Defendant: Episode 11
Jung-woo has come a long way since he woke up with no memory of his past few months, since he now realizes that he needs help to protect what is most precious to him. Luckily, he finds himself surrounded by some very capable people who are on his side. As Min-ho forces him to take part in a dangerous game, at the very least, Team Jung-woo is no longer just a party of one.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
A prison van deposits the warden, the head of security, and Min-ho in front of Chamyung Hospital. Min-ho takes charge and finds out that the CCTV footage shows that Jung-woo ran back into the hospital.
Ha-yeon’s eyes open at her father’s kiss. As Jung-woo tearfully strokes his daughter’s face, he apologizes for taking so long to appear. When Ha-yeon asks about her mother, Jung-woo whispers, “Mom will come soon. After you sleep and wake up, let’s go home together.” Dutifully, Ha-yeon closes her eyes and falls back asleep.
Jung-woo walks behind the curtain to face a waiting Sung-kyu. The young man apologizes, explaining that he took Ha-yeon to pay for his sister’s surgery. Crying, he assures Jung-woo that he was unaware of the rest of the plan. Whatever his true feelings, Jung-woo simply tells Sung-kyu, “Let’s go for now, this place is dangerous.”
Seok and his crew arrive at Chamyung Hospital just as Jung-woo carries Ha-yeon from her room. With Sung-kyu’s help, they head for the parking garage, barely missing the men sent to search the floor. They are forced to exit the stairwell when more of Min-ho’s men enter.
After Seok reports that Sung-kyu didn’t turn up at the other local hospitals, Min-ho realizes that he may be at Chamyung. Hiding close by, Jung-woo overhears the exchange, alerted to an update via walkie talkie that he was spotted on the third floor. He returns to the supply room where he left Sung-kyu and Ha-yeon, slumping to the floor next to them.
Sung-kyu confesses that he wanted to turn himself in, but he was told there was evidence to prove that he was guilty of Ji-soo’s murder. After he admits that he didn’t know what to do, Sung-kyu is surprised when Jung-woo thanks him for taking good care of Ha-yeon.
Jung-woo thinks it unlikely that they can escape the hospital together, so Sung-kyu suggests going to the police, arguing that Jung-woo can now prove that Ha-yeon is alive. He reasons that no one will believe the words of a prisoner sentenced to death, plus, Sung-kyu and Ha-yeon are in immediate danger.
Jung-woo decides to lure the men who are searching for him, giving Sung-kyu a chance to escape to the garage with Ha-yeon. Promising to meet them in twenty minutes, Jung-woo tenderly kisses Ha-yeon’s hand, praying, “Please help me.” Using the cell phone that Tae-soo gave him, Jung-woo snaps a photo of Ha-yeon.
Walking into the hallway, Jung-woo waits until Min-ho’s men notice him before running away. Min-ho thinks to check the supply room, smiling when he sees blood on the floor. Sung-kyu holds Ha-yeon tightly in their hiding spot as Min-ho looks around before following the blood trail out another door, unaware of their presence. Sung-kyu cautiously leaves with Ha-yeon as Jung-woo continues to evade his pursuers.
Jung-woo’s strategy works, and Sung-kyu safely reaches his car with Ha-yeon. A few minutes later, Jung-woo makes it to the garage and is just steps from Sung-kyu’s car when Seok and his men show up. Jung-woo looks over at a helpless Sung-kyu, but when he notices that Seok is about to follow his gaze, he manages to distract him by taunting all his efforts to catch one man.
Jung-woo silently pleads, Sung-kyu, please take care of my Ha-yeon, as he allows himself a final glance towards his daughter. He slowly backs away before leading the men away from Sung-kyu, allowing him to drive off. Jung-woo drops to the ground as Sung-kyu’s car passes before him, and he finally passes out, surrounded by Min-ho’s men.
Jung-woo awakens with a jolt to find Min-ho by his side. He pushes a finger into Jung-woo’s stab wound, causing him to writhe with convulsions of pain as he explains that the guards believe that he’s already had surgery. He cautions Jung-woo to be careful, or he’ll get caught for trying to escape.
Min-ho explains his helpful warning with a reminder that they’re playing a game to see who finds Ha-yeon first, observing that it’s no fun to play alone. A doctor appears with the warden, explaining that there was a mixup with the operating rooms. Thinking his surgery over, the warden orders Jung-woo returned to Woljung Penitentiary. Min-ho allows himself a satisfied smile before walking away.
Passing Tae-soo in the hallway, Min-ho returns his phone, cautioning, “You should try to take good care of your cell phone.” Min-ho then encounters Eun-hye as she runs into the hospital and asks to discuss his trial scheduled for the following day, but she promises to contact him later and starts to walk away.
