Defendant: Episode 7
In the aftermath of Jung-woo’s appeal, everyone prepares for their next step. Jung-woo is thrown a lifeline, leading to a breakthrough, but being trapped in prison means that no one will listen to what he has to say. Somehow, he has to find a way to be heard, now more than ever. Increasingly desperate, how much more can Jung-woo bear in his fragile state?
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Following Sung-kyu’s shocking confession, Jung-woo demands to know, “Who are you?” He tries to shake an answer from Sung-kyu, causing a commotion that awakens the cellmates and brings the guards, who remove Jung-woo from the cell.
Sung-kyu pretends not to know what set off Jung-woo, and while the cellmates grumble about the disturbance, Mong-chi sees the plastic bag hanging in the window, causing everyone to turn to Sung-kyu questioningly.
Jung-woo is back in solitary, frantic to know who exactly Sung-kyu could be. As he calms down, he remembers an earlier conversation with Sung-kyu, who tried to ask him about kidnapping. Gangster Hyung smacked Sung-kyu on the head, schooling him on the three unforgivable crimes: murder, rape and kidnapping.
Sung-kyu tried to laugh off the exchange, explaining that he was just curious, but Gangster Hyung forcefully insisted that such crimes shouldn’t even be mentioned. Alone in solitary, Jung-woo suddenly becomes all too aware that Sung-kyu could be released from prison before answering his questions.
The deputy chief hands Joon-hyuk his diplomatic passport and other documents needed for his U.N. assignment. He asks how long Joon-hyuk intends to search for Ha-yeon, commenting that there are many lawyers lined up for the U.N. post.
The deputy chief remarks that the position doesn’t suit Joon-hyuk, who isn’t as skilled as Jung-woo or from a well-to-do family. It’s clear that he would like the search for Ha-yeon concluded before there is any talk that she might be alive. Joon-hyuk remains determined to find the girl and return her to her family.
Prosecutor Choi barges in, demanding to know why Joon-hyuk concealed Jung-woo’s confession to assure the death penalty. The deputy chief jumps to his defense, deflecting any talk of disciplinary action. When Prosecutor Choi asks Joon-hyuk if he’s hiding anything else, the deputy chief dismisses the young prosecutor.
Prosecutor Choi grabs Joon-hyuk’s arm as he walks by, appealing, “It’s not too late.” Joon-hyuk merely bows before leaving. As he walks down the hall, he recalls Jung-woo’s plea, “Please, just find Ha-yeon, no matter what.”
Sung-kyu appears in court for his final ruling, breathing a sigh of relief to learn that his only penalty is a traffic fine. Seok runs into an empty courtroom, having just missed Sung-kyu.
Min-ho enters his father’s office, and is greeted by a news report about Jung-woo’s case on the television. Commenting on the report, Chairman Cha dangerously approaches the truth when he says, “Killing a family member. I cannot comprehend such a thing.” Looking at Min-ho, he continues, “How could he do such a terrible thing?”
Min-ho sits with his father just as Seok calls with news that Sung-kyu has disappeared. Min-ho pretends to his father that the call was nothing important, but the chairman cautions him, “Sometimes, nothing much can become something too big to handle. So be cautious at all times.”
Sung-kyu is now on the street as a free man, descending into the subway. Min-ho calls the prison warden, demanding to know Jung-woo’s location, and is assured that after his nighttime call, Jung-woo was placed into solitary. Min-ho orders that Jung-woo be kept there without any contact whatsoever. He then views the newly discovered video of Ji-soo, wondering if Jung-woo regained his memory.
The warden checks on Inmate 3866, giving Jung-woo a chance to ask for a phone call. The warden teases Jung-woo with his phone, ordering him to get used to prison life. Min-ho calls the warden again and Jung-woo finds the ringtone somehow familiar.
Jung-woo concentrates, managing to remember hearing that same sound the day of his confession. As he sat alone in an interrogation room, that ringtone was followed by Ha-yeon’s voice calling out to him: “Dad!” Jung-woo jumped up to pound on the two-way mirror, desperately calling for his daughter.
