Witch’s Court: Episode 3
Yi-deum has a talent for attracting attention with her headstrong attitude and cavalier disregard for proper procedure. But what makes for a fascinating heroine can also spell trouble, as Yi-deum takes a knock in her professional life. To make matters worse, she might just have baited the wrong foe(s) into her personal life as well.
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EPISODE 3 RECAP
In the aftermath of Yi-deum’s stunt, Jin-wook calls Yi-deum a psychopath and runs out to find the victim, Woo-sung, and plead with him to stay. Woo-sung shoots Jin-wook a look of utter betrayal before hightailing it away from court.
Outside, Prosecutor Min asks Yi-deum some hard questions, clearly suspicious that Yi-deum was the one to leak the information to the defense. However, Prosecutor Min’s interrogation is interrupted by Jo Gap-soo, who slyly says that she is still the same as ever before adding, “You can’t improve if you only look back.”
Having no time for mind games, Prosecutor Min simply says that Jo Gap-soo hasn’t changed either—he’s still as brazen and shameless as he used to be. Laughing, Jo turns to Yi-deum and compliments her on the good show she put on in court, and warns Prosecutor Heo that she needs to raise her game to compete.
Humiliated, Prosecutor Heo accuses Yi-deum of laying a trap with her phone in the bathroom, and Jo Gap-soo’s gaze sharpens with interest. Prosecutor Min’s face is carefully blank, but Yi-deum casts a wary look in her direction when Jo Gap-soo and Prosecutor Heo leave.
About to get in the car, Jo Gap-soo turns to Prosecutor Heo as he asks whether she is aware that Professor Sun will be taking her appeal to a different law firm—of course, this means that Prosecutor Heo’s services will no longer be required at his foundation. Jo Gap-soo tells her that she must walk back, his tone intimidating as he states, “Remind yourself of your beginnings.”
Jo Gap-soo chuckles over Yi-deum’s bold tactics, and sighs that she is stuck under Prosecutor Min’s influence. Henchman Sang-ho ominously promises to discover what he can about Yi-deum.
In Prosecutor Min’s office, Yi-deum is defiant as she explains that she had to reveal Woo-sung’s sexuality against his wishes because they would never win otherwise. Prosecutor Min is unmoved, instead asking what Yi-deum will do now that the news outlets have turned the rape case into gossip fodder. Her voice raised, Prosecutor Min fires out that Yi-deum isn’t as clever as she thinks she is, adding, “It’s because you’re incompetent that you keep turning toward ways to cheat!”
Prosecutor Min says that she knows Yi-deum applied to a different department for personal reasons, but whatever they are—to fulfil an ambition, or to avenge someone—they have no place here in the Crimes Against Children Unit, and asks for Yi-deum’s resignation.
Drowning her sorrows in alcohol after work, Yi-deum is unhappily accosted by Jin-wook, and snappily asks if a “psychopath” like her can’t carry her own drinks. Jin-wook says seriously that he and Yi-deum need to talk, but Yi-deum huffs that she has already been reprimanded by Prosecutor Min, and doesn’t need it from him as well. Jin-wook gets increasingly frustrated as Yi-deum interrupts what he’s trying to say, until he blurts out, “When are you going to move out?”
Ha! Jin-wook explains to Yi-deum that many people have been asking about when they can move in, but she hasn’t told him when she’s leaving. Plus, Jin-wook adds, having her at the apartment makes him uncomfortable, as if he has brought work home with him. Unbalanced, Yi-deum can only nod in agreement.
At home though, Yi-deum is grouchy about Jin-wook’s attitude toward her, his senior, because now she’s getting beaten up by both her boss and junior at work.
Thinking back to Prosecutor Min’s unwittingly perceptive words that she is seeking revenge, she pulls out a battered old box and lovingly strokes a copy of the flier she made for her missing mother.
In flashback, we see a teenaged Yi-deum as she angrily puts up posters and vents to her friend Yoo-mi that someone keeps pulling them down. As they walk home, Yoo-mi wonders whether the person stealing the posters could be the same person who kidnapped Yi-deum’s mother, perhaps out of guilt. Yi-deum’s face lights up in hope at the idea.
Unfortunately, that hope is quashed, because the person vandalizing the posters is schoolgirl Se-na. Se-na resentfully admits that this is revenge, because Yi-deum’s complaint that Se-na’s father hadn’t done his duty was causing her whole family to be transferred away from the police station.
