Defendant: Episode 10
If you thought you were at the edge of your seat before, this episode will have you literally hanging on for dear life as all the players on the board begin to move into position for the next battle in this ongoing war. Loyalties that have been shifting for a while solidify into action for one side or the other, and our intrepid hero prepares to undertake whatever means may be necessary in order to get to his beloved Ha-yeon.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
The bus carrying Jung-woo turns around and goes back to Woljung Penitentiary at Min-ho’s request, exactly as Jung-woo planned. On his return, the head of security claims an error in the system and sends Jung-woo to the roof where Min-ho waits, though a chain-link fence separates them. “Cha Min-ho,” calls Jung-woo.
Min-ho kneels before him, begging for Jung-woo’s forgiveness. He pleads for Jung-woo to keep his secret, saying he’ll do anything in exchange, then he suddenly drops the act and smiles. “Did you think I’d do that?” he asks.
Jung-woo laughs and calls him a crazy bastard. Min-ho stands, looking at Jung-woo’s bloody fingers, and mockingly comments that it must have hurt a lot. Jung-woo asks why he did it, but Min-ho turns the question back on him. He asks what’s so wrong about him living as Sun-ho—does it harm Jung-woo in some way? He tells Jung-woo he should have just pretended not to know like everyone else and reaped the benefits, and that it’s his fault that Ji-soo and Ha-yeon ended up the way they did.
Jung-woo tells Min-ho he’s going to kill him, but Min-ho just laughs and says Jung-woo can’t—isn’t that why he was going to get transferred, because of Ha-yeon? “And I won’t kill you, either,” Min-ho adds with a smile. “Shall we have a race? A race to find your daughter. Would it be more painful for you to see her die in front of you, or for her to watch you die? I’ll do whatever hurts you more.” Jung-woo yells and slams against the fence, telling him to come through so he can kill him, until guards drag him away.
As he’s escorted back to his cell, Jung-woo reflects that Min-ho’s threat means he doesn’t have Ha-yeon, and that Sung-kyu does. I have to get out of here, he thinks.
Gangster Hyung and Mil-yang welcome Jung-woo back, although Rockfish and Mong-chi grump about having to share the space with one more. To Jung-woo’s surprise, Chul-shik exits the bathroom, and the others tell him “the rich guy” went to a single cell.
In the yard, Chul-shik asks why he’s back when he was supposed to transfer. Jung-woo tells him that Min-ho knows his memory is back. Chul-shik asks if that means it’s over then, but Jung-woo vows to find a way to get out, and Chul-shik says he’ll help.
Min-ho gets a visit from Chairman Cha, who angrily asks what is going on. Min-ho apologizes, but his father says an apology won’t be enough; his lawyer tells Min-ho that he has to undergo investigation again, this time for a paper company Sun-ho created three years ago. He’s accused of accounting fraud, creating a slush fund, bribery, and tax evasion. The lawyer assures Min-ho that he only has to endure it for a few days, as the prosecution is on their side.
Joon-hyuk checks footage from a CCTV near the phone booth Ha-yeon called from, and watches in shock as Sung-kyu leads the little girl away. “Are you Ha-yeon?” he whispers in a panic. He looks at the security photos of Jung-woo with the suitcase, and realizes that if Ha-yeon had been alive all this time, Jung-woo must have known about it too. “But then why did he get caught? What on earth happened that day?” he wonders.
Eun-hye asks her friend Min-kyung to look up information on Sung-kyu, such as anything that might give away his location, but Min-kyung says that’s illegal. Eun-hye pleads with her, saying she could save a life.
A relaxed Min-ho arrives at the prosecution with his lawyer, who is a former prosecutor and sunbae to the prosecutors on Min-ho’s case. The lawyer gives one of the prosecutors his card, telling him to do well and not be embarrassed to face his colleagues when he joins their firm later.
In his office, the warden looks over articles about Min-ho’s suicide as he thinks back to the man’s name written in blood all over the solitary cell’s walls, as well as “Sun-ho” commanding them to bring Jung-woo back immediately when he saw the cell.