Ha-yeon’s voice continued, “Daddy, where are you?” As tears of relief ran down his face, Jung-woo spoke into the microphone on the table, “Ha-yeon, I’ll be right there. You can wait, can’t you?” She asked him to bring her mother too, and Jung-woo broke down, explaining, “Mom is sick right now.”
Asking Ha-yeon to be strong, Jung-woo promised his daughter a kitten. At her happy response, Jung-woo began to sob, causing Ha-yeon to ask if he was crying. He denied his tears, covering the microphone so that she wouldn’t hear him. Jung-woo promised that he would come quickly for her, but Ha-yeon didn’t answer.
Throwing a chair, Jung-woo screamed into the mirror, “Who is it? Who are you?!” Jung-woo heard the following command, “Confess to it. If you want Ha-yeon to live.” The call ended just before Joon-hyuk returned to question Jung-woo.
Tae-soo sits beside his mother in a hospital. Mother Oh opens her eyes to learn that a neighbor called Tae-soo, telling him that she had collapsed. She explains that she had a strange dream about Jung-woo, sobbing, “It isn’t, is it? It isn’t son-in-law Park?”
Jung-woo sits in his cell, repeating over and over, “It’s Lee Sung-kyu.” He thinks back to Sung-kyu’s insistence that he had to get out of prison. Mong-chi had asked Sung-kyu how he was going to pay for an expensive surgery, but he assured the men that he would be fine. Jung-woo visualizes Sung-kyu’s case documents, struggling to remember his personal information.
Someone enters his section, causing Jung-woo to yell out for the warden. Tae-soo angrily opens the cell door to punch Jung-woo in the face. Jung-woo begs to make a call to save Ha-yeon, but every time he mentions her name, Tae-soo hits him, screaming, “Shut that mouth!” Tae-soo leaves Jung-woo lying on the floor, calling out Ha-yeon’s name.
Eun-hye’s aunt walks into her room, asking her despondent niece, “Is the world over?” Her aunt picks up a completed Notice of Withdrawal form, encouraging Eun-hye to submit it right away so she can end her involvement in Jung-woo’s case.
The cellmates sit together on a hallway bench, worrying about Jung-woo’s extended stay in solitary. Gangster Hyung changes the subject, asking about the rumors concerning the new female medical director. The cellmates share what they have heard and, upon learning that she smells good, Gangster Hyung stands up and enters her office.
When Gangster Hyung exits, he gives his cellmates an enthusiastic thumbs up, resulting in the others becoming eager for their turns. Mong-chi, real name Chun Pil-chil, is the last to see her. He tells her that she’s beautiful, then makes a show of his strength by flexing his biceps, eventually lifting his arms to make a heart over his head.
The doctor asks the head of security about the final inmate from that cell, only to discover that he’s in solitary. She know his identity and asks to see Jung-woo briefly as her review of his chart reveals no medical records at all, even though he reportedly lost his memory several times.
The head of security doesn’t appreciate the suggestion that Jung-woo was prevented from receiving treatment. He dismisses the doctor, telling her that she can see Jung-woo after he’s calmed down. Before he can leave, the doctor yells out, “I’m the doctor here. Bring him here.”
The head guard returns with the beaten Jung-woo. The doctor reminds Jung-woo that they met before, adding that she wants to help him, but he registers no recognition. She thinks that the guards are making Jung-woo uncomfortable and orders them outside.
When the head of security refuses, the doctor agrees not to report Jung-woo’s injuries if he cooperates. As soon as they are alone, Jung-woo grabs the doctor, covering her mouth. Betraying no emotion, he tells her, “You said you wanted to help me, didn’t you? Let me make one phone call.”
Looking defeated, Eun-hye submits her withdrawal notice to a smirking clerk. She answers her phone, shocked to hear Jung-woo, who asks, “Are you still my attorney?” Eun-hye takes back her form before agreeing that she is.
Jung-woo asks Eun-hye to find Sung-kyu, informing her that he has information on Ji-soo’s murder. He can only provide a partial resident ID number needed to search for him. Eun-hye promises to visit as soon as she locates the former inmate.
