the investigation. Jung-woo appears onscreen, promising to find the missing suspect. The news reporter explains that because Min-ho is on probation, a murder conviction would result in a sentence of fifteen years.

Sun-ho finds his brother watching the broadcast. He asks Min-ho if he’s guilty, but his brother claims that he can’t remember. Sun-ho offers to accompany Min-ho as he turns himself in, but Min-ho only laughs before yelling about the length of his sentence.

Min-ho asks Sun-ho to buy him a ship, detailing how he would disappear, leaving everything to Sun-ho. He insists that isn’t what he wants, so Min-ho suggests that Sun-ho can go to prison in his stead. Sun-ho responds by slapping his brother across the face. He orders Min-ho to turn himself in before walking away, pulling his phone out to make a call.

Min-ho grabs the phone and tosses it away, telling Sun-ho that he can’t tell him what to do. Sun-ho explains that they have no choice, but just then, as Min-ho sees their identical reflections in a window, he gets an idea. Raising the liquor bottle in his hand, Min-ho advances on his brother, knocking him down with a blow to the head.

Min-ho is horrified by what he’s just done and begins to call for help, but stops to instead apologize to a semi-conscious Sun-ho. He becomes frenzied as he decides that Sun-ho has been privileged long enough, all while removing his brother’s watch and wedding ring. Dressed in Sun-ho’s clothes, Min-ho drags his injured brother to the balcony where he unceremoniously throws him over the railing.

As Min-ho turns to walk back into the apartment, he hears his name. Sun-ho is hanging from the balcony, causing Min-ho to drop to the ground, where he listens as his brother struggles to keep from falling. Ignored by Min-ho, Sun-ho loses his grip and drops to the ground below.

Inside the apartment, Min-ho washes the blood from his hands and styles his hair like Sun-ho. He then places his brother’s glasses onto his face, making his physical transformation into Cha Sun-ho complete. Min-ho sits down to pen a suicide note before leaving the apartment, which is recorded on several surveillance cameras.

Min-ho shields his face when he reaches the crowded lobby. Sweating visibly, his heart pounding, Min-ho makes a beeline for the door. Once outside, he waves for Sun-ho’s car and gets inside. The driver asks about the vice president, and is told to find a ship for him abroad. Outside, a crowd gathers as a still-alive Sun-ho is wheeled into an ambulance.

At Sun-ho’s building, Min-ho is greeted by the desk attendants as “President.” He has no idea where Sun-ho’s apartment is located, but some delivered mail points him in the right direction. Not knowing the code to the apartment, Min-ho rings the bell. The young woman from the inauguration flings open the door to tell Sun-ho about Min-ho, but suddenly stops when she recognizes Min-ho. He slowly backs her into the apartment as the door shuts behind them.

Inside, the young woman notices the glasses. Min-ho calls her NA YEON-HEE (Uhm Hyun-kyung) before removing the glasses and admitting that he is Min-ho. A television airs the breaking news of “Min-ho’s” suicide attempt. Yeon-hee drops to the floor while Min-ho’s eyes widen with the realization that his brother is still alive.

Yeon-hee looks at Min-ho in shock as he crouches in front of her to say, “You can fool him, but you can’t fool me. I know who Eun-soo’s father is.” Standing up, Min-ho continues, “Think of this as an exchange of secrets.”

Jung-woo parks in front of the hospital and runs inside, where he is met by a crowd of reporters. He joins his colleague who is posted outside of the operating room where Sun-ho (as Min-ho) is undergoing surgery, informing Jung-woo that some trees caught him as he fell. As the men sit and wait, Jung-woo observes that Min-ho isn’t the type to commit suicide.

The colleague gets a call and tells Jung-woo that a suicide note was found. Jung-woo has the colleague stay at the hospital while he leaves to check on the note. At Min-ho’s apartment, Jung-woo is shown the note. He notices that room service delivered some food, thinking it odd for someone about to commit suicide. He questions the employee who delivered the cart, and learns that Min-ho was drunk and smelled of alcohol.

Back at the hospital, Min-ho enters the observation room for Sun-ho’s surgery. He loses his cool in front of the accompanying doctors, who hear him say, “Sun-ho, please. Sun-ho, please go.” They misunderstand, and a senior doctor orders a Dr. Kim into the operating room to help.