Chul-shik whispers to Jung-woo that he’s found a way out, but Mong-chi overhears him, and soon all the cellmates are discussing it. Gangster Hyung says it’s cold and they should wait for spring; Mil-yang warns that another inmate got an extra two years for trying to escape. Mong-chi says if he can get out once, he doesn’t mind spending more years in jail afterward, and asks Chul-shik what he’s figured out. So Chul-shik starts to tell Jung-woo there are seven doors to pass in order to get out.
The warden comes to their cell and takes Jung-woo out to the darkened yard. He mentions Sun-ho’s request to keep an eye on Jung-woo since he came to the jail, and wonders at their connection. Jung-woo tells the warden that he investigated Sun-ho’s brother’s death, saying that theirs could be called an ill-fated relationship. The warden says that at first he thought that was all it was, but now he’s not so sure and asks if Jung-woo knows anything, mentioning Ha-yeon by name.
Jung-woo is silent, so the warden signals the guards in the tower, who aim their rifles at Jung-woo, and then lower them. “In here, I’m the king,” says the warden. He points out that he can make it look like Jung-woo died trying to escape; no one will care. In the few days before Sun-ho returns, he says, Jung-woo should think about whether he can give the warden something bigger than the other man.
Joon-hyuk comes to see Jung-woo the next day and asks why he gave up the final appeal. Jung-woo says it wouldn’t make sense to appeal when he’d confessed, plus, he didn’t want to face Joon-hyuk. Joon-hyuk agrees that an appeal wouldn’t have changed much, and tells Jung-woo that the search for Ha-yeon has been suspended. Jung-woo says it’s all right, and that the only way is for him to regain his memory. The two look at each other in silence; Joon-hyuk wonders why Jung-woo won’t tell him about Ha-yeon, while Jung-woo realizes that Joon-hyuk knows she’s alive.
The doctor bandages Jung-woo’s fingers, saying she knows he won’t tell her what happened, but she’s glad to see him back anyway. He thanks her, but wonders why she cares when she knows he killed his family. She says it’s because he’s her patient; she believes he’ll open his heart to her eventually. Jung-woo notices she has two licenses—one for psychiatry and one for internal medicine—and says she must be smart, but she demurs modestly.
Detectives come to question Yeon-hee about Jennifer’s disappearance, and she pretends to be surprised that her friend is missing. They ask about Jennifer’s relationship with her husband, as the two were seen leaving Jennifer’s hotel together. Yeon-hee claims Sun-ho gave her a ride, since they were also friends.
Yeon-hee goes to visit Min-ho at his interrogation room. Once they’re alone, she asks him where Jennifer is, telling him about the police’s visit. He gets agitated, asking what she told them, but she tells him not to worry. Yeon-hee then sees the papers describing Sun-ho’s illegal accounts and asks if Min-ho trusts his father. “Would Father really not have known about Sun-ho’s paper company?” Min-ho says it’ll be fine once the investigation is over, but Yeon-hee tells him he’ll soon find out what kind of person Chairman Cha is.
Sung-kyu finds Seok and an army of goons waiting for him, and he runs away, losing them. He takes Ha-yeon to a police station and tells her to go inside and tell them her father’s name. She doesn’t want to go, but he sends her off and walks away from her, fighting his own tears. After a moment she runs back to him, taking his hand and saying she’s scared. He asks why, and she says she’s afraid of the police because they took her dad away. Sung-kyu gives her a hug.
In his cell, Jung-woo thinks back to before he regained his memory, when he threatened to kill Min-ho. He takes out a mirror from under his blankets. Later, in the yard, he hides a shard of the mirror in his hand and rubs it against the side of a wooden bench. Tae-soo approaches and asks why he really came back to Woljung Penitentiary—he knows the explanation is a lie.