The head of security paces impatiently outside of the doctor’s office before storming in, only to find the doctor treating Jung-woo’s wounds. Jung-woo is finally escorted back to his cell, but the doctor expresses her opinion that it’s psychologically dangerous for him to be alone. Rather than make a report to the Department of Justice, she asks the head of security for this one favor.
Eun-hye wastes no time finding Joon-hyuk, demanding to know why she wasn’t informed sooner about Jung-woo’s confession. She points out that if its existence has been revealed earlier, Jung-woo could have avoided the death penalty. Joon-hyuk reminds her that he told her it was a trial that she would never win.
Eun-hye asks Joon-hyuk if he’s satisfied, but he counters that he lost two friends plus Ha-yeon. (Why is everything about him?) When he declares the trial over, Eun-hye disagrees. There is one more appeal available and Joon-hyuk urges her to file, telling her that maybe Jung-woo will accept the truth by then.
Eun-hye goes to a hospital to inquire about Sung-kyu’s sister, LEE YUN-SEO. There is no record of a patient with that name, so Eun-hye crosses the hospital off of her list, recalling Jung-woo’s suggestion that Sung-kyu’s sister must be in one of the local hospitals.
Yeon-hee and Min-ho visit Madame Cha at the hospital. Experiencing a lapse in her memory, she tells Yeon-hee that it’s time to get married before turning to her son, whom she recognizes as Min-ho. Madame Cha promises to convince his father, urging the couple to marry and go to America as she tells Yeon-hee that she is the only one for Min-ho.
The warden walks into the art room, surprised to see Jung-woo in attendance. The head of security updates him on the new doctor’s threat, forcing him to return Jung-woo to the general population. The warden decides to follow the doctor’s directive rather than risk a negative report.
Jung-woo doesn’t participate in the origami activity, distracted by his memory of Sung-kyu’s confession. Jung-woo bangs his fists on the table in frustration, attracting the attention of the head of security. Thinking fast, Mong-chi calls the teacher over to ask her for help with his origami, suggesting to Jung-woo that he join in. The cellmates push materials in front of Jung-woo, and the teacher’s presence forces the head guard to retreat.
Min-ho tucks his sleeping mother into bed before sitting with Yeon-hee. He lies that Sun-ho’s death was an accident, his impersonation necessary for everyone’s benefit. Min-ho promises a conflicted Yeon-hee that he will not disappoint her and will even protect her and Eun-soo. His mother hears their conversation, overcome with fear.
As Min-ho leaves the hospital, he happens to walk by Eun-hye as she inquires about Sung-kyu’s sister. This time, Eun-hye is successful, but discovers that the records show that Yun-seo died on October 7th.
Min-ho manages to bump into an unsuspecting Eun-hye, knocking her notebook to the floor. He gets a good look at a photo of Sung-kyu as he “helps” to pick up her scattered papers, now aware that Jung-woo is also searching for Sung-kyu. It turns out that Sung-kyu has been on a bus, and he gets off at a stop across the street from a church.
During recreation time, Mong-chi sets his origami bird free by dropping it into a drain. Rockfish teases him about wanting a real life prison break, even though he will be released soon. Mong-chi argues that prison drives him crazy, unlike Rockfish, who happily returned to prison the day after his release.
Chul-shik sits next to Jung-woo, pointing out his huge, scary cellmate across the yard, repeating his request for help in changing cells. Seeing that Jung-woo has no use for him anymore, Chul-shik points out that Jung-woo should be curious about why he’s been left alone, even though he put an innocent person like him in jail. That seems to get Jung-woo’s attention.
Chul-shik recounts the day of the Wolha-dong murder. He was demanding to see Jung-woo when the prosecutor was brought in, wearing handcuffs. They shared a cell, but Jung-woo resisted Chul-shik’s attempts to talk. He finally snapped, pinning Chul-shik against a wall as the man insisted on his innocence.
Jung-woo admitted that he knew that Chul-shik was telling the truth, and explains that he needed a way to investigate the hit-and-run case that killed Boss Kim and an autopsy doctor from the NFS. Jung-woo assured Chul-shik, “Just wait a little longer. When I catch him, it’ll be over.” Three days later, Jung-woo lost his memory.
