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Witch’s Court: Episode 5

What do you do when you come face to face with an old enemy you thought you put behind you? Our hero will find out this week as he’s haunted by an old case—and a young girl’s life. But things might go differently this time because he has a team supporting him, plus a whip-smart heroine who (reluctantly) believes in him.

 
EPISODE 5 RECAP

We open on Jo Gap-soo sitting alongside the other two mayoral candidates for their official televised debate. The first question asked is about where Jo Gap-soo’s wife is since she hasn’t been seen in years, but Jo Gap-soo brushes it off by asking that family matters be left outside the debate.

One of the other candidates, Kim Moon-song, seizes this very public opportunity to confront Jo Gap-soo about the charge of rape he was accused of 30 years ago, and the victim’s subsequent suicide. Jo Gap-soo retains his composure and notes that he was acquitted for that charge, but his expression turns tense as Kim Moon-song declares, “The victims of [Jo Gap-soo’s] torture are here today!”

The silence is deafening, and Prosecutor Min watches the debate with interest. Kim Moon-song continues, “Imagine they were here… could you say you have nothing to be ashamed of?” Although Jo Gap-soo is momentarily relieved that there are no victims in the audience, his self-control is visibly gone, and he struggles to respond to the question.

After the debate, the displeased Jo Gap-soo wonders if Prosecutor Min was behind this ambush. He is shocked to learn from Sang-ho that Yi-deum is the daughter of Kwak Young-shil, and furthermore, that Jin-wook is the son of Jo Kae-sook.

Sang-ho expresses his worry that these two are working with Prosecutor Min now, but Jo Gap-soo smiles at this turn of events as he contemplates, “It depends on how you use them. Even a tiger is nothing but a kitty cat if you declaw it.” But the smile drops from his face at the news that a “Chairman Ahn” is going to sell the hotel, and Jo Gap-soo darkly mutters that the hotel was his only connection.

Five years ago. We flash back to when Jin-wook was still a psychiatrist, not a prosecutor. In court, a young girl stumbles over her words as she tries to explain how her stepfather, Choi Hyun-tae, regularly assaulted her, but she dissolves into sobs as the impatient prosecutor scares her. The judge orders the girl, Ah-reum, to be led away.

Jin-wook takes the stand to testify to Ah-reum’s trauma, but is disgusted by the defense lawyer’s suggestion that the 10-year-old Ah-reum was curious about sex and consented to Hyun-tae’s assault of her. Jin-wook explains that a child may confuse a desire for affection with sexual curiosity if an adult manipulates them, and that Ah-reum’s uterus has been damaged so badly that she may suffer from infertility. Jin-wook stresses:

“The sexual trauma will haunt her forever. Even an adult would have a hard time with this, and she hasn’t even hit puberty. Are you saying it’s okay because she was curious… and that it was voluntary?”

Despite Jin-wook’s impassioned pleas, due to the lack of other witnesses and the defendant’s good career, the judge only orders a prison sentence of five years.

After court, a furious Jin-wook slams the prosecutor against the wall and blames him for not performing well enough to get a longer conviction. The prosecutor is unrepentant as he blames Ah-reum for not being a better witness, and actually congratulates himself for even getting five years because the defendant’s brother-in-law is the mayor.

Jin-wook is left bereft at the outcome, and he turns regretful eyes to Ah-reum and her mother. Ah-reum’s mom piteously asks what she can do, since Ah-reum will only be in middle school by the time Hyun-tae is released.

Five years later. A carefree Jin-wook is walking down the street when he spots a teenaged Ah-reum in shock as she watches her stepfather approach her. Jin-wook rushes to intercept, but is hit by a car… and wakes up from the nightmare to Yi-deum’s extremely annoying alarm clock and her mess of a room.

Elsewhere, Yi-deum takes advantage of Jin-wook’s pristine apartment. Applying a bold lipstick, she declares, “Okay. I’m ready for war.”

The effort doesn’t go unnoticed by Jin-wook, and he compliments Yi-deum, who perkily states that she had better look good if she isn’t going to be seen as a wreck after the spy camera incident. Jin-wook is less pleased about the fact that she has raided his perfume and fancy caviar though, especially when Yi-deum is blasé about asking for the “victim escort service” again and tries to weasel her way into more time at his apartment.

Their easy conversation is broken when something catches Jin-wook’s eye: The teenaged Ah-reum being escorted through the halls by two policemen.

It turns out that Ah-reum has been arrested for stabbing Choi Hyun-tae after he harassed her and her mother when he was released from jail. Meanwhile, Jo Gap-soo doesn’t hesitate to use this to his political advantage when it’s revealed that Hyun-tae is candidate Kim Moon-sung’s brother-in-law, and Jo asks Kim Moon-sung to step down from the race.

At the prosecutor’s office, the team gathers round to discuss Ah-reum’s case, and they denounce the system that left a young girl unprotected like this. Jin-wook asks earnestly if he can be involved in this case, and Prosecutor Min warily accedes.

Jin-wook regretfully stares at Ah-reum locked up in the dark cell, and in flashback, we see Ah-reum’s mother tell Jin-wook that Ah-reum would be too scared to go to court. Jin-wook had reassured Ah-reum that he would be there to protect her and put her stepfather in jail for a very long time. Looking into the young girl’s guileless eyes, Jin-wook had asked, “Just trust me.”