Jung-woo meets with the chief prosecutor, who instructs him to close the young woman’s murder case. Between the suicide note and the reality of dealing with Chamyung Group, the chief prosecutor is getting pressured by his superiors. The chief prosecutor worries that Chamyung Group will hold them responsible if Min-ho, who is actually Sun-ho, dies. Jung-woo promises to quit if that happens, vowing to complete the investigation.

Back at his office, Jung-woo’s colleague notes that the suicide note was very thorough, even providing details that the investigation didn’t have. Jung-woo asks for some information that he requested and discovers that the patient’s alcohol level was 0%. Just then, another colleague enters with the CCTV footage for the hotel, proving that Sun-ho was the last person to meet with Min-ho.

Min-ho sits at Sun-ho’s bedside, where he learns that the police have a copy of the CCTV recording from the hotel. Jung-woo enters the room and, upon seeing pretend Sun-ho, recalls his earlier meeting with the real Sun-ho at Chamyung Group. Jung-woo extends his hand and he introduces himself, so Min-ho introduces himself as Cha Sun-ho. As he reaches for Jung-woo’s extended hand, the prosecutor pulls it back, reminding Min-ho/Sun-ho that they actually met the day before, when the prosecution team was at the office.

Min-ho recalls Sun-ho telling him about the prosecution’s visit and covers his mistake by using his brother’s condition as reason for his confusion. The two sit down together, where Jung-woo presents the suicide note to Min-ho/Sun-ho, who reacts by saying that Min-ho wouldn’t to do such a thing. Jung-woo asks if he’s referring to murder, or to suicide. The prosecutor agrees that the Min-ho he knew wasn’t the type to commit suicide.

Faux Sun-ho suggests that handwriting analysis would confirm if the note was written by Min-ho. He then admits to meeting Min-ho and urging him to turn himself in. Jung-woo sits silently as he observes the real Min-ho. A nurse runs into the room to announce that the patient has regained consciousness.

The men run to the patient’s bedside and Sun-ho sees Min-ho and then Jung-woo. The real Min-ho keeps up the pretense and calls his brother “Min-ho.” Jung-woo has been watching the brothers suspiciously and pushes by the real Min-ho, telling the man in the bed, “Talk to me.” The real Sun-ho manages to say something and Jung-woo asks him to repeat it. As he hears what Sun-ho has to say, Jung-woo’s eyes widen in shock.

Sun-ho flatlines, and Jung-woo is pushed aside as the doctors work to resuscitate him. Min-ho looks on as the doctors shock the real Sun-ho’s heart, but then approaches them to stop their attempts. He sits next to his brother’s body, crying as he calls out for “Min-ho.” Jung-woo looks on in disbelief as he recalls what the dying man whispered into his ear: “Min-ho-ya.” All while the cries of the real Min-ho morph into a crazed laugh.

 
COMMENTS

I expected to be impressed with Ji Sung’s portrayal of Park Jung-woo, but he surpassed my expectations with this episode. He managed to express Jung-woo’s contented life with his wife and daughter as well as the wasteland of his life in prison with equal conviction. The intensity of his performance as an inmate with a death sentence, oblivious to the deaths of his wife and daughter, made me hurt for him as he struggled to make sense of his situation. How many times has he had to grapple with the loss of the loves of his life, as he wakes up time and again with no memory of the past four months? I felt sorry for his cell mates, who have to live through the ordeal with him over and over while trying to make the best of their lives in prison.

In order to accomplish such a travesty of justice, someone close to Jung-woo must have been involved, making his situation even more tragic, if that is even possible. This episode didn’t reveal very much about the people who are close to him, other than his wife and daughter. I expect to be introduced to more of his circle in future episodes, and I will be considering them with suspicion. That suspicion extends to the people at the prison, including his cell mates. Obviously, someone is drugging him through his meals, but only him. How do the other prisoners in his cell manage to escape the effects of his food? I would imagine with so many cell mates, there would be some sharing.

Jung-woo’s tragic present is all the more heartbreaking when we see how very happy he was with his wife and daughter. The family scenes are filmed is such warm light, while the prison scenes are cold and gray. Jung-woo looks healthy and vibrant in the past compared to looking half-dead in the present. His smiles have disappeared, replaced by confusion and grief.

