Defendant: Episode 6
Things have never looked so bleak for Jung-woo, as it seems the whole world is convinced of his guilt and is hell-bent on putting him away, even if they have to use less than ethical means to do it. Jung-woo still has some allies, but the few clues that offer hope are disjointed and weak in the face of a prosecution team that’s hiding a winning card up its sleeve.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Three days after the Wolha-dong murder. Jung-woo rides in a van with Joon-hyuk, who tells him their superiors don’t know about this, and he can’t protect him from any consequences. Jung-woo nods.
Joon-hyuk arrives to find Mother Oh at Ji-soo’s funeral, and Jung-woo follows him in, wearing a baseball cap. When she sees him, she says, “You didn’t do it, right?” But he only apologizes, and she begins to cry, leaning on Joon-hyuk for support. Jung-woo stands before the memorial, tears in his eyes, and tells Ji-soo, “It was painful, wasn’t it? I’m sorry. This is all my fault. I’m going to find our Ha-yeon.”
He goes back to his distraught mother-in-law and takes her hand, pressing it meaningfully. He apologizes again, and she stops crying as the two men turn to leave. On their way out, they run into Tae-soo, who loses it as he threatens to kill him and tells him to get lost. Mother Oh opens her hand and unfolds the note left there by Jung-woo, and we hear in his voice, “Mother, please make sure you don’t clean the house.”
In the present, Joon-hyuk arrives at the scene where Tae-soo discovered the suitcase, but the case is empty, and Tae-soo is gone. Tae-soo barges into Jung-woo’s cell and drags him up by the collar, reminding him that he’d said he would kill him if he lied. He asks again where Ha-yeon is, saying she’s not in the bag. Jung-woo is confused and asks why there was a bag in the place he told Tae-soo about. Tae-soo keeps demanding an answer as the other guards drag him out.
Eun-hye stands outside Investigator Go’s hospital room—and fortunately he’s alive, though unconscious. She wonders what he’d wanted to tell her—surely something about Jung-woo’s case. Her friend from the prosecutor’s office, Prosecutor YEO MIN-KYUNG, joins her and says they haven’t been able to find any leads on the hit-and-run perpetrator. Min-kyung asks if Eun-hye knows why Investigator Go went to the NFS, but Eun-hye says they never had a chance to speak.
Min-kyung shares that the doctor said Investigator Go may not wake up. Eun-hye asks her friend to look into it more; she has a feeling this wasn’t an accident. On her way out, she sees a news report about the discovery of the empty suitcase that had been suspected to be holding Ha-yeon’s body.
Min-ho reads the same news report and wonders how “they” could take care of things in such an incompetent way, looking angry.
Jung-woo is awake in his cell that night, pondering over the new information too. He figures that since he led Tae-soo to that location, he must have buried the suitcase there. But then, where is Ha-yeon? He thinks back to the 16k clue again, trying to put it together.
Tae-soo unlocks the cell door. “Think carefully,” he tells Jung-woo. “Did you really kill Ha-yeon? The suitcase was empty. Doesn’t that mean she’s alive?” Jung-woo avoids his eyes, and Tae-soo drops to his knees. “As long as Ha-yeon is alive, I’ll forgive you. Please, just return Ha-yeon to us,” he says tearfully, grabbing Jung-woo’s leg. “Where is Ha-yeon?” Jung-woo reaches out to touch him, but clenches his hand instead, tears in his eyes.
Min-ho meets his black clad minion, SEOK, next to a burning garbage can in an abandoned lot. Seok hands him the NFS file, and Min-ho verifies it and throws it in the fire. Seok asks what he should do about “the woman lawyer,” and Min-ho says he’ll look into it. But, he says, he watched the news and there seems to be a problem. Seok apologizes, though he doesn’t seem to know what Min-ho is talking about.