Yi-deum is unrepentant as she declares that Se-na’s father should have done his job properly then, but she’s thrown for a loop when Se-na spits back that her father can’t work miracles—everyone knows that Yi-deum’s mother ran away and left her child behind. Enraged, Yi-deum launches herself at Se-na, pulling at her hair and clothes.
The trio of schoolgirls end up at the police station, looking rather rough and injured. Se-na’s parents rush in, and her mother is vitriolic as she blames Yi-deum for her husband being transferred, adding that Yi-deum is so evil that her own mother ran away from her.
Se-na’s father barks for his wife to stop talking and leave with Se-na. Yi-deum desperately clings on to Se-na’s father’s arm before he can leave and pleads for him to understand that she didn’t want to get him in trouble—she just wanted to find her mother.
Gentle with the teary teenager, Se-na’s father says that it’s a good thing they haven’t found a body—it means that Yi-deum’s mom is alive. Reassuring Yi-deum, he states, “Runaway moms always come back, at least once, to see their kids.”
Outside, Yi-deum pulls down the remaining posters, and is determined as she says that she will no longer rely on other people to find her mom. Instead, she will use her own skills—perhaps by joining the police, or becoming president—to either find the person who kidnapped her, or force her mom to come out of hiding.
Back in the present, Yi-deum brusquely wipes away the tears from her eyes as she reminds herself that nothing useful comes from crying.
Cut to: Yi-deum sobbing over a bowl of instant noodles.
Meanwhile, a young couple is ecstatic as they shop for wedding dresses. As the young bride-to-be asks for a more modestly cut gown, her fiancee stares in horror at his phone—at a very public sex tape of his future wife.
The next day, Yi-deum makes a flashy entrance wearing sunglasses to hide her “sodium” sins from the night before, and the rest of the team sniggers. The team suspects the victim Ga-young’s ex-boyfriend of posting the video online, though he claims that he is a victim as well, because his face is shown too.
Prosecutor Min asks for everyone’s opinion, but ruthlessly states that anyone who believes this will be too difficult to prosecute should just go home. She continues that a video like this one is akin to murdering someone’s good character, but no one can meet her eyes when she asks who will take the case… apart from Yi-deum.
Yi-deum says that she will come to this case with a new heart and treat it as penance for her behavior in the last case. Prosecutor Ma isn’t totally convinced however, and orders Jin-wook to chaperone Yi-deum on the case, to avoid being betrayed again. Yi-deum is less than happy about this, but accepts the case anyway.
Outside, Yi-deum “magnanimously” tells Jin-wook that she will forgive him if he apologizes for calling her a psychopath yesterday. Hilariously though, Jin-wook proceeds to say he doesn’t think he was wrong—in fact, Yi-deum should be the one to apologize for outing Woo-sung in court.
Incredulous, Yi-deum aims a swift kick at Jin-wook’s shin, and states that losing a case hurts 100 times more than that—and to a prosecutor, winning is apologizing. Yi-deum also adds that she has put her apartment up for rent, so Jin-wook better be prompt about repaying her deposit.
Office manager Mi-young cheerfully wheels in a huge pile of new cases for the beleaguered lawyers to work on. Prosecutor Jang Eun-jung is given an unusual one, where it is unclear who the offender actually is, because it is a father claiming that the upskirt shots found on his phone weren’t taken by him at all—but by his young son.
The father breaks down as he says it’s very difficult as a single, working father to monitor his mischievous son the whole time. Taking pity, Prosecutor Jang sternly tells the young boy that his hero, Thunderman, wouldn’t approve of such photos being taken and allows the two to leave.
Mi-young can’t believe that Prosecutor Jang let the man get away, and cites his past as proof that he’s guilty. Jang is firm though, and mumbles that the son doesn’t even have a mother around to help.
Meanwhile, a distraught Ga-young watches the sex tape in the interview room, but is adamant that she saw the video (to celebrate her and her ex’s 100th day together) get deleted. In fact, Ga-young was worried that her ex, Kim Sang-yoon, would upload pictures he had taken secretly when they broke up, and won’t believe that this “demon” is also the victim he claims he is.
Office tech expert Seok-chan looks pleased with himself as he demonstrates to Jin-wook and Yi-deum how easy it would be for a person to upload their image to the cloud, which would render deleting it from the phone useless.
Unimpressed, Yi-deum pointedly asks why a deflated Seok-chan called this meeting if he has no further evidence. Seok-chan nervously explains that he traced the IP address, and found an incorrectly deleted video from a website in China showing a sex tape of a second victim.