Jung-woo was a loving husband and father as well as a dedicated prosecutor. His relationship with Ji-soo was strong enough that she was able to refuse his chance to earn more money, insisting that he remain a prosecutor. His daughter, obsessed with her desire for a cat, was both adorable and honest in her disappointment with her dad. It was obvious how much Jung-woo loved them both. The look that he gave Ha-yeon as she slept next to him was so touching. He looked as if he wanted to freeze time so that he could enjoy her just a bit longer, as she was growing up so fast. The sad truth is that she will never be older than that in his memories. His memory loss serves to protect him from what must have been the worst day of his life, but is also means that Jung-woo has no idea who his real enemy is. Of course, we know all too well that it has something to do with the younger Cha brother, Min-ho, even though he is now supposedly dead.

As impressed as I was with Ji Sung’s performance as Jung-woo, I was just as impressed with Eom Ki-joon. The scene between Sun-ho and Min-ho, before their identities were changed, was a great showcase for Eom Ki-joon’s acting ability. He was equally convincing as the responsible Sun-ho and the irresponsible, murderous Min-ho. It’s even trickier to portray Min-ho pretending to be Sun-ho, but again, it’s believable. After first seeing Eom Ki-joon in Scent of a Woman, I prefer him as the good guy, but that only serves to make his Cha Sun-ho more believable for me. Now that Sun-ho is dead, that leaves Min-ho, who has revealed himself to be the worst brother ever. Not only did he murder Sun-ho, he’s using the birth secret concerning his son with Yeon-hee to keep her silent. What more will we learn about Min-ho? Whatever it is, I’m sure it won’t be good.

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Gosh, this drama is gonna be so addictive... I absolutely love the plot and the characters! Ji Sung is amazing as always; love his portrayal as a devoted husband and father, and his doggedness as an upright prosecutor who is willing to risk it all to bring down the bad guy.

That's why it's so equally satisfying and terrifying how he throws himself into this case with Min-ho, knowing what a devious opponent he is. I mean the guy killed his brother, Cain-Abel style. Ugh, that was especially painful to watch--especially the scene where Sun-ho is holding on for dear life while Min-ho huddles in a corner, watching without helping as his brother calls out for one last chance of help. Indeed, Min-ho is the worst brother in the century. What a crazy guy.

I really felt bad for Jung-woo, not knowing what happened for four months and then discovering that his baby girl and loving wife are dead... because of him. What craziness.

Episode 2 was even more insane, but I'll leave it at that.

I'm so glad this drama is getting recapped! Loved every minute of it. Thanks so much!

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Eom Ki-joon deserves some major props for playing the identical twins. I actually mourned Sun-ho's death, even though we barely got acquainted with him. The conversation between the brothers was so well done and believable! It takes talent to muster up such a complex character, Min-ho. It's not easy playing a devious person that has to act normal after killing his twin brother. And that laugh/cry at the end as he fake-mourned Sun-ho's death, wow so chilling... there were no tears and the laugh/cry just rolled out of his smiling mouth like poison. I definitely shuddered at that.

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Is this a copy of The Fugitive with Harrison Ford?

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Definitely had to look up that movie, but I think you've got a point there... I wonder how Jung-woo will fight to prove his innocence from his jail cell. I know some characters haven't come into play yet, but it'll be interesting how they set this whole thing up. In the Fugitive, Ford's character escaped prison. I doubt Jung-woo can do that.

Can't wait for the next episodes! It's gonna be a crazy ride, for sure.

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I totally agree. It was way too makjang plot-wise. Not to mention some of the legal stuff made zero sense. My friend and I are law students and we did a review of the legal stuff on the show: https://thedramafilesblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/special-file-no-defendant-ep-01/

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Ummmm well when I saw that opening scene, that's what I thought as well. But further into the episode I also realised that he's been waking up with this memory lost more than once. (I'd initially thought it would be just the once). So essentially This is 'The Fugitive' meets 'Memento', actually it's more 'The Fugitive' meets 'Ghajni' (the Indian re-make of 'Momento'. It had a more linear narrative, and quality wise was totally not on par the original.)