Min-ho says that he worked so hard to get this far, so how could Seok take care of this so poorly? He takes out a burning timber from the drum and hits Seok with it repeatedly, asking why everyone keeps making him into a bad guy. Min-ho tells Seok to find the evidence, then makes a call to the deputy chief in the prosecutor’s office.
The deputy chief sits in his office with Prosecutor Choi and Joon-hyuk, asking if Joon-hyuk is going to continue in the same way after the case has blown up in the media. Joon-hyuk says the trial will go on as planned, but Prosecutor Choi angrily points out that the suitcase was empty, and now there’s Investigator Go’s accident too. He asks him to honestly tell him if he’s sure Jung-woo’s guilty. Joon-hyuk says he’s sure, though he avoids his superior’s gaze.
Prosecutor Choi says that if there’s a one percent chance that Jung-woo is innocent, he’ll take responsibility and re-investigate this case from the beginning. The deputy chief explodes at this, but Joon-hyuk looks straight at Prosecutor Choi and says there is no chance.
Eun-hye asks Joon-hyuk to do a DNA test on the suitcase, and wonders if he will change the charges regarding Ha-yeon if nothing is found. He says no, that the case record is clear. She tells him to let her know when the results are out and gets up to go, but he tells her to pass on to Jung-woo that nothing will change. She asks if he’s not just refusing to admit he made a mistake, but Joon-hyuk says this is a case they can’t win.
Eun-hye goes to visit Jung-woo and points out that he must have left the evidence of the empty suitcase on purpose, as it has raised the question of whether he might be innocent of Ha-yeon’s murder. She shows Jung-woo the surveillance video of him putting the suitcase in his car, the bag obviously too light to contain Ha-yeon’s body—which means they can still find her.
Eun-hye shows him the note he gave his mother-in-law, before he lost his memory for the first time. Jung-woo tells her he must go home and see for himself why he asked Mother Oh not to clean. When he tells her to contact Investigator Go about it, she shares the news of his accident and asks Jung-woo if he remembers the young man’s frequent visits, but he draws a blank. Jung-woo asks her to contact Prosecutor Choi instead.
The deputy chief prosecutor meets Min-ho for dinner and assures him that Eun-hye knows nothing, as the accident happened as soon as she picked up the phone. (Okay, it’s suspicious that he knows that in such detail.)
Joon-hyuk joins them, and the deputy chief introduces the two men, telling Joon-hyuk that the Chamyung Group president recommended him for the UN position. When Joon-hyuk asks why, Min-ho simply compliments his talent. He asks about Jung-woo’s upcoming appeal, and the deputy chief assures Min-ho there’s nothing to worry about.
As he’s leaving, Joon-hyuk’s mother calls, saying his father has gotten into a drunken fistfight again, so she asks him to call the police station on his behalf, and for around five thousand dollars in settlement money.
Eun-hye goes and relays her client’s request to Prosecutor Choi, who seems genuinely concerned about Jung-woo. Prosecutor Choi goes to Joon-hyuk’s office and asks why he didn’t tell him that he did the on-site investigation with a stand-in, and asks how he could still be so convinced of Jung-woo’s guilt. He says Jung-woo’s lawyer wants to lodge an official complaint, but that he’s held her off by promising to let Jung-woo see the crime scene.
Jung-woo arrives at the prosecutor’s office, and Joon-hyuk tells him that they have to do this quickly and quietly. Prosecutor Choi comes into the room and emotionally hugs Jung-woo, apologizing for not looking into the case more carefully. He wishes him luck and tells him he hopes he’ll remember something.
Eun-hye meets them at the apartment building, and Jung-woo enters his old home, imagining his family welcoming him back. Dream Ha-yeon runs to him, and he embraces her, crying, as she disappears before his eyes. Joon-hyuk warns that they don’t have time (jerk), and Jung-woo goes to Ha-yeon’s room, only to break down completely. When he comes back to the living room, he composes himself, and a memory comes back to him of the morning after the murder.