Refusing to be ignored, Min-ho grabs Eun-hye by the arm, reminding her that she said she would do her best for him. Looking back at Min-ho, Eun-hye orders, “CEO Cha Sun-ho, please let go of me.” After he releases her, Eun-hye assures Min-ho that she will see him in court the next day.
Eun-hye finds Jung-woo before he leaves the hospital, managing to ask him, “Did you get to meet her?” He responds with a faint nod before the guards take him away. Tae-soo stays behind to ask Eun-hye to tell him whatever she knows. He calls a number from his phone and her phone rings, prompting him to ask why Jung-woo called her, but Eun-hye can only offer that she has nothing to tell him.
Parking down the street from a small, remote hospital, Sung-kyu recalls Jung-woo’s instructions: “If I don’t get there in time, you should head to the Maria Hospital. Go speak with the director there, he will definitely be of help.” Inside, the doctor examines Ha-yeon in his office, her image included in a photo on his desk. The doctor reassures Sung-kyu that Ha-yeon will recover with treatment and rest. Once he leaves, Sung-kyu takes Ha-yeon’s hand, promising, “Hyung, I will look after Ha-yeon.”
An ambulance returns Jung-woo to the prison where he is handcuffed to a bed in the doctor’s office. She examines him as he twists in pain, realizing that he didn’t have surgery. He begs the doctor to operate on him, but she tells him that she can’t manage the surgery that he needs.
The doctor remembers a prisoner who was listed as a surgeon, and a check of her files reveals that he was convicted for patricide. In his cell, Rockfish admires his newly fixed sock, observing, “Whenever our dear Elder patches things up, they always comes out perfect.”
Rockfish realizes that there’s been no news about Jung-woo and wonders if he’s dead. Chul-shik reacts strongly, calling the cellmates traitors just as the doctor enters their cell. She looks at Mil-yang, explaining, “We need a surgeon. Please help me, doctor.” Ignoring the cellmates’ questions, Mil-yang and the doctor exit the cell while Chul-shik worries that he stabbed Jung-woo too hard.
The doctor takes Mil-yang to Jung-woo, explaining that he needs surgery right away and that Mil-yang is the only one with the necessary training. Once he completes the surgery on a very awake Jung-woo, Mil-yang apologizes that the procedure took too long, but his patient manages a shaky, “Thank you, Elder.”
Waking up in the hospital, Ha-yeon tells Sung-kyu, “I saw Dad.” He suggests that she had a dream, but she insists that Jung-woo promised to come for her. Sung-kyu agrees that Jung-woo will indeed come for her before encouraging Ha-yeon to get more sleep.
Tae-soo visits a sleeping Jung-woo, whispering, “I saw the photo of Ha-yeon. She was really alive after all. You didn’t really do that to my sister and our dear little Ha-yeon, right?” He gently grasps Jung-woo’s handcuffed hand.
As Min-ho prepares to leave for his trial, the warden assumes that he won’t return. Min-ho asks to visit Jung-woo, passing by Tae-soo on his way to the doctor’s office. He sits on the bed of the now-awake Jung-woo, asking, “Ha-yeon was at the hospital, right?” He wonders where she is now.
Sure that he will find Ha-yeon, Min-ho makes it clear that Jung-woo won’t be leaving the prison for any more court appearances, nor will he be allowed out for the hospital again. Jung-woo utters, “Cha Min-ho,” only to be corrected, “I told you that I’m Cha Sun-ho.” The doctor watches with interest as Min-ho walks away.
Before boarding the prison van, Min-ho informs the warden that Jung-woo never had surgery because he tried to escape from the hospital. The warden marches into the doctor’s office and rips off Jung-woo’s bandage, revealing a neat row of stitches. He walks away puzzled while the doctor tends to Jung-woo, noting the many people interested in his affairs.
Eun-soo welcomes Min-ho home along with a subdued Yeon-hee, who takes his hand and apologizes. Min-ho tells her not to be concerned before escaping to his office to stare at his hand with a smile.
A call from Seok interrupts Min-ho, telling him that Ha-yeon disappeared from the hospital without a trace. Seok is ordered to check on anything related to Jung-woo. Sitting in his hospital bed, recalling Min-ho’s words that he won’t be able to leave the prison again, Jung-woo tells himself, “Now, it’s Mission: Escape.”
The cellmates appreciate the improved quality of their food, waving to Jung-woo, who now mans the meal cart. When he returns to his cell, Chul-shik approaches to ask, “Did you look into it? Nobody’s ever escaped from here before.”
During recreation time, Jung-woo carefully studies the prison facility. That night he tells Chul-shik, “There are too many people watching during the day. I have to move at night.” Chul-shik argues the feasibility of the plan, but reasons that if something happens to Jung-woo, he’ll be stuck in prison forever, so he finally agrees to join him.