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This drama reminds me of Momento and The Night Of. I'm hoping this drama isn't too predictable. The Night Of did a good job of making it unclear if the main character was innocent.

I never thought of his food being tampered with. 2nd episode did provide a certain theory, but this could be true. I wouldn't be surprised if there are many prisoners who would want to conspire against Jung-woo, who's a prosecutor.

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Na ddo. I never thought that he was being drugged too.

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So there's a kind of medicine which can make you lost your memories ??

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Loved this. I knew Ji Sung would be awesome, and Eom Ki-joon impressed me so much. I don't think I've ever seen him in anything.

I was glad Sun-ho's wife knew right away that Min-ho was not her husband. Of course he's threatening her with a birth secret, but at least she wasn't fooled. I wouldn't have bought that.

Man, twin murders twin and takes his place and Jung-woo is clued in, and it's only the first episode. We're in for a wild ride, aren't we?

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Exactly... If she had not recognised him, it would have made the whole drama unbelievable!!

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I immediately thought of Return of Martin Guerre, or the US remake, Sommersby.

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As well as the battle of Jung-woo vs Min-ho, its also a battle of acting between Ji Sung and Uhm Ki-joon! Amazing pilot episode. Everytime Ji Sung cries I cry, and Uhm Ki-joon gives me major shivers.

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This was easily one of the best opening episodes in dramaland. I'm glad Ji Sung chose Defendant over Their who stole the people, he's perfect for this role. Also, Uhm Ki - joon. Hello.

With this episode my only gripe is with that job offer scene. In his office. In front of his colleagues. No mention of which law firm, which partner, what kind of work, responsibilities, expectations and so on. First and foremost, these discussions are held quietly - and not just in my line of work as a lawyer. Leaving your job or even being seen to be receiving offers for other jobs is a tricky thing, and must be handled delicately.

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i just wish this drama is not about hero overcome evil people type of drama. though is depend on the execution because even show with grey characterization is not always execute well.

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First of all what the heck?? I've been complaining nonstop about how 2016 was a disaster year in terms of dramas for me but clearly the universe was waiting to pull this one on me. This is the drama I've been waiting for! I'm ready to go down with one because two episodes in and I'm not alive. I've got chills and currently I don't even know how I'm able to process my thoughts . I'm actually gagging for the next episode and haven't felt like this about a drama in ages. But then again, this is the wonderman Jisung we're talking about - that man has an ability with acting that makes your heart smash into fragmented pieces, come back together and then shatter again.

First of all the fact that he's such an earnest and determined prosecuter who goes above and beyond what he doesn't have to for the sake of what's right is heartwrenching considering it's because of his desire for justice that he loses everything. If, like most others he didn't try much and stayed in his corrupt little bubble none of this would have happened to him. Also, the raw reaction to waking up in prison (wearing death row clothes) really gets to you, especially considering that we like him don't know what happened. So we feel the utter loss, confusion and desire to search for the answers along with at the same time. This heavily contrasts with the flawless and loving scenes that we had been watching not minutes beforehand.

Although they make it seem like he won't be in prison for too long, I hope we learn more about the other inmates and their unseen relationship with him for his duration behind bars.

Enough about Jisung, let's talk about the man who's trying to steal the show from right under the main leads post jail five o'clock shadow.

UHM KI JOOOOOON. I'm blown away after seeing his dedication to this role and I can't wait to see his character delve further into insanity and guilt as well as seeing more flashbacks of his relationship with his brother. But coming from a guy who always lands such likeable roles it's great that he took this risk because he plays both the opposite roles in such a manner that has you believing that it's really two different people. Sung Ho's serious and firm demeanour differs from Min Ho's erratic, indulgent and psychotic behaviour so much that I want to see more conflict arising due to Min Ho's acting . Plus the confident way Jisung rattled his paranoid villain nerves was beautiful to see, just as were poor Sung Ho's choked last words to our prosecuter. Let the power games BEGIN!

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Thanks for the recap. This drama is too intense I think I need to read the recap first before watching the drama. My heart couldn't handle it!