He was wearing a jacket over his pajamas, clutching Ji-soo’s body and sobbing over it when a security guard saw them and ran off in alarm. “What should I do now?” he asked aloud, before lowering her gently to the floor. He saw a camcorder on the floor, put in a tape and watched it, the screen visible only to him, until the police came in and arrested him.
In the present, Jung-woo looks frantically around the coffee table, but is unable to find anything. Joon-hyuk rushes him out, but Eun-hye stops Jung-woo before he leaves and asks if he remembered anything. When he gives her a tiny nod, she says she’ll visit him tomorrow. (I really wish people would stop sharing all this information with Joon-hyuk.)
Back at the prosecution’s interrogation room, Jung-woo remembers taking the memory card out of the camcorder, and that he definitely hid it somewhere. A shadowy figure watches through the observation window as the deputy chief comes in, saying he’s been worried about Jung-woo. He asks carefully if Jung-woo remembered anything when he went to see the crime scene, but Jung-woo says no; he simply wanted to go home.
The deputy chief tells him about Investigator Go’s accident and asks him if he knows why the man was at the NFS, but Jung-woo pretends this is news to him. Jung-woo asks who’s in charge of the case, and the deputy chief tells him it’s Prosecutor Yeo Min-kyung (Eun-hye’s friend).
Jung-woo wonders why the deputy chief is here, and asks for a glass of water. When the older man steps out, Jung-woo notices that the microphone on the table is on, and narrows his eyes at the one-way mirror, wondering who is watching him. Unseen, Min-ho stares back at him.
As he passes the observation room on his way out, Jung-woo breaks away from his guards and bursts through the door, but the room is empty. When he’s on his way down in the elevator, however, it stops and its doors open to reveal Min-ho, who joins them.
Min-ho flashes back to meeting the same doctor who diagnosed Jung-woo’s memory loss; she tells him that if someone lost their memory because they don’t want to remember it, it would be strange to remember the person who caused that memory loss. Min-ho asks if he can regain that memory, and she says the greater the shock, the smaller the possibility. She asks if she should prescribe something to help him relax, but he says that if it’s a memory he didn’t want, it’s probably best left forgotten.
Sung-kyu practices his case argument in front of his admiring cellmates when Jung-woo returns. They tell Jung-woo the young man has been practicing the way the prosecutor taught him, and they wish them both success in their trials.
Min-ho enters his office to find Yeon-hee in his secret room, calmly waiting for him. She remarks on the change in what was Sun-ho’s refuge, and he drags her out angrily. She tells him not to worry, since she doesn’t want him to get caught either. He asks how long she’s going to do this, and she replies, “Until my son inherits Chamyung.”
He hugs her and says that Min-ho, Yeon-hee, and Eun-soo have all returned to their proper places now, but she calls him crazy. “And you? You think you aren’t?” he asks her. She breaks from his hold and stalks out. Min-ho sighs and wonders how much more time she needs.
Jung-woo and Chul-shik are back on the roof for their punishment, and the gangster starts to ask for his next favor when Jung-woo reaches over and takes a piece of paper from his uniform pocket. It has the first two words on it, doorbell and 16k, and a third: Nemo. Chul-shik finally notices, and mutters, “I’m ruined.” Ha.
Jung-woo remembers feeding their clownfish with Ha-yeon, and says to himself, “That was the place.” At that moment, Eun-hye arrives to visit him, and he tells her he’s remembered why he said not to clean the house—he dropped the memory card in their fish tank. She rushes to his home and finds the card right where Jung-woo predicted it would be.
It’s trial day for both Jung-woo and Sung-kyu, and Gangster Hyung pulls out a block of tofu, telling them both to do well at their trials so that they don’t have to come back here. He gets emotional as they each take a bite, and the others rib him for it, except Mil-yang, who smiles encouragingly at Jung-woo.