Jung-woo asks if Tae-soo will believe him if he tells him, and says that Ha-yeon is alive. Tae-soo gets angry and suspicious again, but Jung-woo pushes him against the fence and says, “Believe it or not, Ha-yeon is alive.” Tae-soo asks if he’s going to claim Ji-soo is alive too, but before Jung-woo can answer, another guard comes and pulls Tae-soo away.
Chul-shik sidles up to Jung-woo and asks what’s going on, and Jung-woo tells him he’s found away to get through the seven doors. Chul-shik asks how, and Jung-woo shows him his piece of mirror. The gangster helps with sharpening the piece of glass, but he’s not enthused about the plan, warning that Jung-woo will die if he fails. But Jung-woo just asks if he has money.
Jung-woo has a chat with Raccoon, the prison procurer, asking for keys to the handcuffs used here. Raccoon tells him it’ll be expensive—and as usual, it’ll be twice as much for Jung-woo.
That night, Chul-shik says he’s made tools before so he’ll do his best, and Jung-woo says he trusts him, which makes Chul-shik bashful. Their whispering wakes Rockfish, who wonders why they’ve suddenly become so close when Jung-woo got Chul-shik put away. Chul-shik says he’s just practicing “Love thy enemy.” Ha.
Eun-hye watches a video she recorded of Jung-woo the last time she visited him. In it he speaks to himself, in case he loses his memories again. Jung-woo explains what happened and who is responsible, but that Ha-yeon is alive and that he has to get out so he can save her. He tells himself to trust Eun-hye, who will help him. Eun-hye nods in determination back at him.
Jung-woo tosses and turns in his sleep, dreaming once again of Ji-soo and Ha-yeon trying to wake him. He mutters about Ha-yeon’s birthday, then says, “I’m sorry, Ji-soo,” and sits up, awake. His cellmates surround him, all certain he’s lost his memory again, but he assures them he’s fine. They all sigh in relief and go back to sleep, and Jung-woo, teary-eyed, promises Ji-soo that he will find their daughter.
At the prosecutor’s office, Joon-hyuk reads up on Min-ho’s alleged suicide before he interviews Min-ho in the interrogation room. He asks why the man hired a public defender, and Min-ho replies that he knows Joon-hyuk will take care of things for him either way. Joon-hyuk asks him why he turned himself in for Yeon-hee, and why he got himself sent to Woljung Penitentiary. “I have a friend there,” Joon-hyuk says. “His name is Park Jung-woo. You had an issue with him.” Ahhh, no, why would you tell him that?
Min-ho makes some excuses, but Joon-hyuk only has one thing to say: “Jung-woo’s case is closed. I don’t want there to be a retrial.” He leaves, and Min-ho laughs in delight. Oh, you bastard.
Joon-hyuk looks at his blurry reflection in a window and thinks back to his certainty about Jung-woo’s guilt and his request for the death penalty, and says aloud, “I can’t take all that back. I’m sorry, Jung-woo.”
Jung-woo finishes polishing his shard to a point in the yard. Raccoon pushes by him, pretending to snipe at him as he passes him a key out of the sight of the guards. Chul-shik walks up a moment later and confirms that Jung-woo has the key, and all is now in ready. Tae-soo watches the scene intently.
Jung-woo meets the doctor and tells her he had the dream that always triggered his memory loss before. He says he missed his family so much, but remembered what the doctor had said about finding an answer in the dream. He kept himself from holding his wife and daughter, afraid he would lose all his memories again. The doctor says he’s found a way to keep from forgetting again, but he says now he won’t see Ji-soo again. The doctor says after this hard time, she might appear in his dreams again, and Jung-woo says that maybe she will come to find him.
Sung-kyu takes Ha-yeon to Eun-hye’s aunt’s beauty salon, remembering Jung-woo’s praise for the lawyer. Aunt welcomes them and coos over Ha-yeon, but she suddenly notices the girl has a fever. Ha-yeon collapses in Sung-kyu’s arms, and the ambulance takes them away just as Eun-hye returns home. Ack!