Chul-shik wonders how Jung-woo managed to get assigned to meal deliveries, learning that he offered the warden something Min-ho could never give him. Jung-woo recalls meeting with the warden, who reminded him that he could spend his prison days in solitary or in comfort.
Jung-woo volunteered a convincing lie, “CEO Cha Sun-ho killed his own brother Cha Min-ho,” explaining that everyone believed that he committed suicide except for him. Asked for proof, Jung-woo answered that he couldn’t remember, promising to tell the warden when his memory returned. Then, he’d asked for a favor.
Chul-shik worries about telling the warden too much, but Jung-woo declares it the only way for him to move around the prison. When Chul-shik examines the cell door, Mong-chi volunteers that he’s tried everything, but the door won’t budge. Jung-woo concentrates his attention on the window instead.
While loading the meal cart, Jung-woo passes by an open tool box with a stray file that landed in the lid. Chul-shik happily assumes the newbie’s duty of accepting food deliveries, taking possession of the pilfered file from Jung-woo.
Chairman Cha learns from his lawyer that a leak from Chamyung means that the prosecutor’s office won’t close its investigation into the paper fund. He advises the Chairman that someone will have to take the blame, just as Min-ho enters his father’s office.
Hastily gathering up the files, the lawyer apologizes to Min-ho for not personally handling his case. Once he leaves, Min-ho offers his own apology for causing trouble, but the chairman is eerily congenial as he kindly invites his son to join him for a meal.
While the inmates sleep, Chul-shik watches the hallway as Jung-woo files through a screw holding a large window grill in place. Upon hearing a noise, Jung-woo closes the window and the two men pretend to be asleep, breathing a sigh of relief once a guard passes their cell, both unaware that Mong-chi has been watching them.
Out in the yard, when Chul-shik asks how he plans to get past the metal gate, Jung-woo nods to some passing guards with key rings. Chul-shik offers to find someone with the skills to get the keys, but Jung-woo worries that rumors will spread.
Mong-chi joins them, guessing, “You guys are planning to leave this place, aren’t you,” threatening to alert the safety warden about the cell window unless he can join them. Chul-shik urges him to complete his prison sentence, but Mong-chi insists that he has a reason for escaping.
Hidden behind Chul-shik, Mong-chi rips off his heat pad and presents that reason: a winning lottery ticket for two million dollars. Jung-woo argues that a successful escape for two is hard enough, three even harder. Mong-chi responds by reaching inside his pants, eventually pulling out the necessary key ring that unlocks the hallway doors, declaring it enough to earn him a chance to escape.
Jung-woo asks how Mong-chi got the keys, and we witness a previous hallway brawl between inmates as guards worked to restore order. From his cell, Mong-chi noticed the key ring swinging in the action and took the opportunity to help a guard who was knocked to the ground, snatching his keys in the process. Unfortunately, the keys aren’t labeled.
Jung-woo agrees to give the idea some thought, but Mong-chi tells him to decide immediately before bouncing off. Arguing to Jung-woo that there’s no other way, Chul-shik flashes Mong-chi an OK sign. He excitedly returns to explain that he has one condition: He must escape within ten days, or his lottery ticket becomes worthless.
Reasoning with Chul-shik and Mong-chi that all of the key rings must be organized the same way, Jung-woo counts which key opens the metal gate as he pushes a book cart through the hallway. At night, the three men huddle under a blanket as Jung-woo identifies that key on the key ring.
The men turn their attention to the CCTV cameras when their blanket is suddenly pulled away by the three remaining cellmates, who look down on the three planning to escape. Gangster Hyung speaks up and asks, “What are you guys doing?”
Mong-chi checks that the hallway is clear before the cellmates sit to talk. Jung-woo and Chul-shik have explained that they are escaping to catch the real criminal responsible for Jung-woo’s crime, and Mong-chi adds that he has his own reason. Mil-yang decides to support their effort, and Rockfish admits that he likes prison, agreeing to the the escape as well.
All eyes turn to Gangster Hyung, who protests that he promised his family that he would be returning after his latest “fishing trip.” He points out that if anyone gets caught escaping, everyone in the cell will be punished. He asks Mil-yang and Rockfish if they are okay with that, and they both nod in agreement.
Taking his cellmates into his confidence, Jung-woo holds up Ha-yeon’s hospital bracelet, declaring, “My daughter is alive.” Gangster Hyung takes a deep breath before deciding, “Fine, let’s try it. Be sure to find your daughter.”
Since the guards trust Mil-yang, he is tasked with determining the CCTV patterns from their office. He pretends to read the paper with the guards while watching the camera feed, using his watch to take detailed notes on their schedule. Back in the cell, the cellmates unfold a mat with a map of the prison drawn on it, allowing Mil-yang to explain how the cameras cover the prison as he hands Jung-woo the watch that he used to time them.