Unfortunately, Sang-yoon is nowhere to be found. Yi-deum and Jin-wook theorize that this is probably Sang-yoon’s MO, and that there will be more victims out there. An address for the second victim comes through, although Yi-deum good mood is rankled by Jin-wook’s careless order for her to enter the coordinates into the GPS.
Oh Min-jung, the second victim, used to be a much sought-after hairdresser, but the salon the two lawyers arrive at is much more humble. Min-jung tells Yi-deum and Jin-wook that there is no one at this salon by that name, and protectively places a hand over her very unexpected pregnancy bump.
Away from prying eyes, Min-jung explains that she changed her name when she moved to avoid any nasty rumors. She and Sang-yoon dated for a little while when she was taking a break from the baby’s father (phew!), and she stupidly did whatever Sang-yoon wanted because he was cute and fun.
Except it looks like the exact same thing happened to Min-jung as it did to Ga-young—the videos were taken, and then right before Min-jung’s wedding, one was posted online. Min-jung was able to get to the video before her fiancé ever saw it, and although she considered going to the police, she didn’t want the publicity to affect her imminent marriage and new baby. So she hired a private company to delete the files.
Min-jung understands why the lawyers are here, but she warns them that she refuses to go to court, because she still gets chills thinking about Sang-yoon. Yi-deum and Jin-wook sigh in frustration at the dead end, but they hustle back to the police station when Jin-wook receives word that Sang-yoon has been arrested.
Sang-yoon is sanguine in the face of Yi-deum’s interrogation, creepily citing the specifics and maximum jail time of the crime he has been charged with. He wonders why he would do anything to a woman he hasn’t seen in two years and smugly finishes, “Why are you treating me like the perp?”
Jin-wook points to the second victim’s video they have found, and threatens the man with both the crime of taping and distribution. Sang-yoon counters that there isn’t much money in distribution, and pumps up the creep factor when he says, “But the younger the girls, the better it sells.”
Sang-yoon points out that the only reason the prosecutors want him to confess is because they can’t connect him with the tapes. Yi-deum taunts that Sang-yoon must love punishment with the way he is acting, and Sang-yoon’s mask of geniality drops as he says menacingly, “Don’t be rude. If a woman I never met before lectures me, I get upset.”
Yi-deum looks amused as she tells Sang-yoon that he shouldn’t think of her as a woman, which is a challenge that Sang-yoon can’t pass up. Yi-deum tries to stare him down, but Sang-yoon rises from his chair, and her eyes involuntarily drop. Although she snaps them back up immediately, Sang-yoon is smug in his triumph: “You are a woman.”
Her feathers ruffled, Yi-deum privately pushes Jin-wook to arrest Sang-yoon, saying that they can find the evidence they need while he’s in custody. Jin-wook is reluctant, but Yi-deum is insistent that she can take responsibility. The ride to Sang-yoon’s apartment is tense, as the team knows they are running out of time to gather the digital evidence they need.
Meanwhile, at the station, Sang-yoon is left unsupervised long enough to fire off a text reading “Expecting company. Clean thoroughly.” The recipient, hearing the buzz of the police at the door straight after, is tipped off and hastily tries to destroy the computer in the shared apartment before the police can break down the door.
Unfortunately, the accomplice has enough time to toss the hard drive out of the window, although the police take him into the station in handcuffs anyway. The prosecution team is hopeful that they will be able to recover files from the smashed computer, but Yi-deum is still disappointed that Sang-yoon will walk free for now.
At the station, the newly released Sang-yoon admonishes his accomplice for not getting rid of the evidence properly in time. Discontented, Yi-deum stops Sang-yoon to warn him that she will see him behind bars once she gets the proof, and orders him not to leave a five mile radius until she does.
Prosecutor Jang looks harassed as she leaves her house with her two rowdy sons, and on the train, she instructs them not to be noisy. The two boys chorus in unison, “Or you’ll arrest us? You always say that to Dad.”
Embarrassed, Prosecutor Jang hushes her sons. Spotting the “Thunderman” son and father from her case yesterday, Prosecutor Jang is disgusted to realize that the young son is indeed taking dirty pictures on his father’s phone—but only after the father hands it to him with directions on who to photograph. This time, it’s two schoolgirls.
Prosecutor Jang marches over and swipes the man’s phone. He immediately starts to snivel that his son is sorry, but Jang isn’t fooled this time, and informs him he has been caught in the act.
Elsewhere, in a night club, Sang-yoon broods over a photo of Yi-deum, his expression foreboding.