Eun-hye gives herself a pep talk in the mirror as she gets ready, telling herself that even if she loses all her other cases, she has to win this one. She meets Jung-woo at the courthouse and shows him the results from the NFS’s analysis of the suitcase, which contained no trace of Ha-yeon’s DNA. She also shows him the memory card she found, and tells him to plead his own case. Jung-woo says he can’t do it, because if he’s the culprit, he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself for arguing that he was innocent.
Sung-kyu’s trial begins, and he tells the judge he’ll be arguing his case himself, referring to his notes. He impresses the prosecution with his opening argument, and thinks back to Jung-woo telling him that the law isn’t difficult, not the way protecting your family is, and Sung-kyu has done well at the latter. Sung-kyu looks moved at the memory.
In a different courtroom, Joon-hyuk approaches Eun-hye and wishes her luck, which he says is what he does when he knows he’ll win. She says they’ll have to wait and see. Tae-soo brings Jung-woo in, and the trial begins with the judge asking why the defendant is appealing.
Eun-hye rises and says that Jung-woo pleads innocence; the prosecution’s case rests on speculation, as the suitcase said to have contained Ha-yeon’s body was both empty and free of her DNA. Joon-hyuk argues that she could easily have been wrapped in something first, and that there’s no other explanation for where Ha-yeon went, but Eun-hye replies that this too is speculation with no evidence to back it up.
At Sung-kyu’s trial, the prosecution accuses him of assaulting a police officer who stopped him when he was fleeing the accident, but Sung-kyu says he simply pushed the man. When the officer is called to the witness stand, he says there was a physical fight; Sung-kyu replies that he was never read his Miranda rights, which the officer confirms. In the face of the prosecutor’s increasing irritation, Sung-kyu declares that since he wasn’t Mirandized, he was resisting unlawful arrest, and thus, it was self-defense.
Meanwhile, at Jung-woo’s trial, the judge says they’ll skip the evidence from the original trial and asks if they have new evidence, and both Joon-hyuk and Eun-hye say they do. Eun-hye submits hers first—it’s footage from the scene of the crime, and Joon-hyuk looks nervous.
Eun-hye says it seems Ji-soo pressed the record button herself right before she died, and hits play. On the TV, we see a bloodied Ji-soo lying on the floor, looking into the camera. She turns her head as a black-clad leg and foot crosses the frame. Eun-hye says that since the memory card was in water for a long time the audio was lost, but points out that a husband who killed his wife at home after a quarrel wouldn’t be wearing shoes; nor were the prints of these shoes found on the floor. When police arrived, Jung-woo hadn’t run away but was crying and holding his dead wife—could he really have obliterated his footprints? She says the real culprit is not the defendant, but the owner of those shoes.
Joon-hyuk says that’s possible, but then why didn’t the defendant bring up this advantageous evidence when he was arrested? He says he couldn’t, because it was Jung-woo himself in the video.
He shows an interrogation video of Jung-woo before his memory loss, where he confessed to killing Ji-soo and Ha-yeon. Joon-hyuk asked if it was true, and why he did it; Jung-woo said that he doubted Ji-soo. He said that he put Ha-yeon into a suitcase and buried her, though it was night, so he didn’t remember exactly where. The audience gasps in horror and sadness.
Joon-hyuk asks Jung-woo who the owner of the shoes in the video is. Jung-woo asks, “Are you saying it was me?” Eun-hye rises in objection. The judges asks Joon-hyuk why he didn’t reveal this footage at the first trial, and he replies that the prosecution didn’t believe that Jung-woo actually lost his memory, and so they didn’t reveal his confession because it might lessen Jung-woo’s sentence. He says he’s decided to reveal it now since Jung-woo continues to deny the charges.
Tears running down his face, Jung-woo says, “It was me. It was me.” The judge sentences him to death.
Sung-kyu and Jung-woo return to their cell, and the other prisoners begin to sing their congratulations when Sung-kyu stops them, nodding at Jung-woo. “It was me,” Jung-woo repeats numbly. “I was mistaken.” He thinks back to all the clues he’d thought might prove his innocence. Sung-kyu tells the others he’s not sure what happened; his own sentencing is tomorrow, and if he’s found not guilty, he’ll be set free.