Jung-woo asks Chul-shik who he was talking about. Chul-shik admits that Jung-woo never shared that information, urging him to remember it himself. Frustrated, Chul-shik shakes Jung-woo, asking him, “How long are you going to be this way?” Chul-shik again asks Jung-woo to move him to another cell, suggesting that he might remember something else. That night, Jung-woo stays awake, trying to remember who he was planning to catch.
On the phone with Yeon-hee, Min-ho explains that he was called out of the blue, asking if she knows why. She informs him that her father-in-law met Sun-ho once a month for a drink, but not since the accident. Hanging up, Min-ho mutters that he never once had a drink with his father.
As Min-ho joins his father for a drink, Chairman Cha finally addresses him as Sun-ho. Min-ho takes the opportunity to ask his father why he despised his younger son so much. Chairman Cha claims that everything was for Min-ho’s sake, causing Min-ho to counter, “Min-ho would have liked to hear that.”
Chairman Cha returns, “I’m sure Min-ho knows.” He then suggests that they forget Min-ho now that he’s gone, emphasizing to “Sun-ho” that Chamyung can never be shaken again.
Min-ho thinks over his talk with his father while waiting in a jewelry store. He is approached by a saleswoman who compliments him on a recent magazine article. She shows him the feature that celebrates him for guiding Chamyung out of crisis. A woman on an airplane has been reading that same article as she flies to Seoul.
Upon landing, the woman calls Sun-ho from the plane, leaving him a message, “Sun-ho, it’s me. How long are you going to not return my calls.” She asks him to get in touch with her at her usual place in Seoul.
Eun-hye finds a grocer who recognizes Sung-kyu. She remembered that his sister was really sick before they moved away. Eun-hye wants to know where he moved to, so the woman points her toward a mover, MR. KIM. He remembers Sung-kyu and happens to be on the way to the same neighborhood where he relocated.
The woman from the plane checks into a hotel, taking the room that she always uses. She sees Min-ho walking through the lobby and follows him into an elevator, smiling when he turns her way. She looks confused when he asks what floor she is headed for, but she manages to answer that she is on the twelfth floor. Exiting alone, she turns back as the doors close, sensing no recognition on “Sun-ho’s” face.
Min-ho joins Yeon-hee for her wedding anniversary dinner, presenting her with a necklace. She tells him that there is no need for that type of gesture, but Min-ho reminds Yeon-hee, “My brother’s wedding is a day I can’t forget either.”
Sung-kyu drives off in a car parked in front of a Catholic church just as Seok pulls up. He shows some children a photo of Sung-kyu and they point out which way he was headed. The mover drops Eun-hye in front of an apartment building, the same one where Jung-woo lived.
A security guard tells Eun-hye that Sung-kyu lived there briefly in the fall. She discovers that he lived in unit 304, directly across from Jung-woo’s apartment. Standing in front of both apartments, Eun-hye asks herself, “What in the world happened that day?”
Seok drives around the town, ending on a road with a sign that points to Woljung Penitentiary. He calls Min-ho, who is in the middle of dinner with Yeon-hee. Min-ho excuses himself to call the warden. When he can’t reach him, Min-ho explodes in frustration as the woman from the plane secretly observes him. She realizes that something is different about Sun-ho.
Rockfish and Mong-chi entertain the cellmates as they share coffee, but Gangster Hyung comments that without Sung-kyu, there is no one to take care of Jung-woo. He offers Jung-woo some coffee, noticing that he’s going through Sung-kyu’s personal items. A guard arrives to take Jung-woo to meet with a visitor.
Expecting to see Eun-hye, Jung-woo is surprised to find that his visitor is actually Sung-kyu. Jung-woo apologizes for shouting at him before Sung-kyu left the prison. Sung-kyu avoids answering any of Jung-woo’s questions, saying only, “I came to say thank you.”
Jung-woo encourages Sung-kyu to tell him what it is that he knows, but he explains that his words were only meant to keep Jung-woo from killing himself that night. Jung-woo then asks how Sung-kyu knew Ha-yeon’s song, but he doesn’t have an answer.