Aunt explains the guests to Eun-hye, and she recognizes Sung-kyu from a photograph her niece shows her. Eun-hye spots Ha-yeon’s forgotten backpack and finds the label which identifies it as belonging to Jung-woo’s daughter. She dashes out, calling emergency services to find out where Ha-yeon was taken.
Sung-kyu is told Ha-yeon has pneumonia and that she must be admitted. Eun-hye speeds to the emergency room, but Seok and his goons have already arrived, although they don’t find their quarry. Sung-kyu and Ha-yeon hide in a corner and watch the men leave, then flee to somewhere Sung-kyu is sure they won’t be found: Chamyung Hospital.
Min-ho arrives back at the prison, and Chul-shik asks Jung-woo if he’s sure he wants to do this. On their next exercise break, Jung-woo hands him the sharpened glass and tells him it’s the only way. Chul-shik reluctantly clasps his hand in agreement.
When they’re heading back to their cells, Chul-shik looks back at Jung-woo, who winks. Chul-shik leaves the line and walks toward Jung-woo. He says quietly, “Goodbye, Park Jung-woo,” and stabs him with the glass, then keeps walking, though he pauses next to Min-ho. Jung-woo collapses, and Min-ho realizes he’s holding a bloody shard of glass in his hand and drops it. Guards immediately apprehend a protesting Min-ho, and Tae-soo rushes over to Jung-woo, who clutches his wound and smiles slightly.
Min-ho is dragged away and put in solitary confinement, and the guard ignores his protests, telling him he’s gone too far—and besides, his friend the warden isn’t here right now.
Tae-soo and his colleague take Jung-woo to the doctor, and after Jung-woo grabs her wrist meaningfully, she tells them he needs surgery and will have to be moved, overriding their protests. They strap him to a gurney, and Jung-woo counts each of the seven doors as the guards unlock them and wheel him through.
We flash back to Jung-woo explaining his plan to Chul-shik: He told the gangster to stab him so he’d have to be transferred out to a hospital, because the doctor doesn’t specialize in surgery. He’d wanted to get out before Min-ho arrived, but since the man had arrived earlier than expected, they changed their plan to frame him instead.
When Min-ho finds out where Jung-woo is headed, he pulls his strings, and the ambulance is told to head to Chamyung Hospital instead, despite the protests of the doctor that it will take too long, and Jung-woo’s panic. Min-ho tells Seok to head over, and tells the warden he needs to go to Chamyung Hospital too. When the warden says it will be difficult, Min-ho simply cuts his hand with the glass shard and says he needs treatment.
Jung-woo arrives at the hospital and is taken into surgery, one wrist handcuffed to his bed. When Jung-woo’s nurses step away for a minute, he takes the key Raccoon gave him out of his mouth and tries it on the handcuffs, but it doesn’t work—Raccoon tricked him. A doctor comes then and takes Jung-woo’s gurney into another room, though we don’t see his face at first.
Once he draws the curtain, the doctor removes his mask—it’s Tae-soo. “Is Ha-yeon really alive?” he asks. Jung-woo nods. Tae-soo says he doesn’t believe it. “Not until you bring her in front of me,” he adds, and unlocks Jung-woo’s handcuffs. He gives his brother-in-law scrubs and a cell phone, and Jung-woo thanks him. Tae-soo returns to the others just as they discover that the prisoner has disappeared.
Jung-woo stumbles into the stairwell dressed as a doctor, his wound bleeding heavily. Meanwhile, Eun-hye’s friend calls her with information about Sung-kyu’s recent internet access, and she heads to the location Min-kyung provides.
Jung-woo reaches the parking garage and calls Eun-hye, telling her to come pick him up. Eun-hye says that she’s found Ha-yeon; she’s sick and at Chamyung Hospital. Jung-woo says excitedly that he’s already there, and that he’ll find her. He makes his way to the pediatrics ward, avoiding Min-ho’s men as he goes. He keeps trying different rooms without success, the pain of his wound growing worse, when he spots Sung-kyu walking away down the hall.