That night, Jung-woo fingers pieces of a plastic bag while the others sleep. Oh no, I have a bad feeling about this.
Min-ho sits in his living room watching the coverage of the appeal, smirking in satisfaction, when Seok calls to tell him he’s found “that kid.” The person committed a crime and ended up in jail; Min-ho asks which prison.
In his cell, Jung-woo shapes the plastic into a noose and ties it to a bar high on the wall. He whispers, “I killed Ji-soo and Ha-yeon. I did it. Me.” As he steps up to the noose, Sung-kyu’s voice suddenly comes from the darkness. “Why would you die, Hyung? You didn’t do it.” Jung-woo turns to see the young man watching him from across the room.
“It was me,” says Sung-kyu.
“What?” asks Jung-woo. Sung-kyu repeats that it was him, then begins to ominously sing Ha-yeon’s favorite song. Jung-woo walks toward him slowly, then grabs Sung-kyu and demands to know, “Who are you?”
Whew, that was a hard episode to watch. It’s been difficult to witness Jung-woo’s pain and grief this whole time as he’s struggled to face the loss of his wife and daughter, but seeing him break down in the home they shared as a family was truly devastating. It was also maddening to endure Joon-hyuk’s lying face as he continued to go further down the path of corruption in this episode, although I suppose if he truly believes Jung-woo’s confession, then he’s simply doing whatever he can to put a murderer away. Still, the revelation that he concealed Jung-woo’s confession so he would get a harsher sentence showed an even uglier side to his character than we’ve seen so far, and his constant glaring assured me that he’s pretty much irredeemably on the side of the baddies now, even before he had dinner with our villain and his sycophant. (I did enjoy his glaring matches with Eun-hye, however.)
It’s clear by now that there’s a conspiracy at work here, but I admit I was shocked by the ending revelation that Sung-kyu is the murderer, which I had no inkling of until Seok’s phone call to Min-ho. Earlier in the episode I’d even found myself softening towards him and dismissing my earlier suspicions when he was so appreciative of Jung-woo’s help, and I was even rooting for him to win his trial. Well played, Show. I wonder whether Sung-kyu is confessing now because he figures Jung-woo is on borrowed time anyway with no hope for appeal, or if he truly had a change of heart because of Jung-woo’s help and encouragement, and feels sorry for what he did.
Another reason this hour was tough to watch was the continual dead ends faced by Jung-woo and his allies—every time there seemed to be hope for a lead, that hope was quickly extinguished. So far Jung-woo’s enemies have been terrifyingly efficient at getting rid of any evidence before it can be discovered. And seeing Ji-soo’s mother and Prosecutor Choi, who had still believed in him, finally give up hope in Jung-woo’s innocence was heartbreaking. It seemed that even Eun-hye, his staunchest defender until now, lost faith in him at that moment. Saddest of all, however, was seeing Jung-woo become convinced of his own guilt and succumb to despair. At least Investigator Go is alive; I’ll hold out hope that he will wake up at some point and be able to testify about Min-ho’s signature on the doctor’s form.
We also finally have definitive links between Min-ho and the Wolha-dong murders, since Min-ho was clearly angered by the discovery of the suitcase, and he has a connection with apparent murderer Sung-kyu. Unfortunately that might also mean that Ha-yeon’s survival is unlikely, since Min-ho isn’t known for his mercy; I can’t see him going to the trouble of secreting Ha-yeon away and arranging for her care when it would be so much easier to kill her and dispose of her body. Although that leaves the mystery of why Jung-woo would confess to killing his wife and daughter. Perhaps he was being blackmailed by Min-ho, who promised him the safe return of his daughter at some future time if he took the fall for the two murders. So many questions! One thing is for sure though—this show keeps getting better, and I can’t wait for next week’s developments. (I’ll just be here, biting my nails.)