Jung-woo explains that to get outside, they must use the revolving door that is turned off at night, and the only way to turn it on is from the patrol office, which is manned twenty-four hours a day. Leaving the cell, Jung-woo plants burning cigarettes wrapped in a bundle of matches to trigger a fire alarm.
When the guards run from the office, Jung-woo enters to turn on the revolving door, allowing him to get through before snipers surround him. The simulation was only imagined, and the cellmates try to think of a better solution, realizing how difficult the challenge is.
Out in the yard, the six cellmates huddle together on the bleachers, trying to figure out how to escape Cell 3. Jung-woo announces that he might have a solution. That night, as Jung-woo prepares to test the escape plan, he emerges from the bathroom to an enthusiastic rendition of “Happy Birthday.” How can criminals be so endearing?
Gangster Hyung admits that they missed Jung-woo’s birthday the previous week because they didn’t know about it. Elder explains that since he’s leaving, they decided to celebrate that night, urging Jung-woo, “Make sure to succeed. Find your daughter and find the criminal.”
That night, the six inmates pretend to be asleep. Once the guard passes their cell, they all spring into action, helping Jung-woo to escape through the window as Rockfish reminds him, “If you get caught, we don’t know anything!” Using Mil-yang’s watch, Jung-woo times his way past the CCTV cameras and uses the appropriate keys to make it through the gates. He eventually makes his way to the warden’s office, remembering what he told the inmates when he announced his plan to escape Cell 3.
The cellmates sat with Jung-woo on the bleachers while he explained that the one room in the prison without steel bars was the warden’s office. When he met with the warden, he learned that the office door remains unlocked, and Mil-yang confirmed that he experienced the same thing.
Opening a window, Jung-woo jumps out of the warden’s office and, climbing up some pipes, manages to pull himself onto the roof. Watching the snipers in the guard tower across the yard, he stands up, telling himself, “I’ll be out soon,” only to hear a voice asking, “Did you think I wouldn’t know?”
The reunion between Jung-woo and Ha-yeon, although too brief, was necessary to infuse some much needed hope into the plot. Jung-woo spent much of the first half of the drama dealing with the aftermath of his memory loss, which involved him coming to grips with the deaths of his wife and daughter. Now that his memory has returned and he has seen Ha-yeon, Jung-woo’s focus is on reuniting with his daughter and protecting her from whatever Min-ho has planned.
Interestingly, Ha-yeon and Jung-woo are both patients at the same time, each strengthened by their recent reunion. Ha-yeon knows that her father finally came for her, after all of her patient waiting. Jung-woo knows with certainty that Ha-yeon is alive, kept safe by Sung-kyu, and even though he ended up back at the prison, he finally has a reason to live. Being on the run at the hospital proved that there is nothing that Jung-woo won’t do to save his daughter. His race to meet Sung-kyu and Ha-yeon was awfully suspenseful and disappointing when Seok arrived on the scene. Now, Jung-woo has come up with another way to get to Ha-yeon.
Of course, Jung-woo’s plans involve escaping from prison, but somehow, he won’t be alone. Gone are the days when Jung-woo sat alone on the bleachers. Over time, Chul-shik joined him, whether he was welcome or not. The newest member of Jung-woo’s motley crew is Mong-chi, not exactly the smartest accomplice, but certainly motivated and in possession of the needed keys. Unable to meet in private, the entire cell eventually became aware of the planned escape and everyone did their part to help the trio, especially since Jung-woo shared that Ha-yeon was alive. Taking the cellmates into his confidence was a huge step for Jung-woo, and it served to strengthen the bonds between the men who are willingly sharing the risks of the planned escape. The impromptu birthday celebration proved how much Jung-woo’s cellmates have come to care about him, and it’s become clear that the remaining men will actually miss him.
The focus on the happenings at the prison have left Eun-hye and Yeon-hee with little to do, though. The doctor at the prison had more to do than they did. I imagine they will be featured more if and when Jung-woo escapes from prison, but in the meantime, it’s been disappointing that their characters haven’t been more developed. Of course, Eun-hye owned the fist pumping moment when she ordered Min-ho to release her arm. I hope that she doesn’t have to pay for that later, because is was a defining moment. Her confrontation with Tae-soo makes me wonder if they will find themselves working together in the future to help Jung-woo and Ha-yeon. We know that they already have each other’s phone numbers.
This episode was a real turning point for the character of Jung-woo, who experienced a renewed sense of purpose. Even though Min-ho continues to attack him, Jung-woo now has Ha-yeon to keep him from giving up. He’s finally willing to accept help and to share the truth about Ha-yeon. Even though Min-ho is certain that he will win his sick game to find Ha-yeon, now that Jung-woo has people to help him, this race is far from over.