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i was waiting for this recap!!! rly loved the first 2 eps so far omg its chilling (i made the mistake of watching at midnight lol) thrilling heartbreaking but v exciting!! jisung wowed me so much (daesung this year maybe?) and so do the villain haha ive never seen him act before but wow my jaw droppeddddd also i feel so bad for the villain's wife/sister in law??? cos she's trapped living with a monster omg i cant wait for next week already!

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Note: I'm pretty sure Tae Soo is an actual uncle? He called the wife noona when he left.

That moment Minho noticed their reflections, I tensed so hard. And when he calmly asked, "Why don't I have a choice?"...omg, I nearly fainted. So chilling.

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That solved my little puzzle. He is the wife's brother. That's why he have been searching for the buried body/bodies and didn't even bother to visit JW cos he also thinks that he is the murderer of his sister and his niece.

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Thank you for the recap TeriYaki. I was really wishing bad for you guys to recap this so YAY!

Ji sung is awesome in this and Eom Ki Joon is so chilling, this is going to be an intense ride, bracing myself!

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It'd be good if the drama focuses on Jung Woo vs Sun Ho (Min Ho). Idk about anything else but 2 eps in, I'm more than willing to just watch the two in a battle of wits!
And Eom Ki Joon, darn, he really gives me shivers!!

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I really liked how, right off the bat, Park Jung-Woo was forgetting little things. This isn't related to his forgetting the crime at all (I don't think) but I think it's a nice touch by the show. He forgot his daughter's age, lost his shoes, had the wrong name for the cake (that wasn't a forgetful moment, but it seemed like one for a second). I'm looking forward to the rest of the series! I only wish there had been a little bit more mystery surrounding the real criminal--that part was all very straightforward.

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This show actually reminds me of Two Weeks (being accused of murdering someone and not rmbering) and also Son's War (dementia - so memory is slipping by and male lead's dad don't even rmb if he killed that gal a not).....

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Just finished watching this fast and crazy episode. It felt like a ton of information was thrown at us. So many scenes felt very intense and dire. Maybe a little bizarre too.

This all definitely held my attention. I'm already a fan of Ji Sung, but Eom Ki-joon was also very impressive. Excited to see more of these two battling each other.

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What an awesome beginning!!! .... Both the episodes had me glued to the screen. Good acting, plotting all around. Not a single boring minute. I keep thinking whats made him lose his memory and i draw a blank. Im so excited to see where this will go

Just one question thats irritating me - if the person is capable of so much planning and plotting, his initial crime (of the girls murder) feels very badly done.. He didnt cover it up at all and was caught almost immediately.

Also pls pls stop using such pink lipstick on jisung.. Reminds me of yoona :)

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Min Ho is already a psychotic killer. Who knows how many gals/ppl he would have killed. No wonder his own dad said that it's better that he vanish from this world.

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Hurray! Ji Sung! I am still reeling from His drama Kill me Heal me !
He's a superb actor! But wish he will take it easy in his personal life and have peaceful sleep rather than nightmares! Hey I do want to see Ji Sung continue his superb acting! So please RELAX!

Defendant: I am saving it until it ends. Regardless, seeing the high ratings makes me tempted to break my habit of watching the drama after it ends. I'm barely holding myself back from the urge of wanting to watch the drama now!
Ji Sung, thank you for your superb contribution towards us so that we can have good entertainment!!

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I refrain from excess exclamation marks so as not to be annoying, but the show has me completely. even if the characters pain me so. it is going to be a cautious enthusiasm, I feel like a whole episode is a bit tolling. they´ll just keep us on the edge from day one to the last moment, eh?

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Another tolling and on the edge show just like Voice.

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I'm absolutely mesmerized by Eom Ki-joon right now. That scene when he threw his brother off the balcony gave me chill. I thought of it as the killer brother deeming his life to be worthless and that people wouldn't care if he had died. Which in a sense is heartbreaking and he's probably been dealing with reputation of being the troubled child and never living up to the family expectations. But that doesn't excuse what he did

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A bad family or surrounded by ppl who don't care about you doesn't give us excuse/rights to commit vicious crimes/murders to others. Like my mum, she suffered a lot during her childhood n younger days from not being loved by her family but she is grew up normal n very hardworking in life.