No longer able to control himself, Jung-woo yells at Sung-kyu, begging him to tell him. Sung-kyu leaves, telling Jung-woo, “I said I’d be right back.” Something about his answer causes Jung-woo to ask, “Ha-yeon is here, isn’t she?” Sung-kyu stops in his tracks before ignoring the question and walking out.
Jung-woo begs to be let out, sounding delusional as he claims that Ha-yeon is at the prison. Tae-soo appears, turning a deaf ear to Jung-woo’s ranting. Eun-hye bumps into Sung-kyu on her way inside to visit Jung-woo, not recognizing the man that she has been searching for.
Sung-kyu gets into his car, glancing at a backpack from Mt. Kkooldong kindergarten. Jung-woo is beside himself, acting like a raving lunatic as he screams out his daughter’s name. Ha-yeon calls out, “Uncle,” from the back seat, where she had been sleeping. Sung-kyu looks at her in the rear view mirror while Jung-woo, trapped in prison, screams out, “Ha-yeon!”
Ha-yeon is alive! As we approach the halfway point of Defendant, it was hugely satisfying to learn that Ha-yeon has been alive and well this whole time. What isn’t satisfying is the fact that for every revelation, more questions crop up, contributing to an even more complicated plot. It’s difficult to imagine how all of the loose ends will be satisfactorily tied up in the end. I’m actually hoping for a time jump into the future so that we can see a less broken Jung-woo, hopefully reunited with his daughter, but I’m not so sure there will be much time for that.
It was interesting that Min-ho’s phone call to the warden is what triggered Jung-woo’s memory. The warden couldn’t resist tormenting Jung-woo, waving his phone in his face. It put him within earshot when Min-ho called yet again. Their actions resulted in Jung-woo remembering that call from Ha-yeon while he was in custody, finally explaining what motivated him to confess to killing her and Ji-soo. How heartbreaking was it to see his joy at hearing Ha-yeon’s voice followed by his devastation at having to hide her mother’s death from her? Kudos to Ji Sung, who continues to deliver an incredible performance week after week.
Min-ho and the warden aren’t the only ones who keep stirring up trouble. Chairman Cha has a habit of confronting Min-ho with the truth while discussing other topics. It’s a pretty daring approach, considering that Min-ho is guilty of killing his own twin. What’s to stop him from killing his father at some point? Sun-ho’s mystery woman is sure to try to get to the bottom of his personality change, promising to wreak even more havoc in Min-ho’s life. At some point, a singular event will eventually topple Min-ho’s house of cards, and it could come from a number of directions.
Following the revelation of Jung-woo’s confession, Joon-hyuk’s underhandedness has finally come to light. Any attorney who cares at all for the integrity of the law will realize that Joon-hyuk doesn’t share that ideal. Instead, he is self centered, caring more about winning at any cost and advancing his career. These qualities are probably the reasons why he was selected to handle Jung-woo’s case. He’s not a very talented attorney, so rather than work hard to improve, he compromises the law to get what he wants, making him the perfect person for Min-ho to manipulate. Eun-hye sees through Joon-hyuk’s pseudo indignation, and I can’t wait for her to get the last word. Too long has he been using the loss of Ji-soo and Ha-yeon to justify twisting the law against Jung-woo.
Because Jung-woo has been betrayed by so many people close to him, it was especially hard to learn that Sung-kyu had Ha-yeon. He knows better than anyone how much Jung-woo has suffered since the death of his wife and the presumed death of his daughter. I’m trying to understand what motivated him to take her and why she is still alive. Min-ho expected that Ha-yeon’s body would be discovered in that suitcase, so he must have ordered her murder along with her mother’s. Is it possible that Sung-kyu kidnapped her as a substitute for his dying sister, or is she insurance to use against Min-ho? At times Sung-kyu appears to be either numb or cold, I can’t decide which. In the meantime, Ha-yeon is in the custody of a potentially dangerous man who is the target of other dangerous men. Sung-kyu is no match for Min-ho, meaning that Jung-woo can’t break out of prison soon enough.