He enters the room Sung-kyu just left. The first bed contains a stranger. He walks to the drawn curtain of the second bed and closes his eyes, then pulls the curtain back to see his sleeping daughter. “Ha-yeon,” he whispers, and cries as he walks toward her. “Daddy’s little girl. My Ha-yeon.” He kisses her forehead.
*sniff* I’m not crying, it’s just dusty in here. Honest. But really, how long-awaited and heartwarming was that moment? And kudos to Ji Sung for giving us a beautiful and heartbreaking portrayal of a dad willing to do anything to find the daughter he thought he’d lost. His hesitation to pull open the curtain, the way he looked at her at that moment when he finally saw her, those heartfelt words—everything about the moment felt authentic. He’s always excellent, of course, but I can’t help but think of Ji Sung’s own family when he plays a father and husband in this show, and he certainly looks haggard enough for me to believe that he’s making the same connection. I cannot imagine what it must be like to act in a drama like this with a new wife and a new baby at home.
I was definitely exclaiming in distress and frustration at various points during this tense episode, and it came as a huge relief to finally have some forward movement in favor of our hero in its final minutes. Firstly, Joon-hyuk is even more of a selfish bottom-feeder than I had ever imagined, because at least before, he truly believed that Jung-woo was guilty, even if his ethics were muddier than the Mississippi. His decision to bury the truth after finding out that Ha-yeon was out there, alive, and had even called him to ask for his help, took him beyond irredeemable for me. I never did buy the logic that it’s too late to turn back once you’ve done a few evil things, and it doesn’t fly in this case either. That little girl calls him “Uncle Joon-hyuk,” and as far as he knows, he’s left her to a horrible fate at the hand of kidnappers and murderers. I hope the writers are readying pitchforks for him, but if not, I’ll find one of my own.
Min-ho, on the other hand, is going further into Crazytown with every episode, and I think that’s what makes him such a fascinating villain. He’s obviously deeply psychologically disturbed and not simply selfish and amoral, and it seems that this may be a trait passed down from his father. Chairman Cha certainly showed the same tendency to flip from terrifying violence to gentle conciliation, and Yeon-hee has clearly recognized her father-in-law’s volatile and scary nature. I think Min-ho is too blinded by the desire for his father’s love and acceptance to recognize how dangerous the man is, because so far, he doesn’t regard him as a threat; apart from Yeon-hee, his father is the only person Min-ho keeps trying to please, whereas everyone else feels the full violence of his wrath when he doesn’t get his way. I’m interested to see what kind of betrayal Yeon-hee’s warning to Min-ho might foreshadow.
I’ve been growing more frustrated with Tae-soo as this drama has progressed, because it bothered me that he never noticed anything strange about this case, considering he works in the prison where Jung-woo was held. Even Eun-hye picked up on some suspicious details right away and started digging, but Tae-soo was so naive that except for one or two brief moments of doubt, he accepted at face value every verdict and decision handed down by the courts. It’s hard for me to believe that any employee of the incredibly corrupt Woljung Penitentiary would have that much faith in the justice system, and especially in the face of such a close familial relationship.
I also found it frustrating that once Jung-woo began to regain crucial memories, and especially to remember clues that could lead to proving his innocence, he never shared them with Tae-soo, even though he’s one of the only people around Jung-woo with no ulterior motives regarding this case. So it came as a relief to finally have Tae-soo on our hero’s side. I wish these two could have started working together earlier, if only to prevent Jung-woo from getting that nasty stab wound, but then I guess part of the enjoyment of this story is to watch Jung-woo overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to get to his Ha-yeon. And I have to admit, all the suffering Jung-woo’s been through made that reunion even sweeter. I’m really hoping Daddy and daughter get to actually reconnect and hopefully escape together in the next episode, because we already had enough instances of Ha-yeon almost getting to safety in this one. I think we’re all a little overdue for some happiness around here, don’t you?