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How many "Jung Woo" have we seen in Kdramaland ??....their similarities of names always make me confused .... :P

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Maybe "jung Woo' is a very common name in South Korea;
I think 'Jung Woo' is to South Korea what 'Rahul' is to India. "Naam toh suna hi hoga" (Means: "you must have heard the name") Sorry! I know many people won't get that joke, but I couldn't resist. Basically Rahul is a very common name in India. I personally know seven.

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Lol Niyati isn't it, "Raj,naam toh suna hi hoga?" Btw hey fellow Indie beanie..you new here? ?Havent seen your name before..

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Hello to you too Candy. Very nice to meet you :)
Yeah I noticed that goof a little late myself, the original dialogue has Raj, but somehow it's kinda, morphed to Rahul in common usage. Atleast in the circles I hang with, so that's why I guess.

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Also, no I'm a longtime follower, but a very sporadic commenter. So that's why.. :)

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Random thought, There is far too much emphasis on footwear in this episode. The cut feet, the missing shoes and multiple shots of people's feet when walking. I can only assume that the fact that our hero's shoes were missing in that funeral scene is somehow going to become very relevant later. Either that, or that one of the show's sponsors is a shoe brand. Or maybe Subway has branched out into footwear!

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lmao ... but maybe later on every single detail that was shown will be important ... i keep cracking my brain about the order of the events ... but seriously am looking forward to this drama !

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I was thinking about that foot wound too when I watched the show. Maybe later it will be more meaning to it ?

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Reminds that whether will we see Subway again here ?

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I can't wait to start this when I have some free time, my expectations are high after reading some of the comments in this post!

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Is this period for mystery/thriller/crime drama yet? Between Solomon's Perjury, Voice, Missing 9 and now Defendants, I guess my heart will constantly like on roller coaster ride.

Jisung and Eom Kijoon ahjusshi!!! Definitely need to add this to my watching list!
Thanks for recap, TeriYaki!

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Same!! I'm absolutely loving all these shows

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Mystery thriller are my cup of tea and I'm so happy that there are so many of them nowadays: Defendant, Voice, Missing 9. I'm so busy with them nowadays. Haha.

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After watching the first two episodes, I'm really looking forward to the rest of the show. Ji Sung and Eom Ki-joon are both doing a great job.

Yuri proves to be as disappointing as expected though. No idea what they were thinking with casting her. She's such a poor actress.

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I haven't watch her shows yet other than this. She seemed too green but that's a bit too early to say yet. Hope her performance will improve later on.

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Thanks for the recap! I like how you pointed out the color changes.

How can you not love love love these two awesome and intense actors chewing the scenery?

Of course we have to close one eye (but only one - we do want to see Ji Sung in his extremely flattering suits) to the improbabilities in the cases and the switch up.
Why would Min-ho get 15 years min for his murder, but JW death penalty? How does that work?

How can they tie DNA to MH for the golf club, but then bury Hyung with different DNA? What about dental records?

BTW, also wondering from what we saw in Ep 1 (Ep 2 isn't completely subbed yet) how we can see he is being drugged?

I can't wait to watch all of the OTP action that ensues. The match up of EKJ and JS is just about as perfect as it could be. They can trade notes on how to play more than one character in a show. And maybe give James McAvoy a call, too. :)

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I just realized, duh, that OTP can mean more than one thing!
Maybe i am actually trying to pair them up subconciously...

Here, I used it for "over the top," not "one true pair." LOL

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That's why the Min Hi refused to let his brother's body to go for autopsy....if the family disagree, that is the end of the story on autopsy if I'm not wrong.

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i just wanted to say i was really grateful that in episode 1 they didn't show us his wife & child being murdered. the whole episode i was on edge, knowing the basic plot of this drama & willing myself not to get attached to this perfect family...

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But I don't even understand how and why did they said that he killed his family. Maybe they should put in more details for we viewers....to me, I mean it's like just guessing on the prosecutors part ??? In epi 2 they only show him carrying a suitcase out plus his wife's affair (photo) with another guy ?? I presumed that they are now looking for their bodies ?? How do they presume that his little gal's body was in it ?? How about any blood found in his apartment ? They didn't really show the scene of crime to us.

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I know that prosecutors should NOT based their prosecuting on merely guessing/speculating but from my humble opinion, now it's seems like they are doing this now.

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Anyone know what the PG-13 rating is for?

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