The work day over, Jin-wook bids Yi-deum goodbye as he prepares to get in his car. Offended, Yi-deum asks whether he is going to offer her a ride since they live in the same building. Jin-wook reluctantly obliges, then readily accepts her clearly disingenuous decline, though Yi-deum solves that problem by simply climbing into his car.
Frank as ever, Yi-deum admits that she doesn’t like working in the Crimes Against Girls Unit because you see the worst of humanity there. She laments that while others get the glory by chasing corrupt corporations, this unit will never even advance her career.
Confused, Jin-wook stops her to say that he thought she felt bad for the victims in the sex-tape case. Confused now too, Yi-deum says that she felt compassionate, but that doesn’t mean she can relate to the women—in fact, Yi-deum pronounces that she would never shoot a video like that even if she was dating.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Yi-deum, the conniving Sang-yoon is being shown around her apartment, ready for new renters. His grin turns evil as he is left alone.
Jin-wook and Yi-deum continue their argument, as Jin-wook tries to persuade her that anything can happen when you’re in love, so she shouldn’t judge people so harshly. Yi-deum resolutely declares that she can’t relate: “Feeling emotions for victims complicates things and doesn’t help the investigation.” The ensuing elevator ride is awkward, and Jin-wook steps off first.
Happy to be home, Yi-deum dances her way out of her clothes and into the shower. As she steps out, freshly washed, something catches her eye though. It’s a blinking red light in the bathroom mirror, and she’s horrified to discover that a camera has been filming her every move.
Nearby, Sang-yoon smirks as he watches on his screen.
Yi-deum runs to check the rest of her house, but panics when she hears someone trying to enter the code to her door. Yi-deum’s fear mounts, and she grabs hold of a frying pan just as the code is entered correctly. Someone slowly makes their way down the stairs as Yi-deum cowers behind the kitchen wall.
What good has ever come from a character declaring that something would never happen to them? It looks like Yi-deum’s hubris will come back to haunt her next episode, which I think will be a tricky thing for the show to balance, but I’ll just reserve judgement until I see how it plays out.
I will say though, that I am glad we have a coincidence in this show that finally works for me. I find the plotting can be lazy at times—in this episode for instance, when Prosecutor Jung sees the lecherous father on the train, or Sang-yoon being allowed to send that text at the station—but this time the show pulls it off because both sides of the story work. I find it hilarious that Jin-wook is actually Yi-deum’s landlord and junior at work, and on the flip side, the cunning that Sang-yoon displays by infiltrating Yi-deum’s apartment makes him an even more chilling villain.
Above all though, I think what helps this show rise above its weaker plot elements is how good it is at understanding the victim’s perspective and in showing a range of well articulated reactions. Woo-sung’s utter betrayal from not just the criminal, but the entire justice system that was supposed to protect him, was tough to watch. I would love to see some closure on his case, but if we leave it where it is, that would be the more realistic ending. The justice system, as was the case here, can often be re-traumatizing for the victim, and it certainly isn’t present for the healing journey that victims must go on.
Which was why it was so understandable that Min-jung didn’t want to come forward to the police when Sang-yoon released her sex tape to the public, and instead wanted to just hide the horrific act. It wouldn’t be fair to brand Min-jung a coward when the system would require her to give up so much—her dignity, her marriage, her time—without even a guarantee that her violation would be successfully prosecuted. The show is doing a very good job of showing how difficult it is for victims to come forward, and how difficult it is for prosecutors to get a conviction in sexual crimes.
The other thing I am really digging about this show is Yi-deum and Jin-wook’s relationship, and the levity it brings every time Jin-wook does something to annoy Yi-deum. Yi-deum’s cutthroat tactics obviously rub Jin-wook the wrong way, and are probably better suited to a different legal department. That, plus the fact that he is also her landlord, has put their relationship amusingly off-kilter. On the other hand, Yi-deum is undoubtedly good at what she does, and isn’t wrong to think that Jin-wook isn’t giving her the respect her senior position demands—but then again, it’s not like Yi-deum is too concerned with hierarchy herself, is it? These two are coming at this job from such different outlooks that the sparks between them are inevitable.
My favorite moment from the episode came from when Jin-wook gave Yi-deum the most insincere offer of a ride home after Yi-deum basically demanded it. Although still a little antagonistic, I enjoyed how both of them have adapted their responses to each other—Yi-deum just steamrolled past his lack of consideration, and Jin-wook let her brashness slide. I can see how a more amicable partnership between these two would work, bickering included, but with just enough compromise to get the best of both worlds.
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