In the present, Ah-reum insists that she was the one who stabbed Hyun-tae, even after Jin-wook gently says that he doesn’t believe her. Ah-reum looks defeated as she states, “You told me to trust you last time too.” The truthful words hit their mark, and Jin-wook looks teary as he asks Ah-reum to trust him one more time: “I want to make up for my mistakes last time.”

Ah-reum is conflicted, but confesses to Jin-wook that when she woke up, she saw her mother stabbing Hyun-tae. Ah-reum is adamant that it was self-defense though, especially because it was Hyun-tae’s harassment that sent her mother into a depression which required her to medicate with anti-anxiety pills.

Desperate, Ah-reum describes how, when Hyun-tae was released from prison, he would somehow know when she left the house and follow her wherever she went. It got to the point that Ah-reum and her mother were afraid to leave their house—and Ah-reum admits that if her mother hadn’t stabbed Hyun-tae first, then she would have killed him soon. Ah-reum begs Jin-wook to help them like he promised he would and jail Hyun-tae for what he has done.

From afar, Prosecutor Min notes that Jin-wook cannot handle this case and says, “Feeling sorry has nothing to do with work.” Yi-deum agrees to take the lead on the investigation, and leaves to interview the “victim,” Hyun-tae.

At the hospital, Yi-deum doesn’t try to hide her disdain as she asks why Hyun-tae cares what happens to Ah-reum. In reply, Hyun-tae spins a story of how he sought forgiveness from Ah-reum and her mother when he was released, but he only got rebuffed in return. Just as he was about to give up, Ah-reum’s mother asked him over to the apartment.

But when he got there, he claims, Ah-reum’s mother drugged him with sleeping pills so that she could kill him. In the present, Hyun-tae exaggeratedly winces in pain from the knife wound in his side, and explains that he stabbed Ah-reum’s mother in self-defense as they were struggling over the knife.

Back at the prosecutor’s office, Jin-wook is irate at Yi-deum’s conclusion that Hyun-tae acted in self-defense and yells that Hyun-tae is taking advantage of the fact that Ah-reum’s mother is in a coma. Yi-deum doesn’t look happy, but she can’t ignore all the evidence pointing to Ah-reum’s mother being the perpetrator.

Jin-wook thrusts a knife into Yi-deum’s hands and asks her to think about this logically—if Ah-reum’s mother had been stabbed first and fallen to the ground, like Hyun-tae claims, then she would not have been able to reach Hyun-tae’s side where his wound was. Instead, Jin-wook figures out, Hyun-tae must have stooped down after Ah-reum’s mother was unconscious to thrust it into his side himself and frame her for the attempted murder.

Very briefly, Yi-deum looks like she believes this, but blunt as ever, she tells Jin-wook that she thinks he’s too invested in this case. Exasperated, Jin-wook states that he will go out and find the evidence that she requires and lock Hyun-tae up for what he has done.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Jo Gap-soo tenderly mops his comatose wife’s face… in front of a cadre of journalists. Jo Gap-soo tearfully looks into the camera as he reveals that his wife fell into a coma 15 years ago from a rare disease, and he has been waiting for her to wake up ever since.

After the journalists leave, Jo Gap-soo’s tears dry, and he orders his assistant to tell “that person” to move his wife. Enraged at the suggestion that his wife should be exposed to the media even more, Jo Gap-soo yells, “Once is enough for a show!”

Softer now, he adds, “It gets boring a second time.” Looking down at his wife, Jo Gap-soo coaches her to stay asleep, since that’s the best way that she can help him.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Jin-wook looks on with sorrow at Ah-reum’s mother’s comatose body. He catches the doctor and asks whether she will awaken soon, but the doctor states that it’s probably taking longer because of all the sleeping pills that were found in her system. This new information gives Jin-wook pause as he confirms they are sleeping pills, not the anti-anxiety pills Mom was prescribed.

At the same hospital as Mom, creepy music plays as Hyun-tae finds Ah-reum visiting and traps her in a corner. Ah-reum sinks to the floor in despair as her abuser edges closer to her, an exultant smile plastered on his face.

But before Hyun-tae can reach her, Jin-wook arrives in time to drag the man away. Ah-reum’s head drops as tears begin to fall.

Jin-wook throws Hyun-tae away from Ah-reum and demands to know why he’s at the same hospital as Ah-reum’s mother. Hyun-tae’s lawyer arrives to pull Jin-wook off Hyun-tae before he can answer, and in return, Hyun-tae asks why Jin-wook is so determined to keep Ah-reum away from him. Hyun-tae sneaks a look to the CCTV and whines, “Ah-reum’s mother may go to jail now. Then who will poor Ah-reum rely on in this world?”

Infuriated and crazed at the insinuation, Jin-wook punches Hyun-tae in the face over and over before he’s pulled away. Hyun-tae leans in close to gloat, “I failed five years ago, but not this time.”

Kim Moon-sung, Hyun-tae’s brother-in-law, righteously uses the opportunity to publicly call for Jin-wook’s head. Much to Jo Gap-soo’s irritation, even with all the nonsense surrounding Moon-sung and Hyun-tae, his ratings refuse to go down.

Jo Gap-soo receives a phone call from Chairman Ahn, irate that Jo Gap-soo would use his wife to gain votes. Chairman Ahn asks if Jo Gap-soo wants to use his hotel shares to buy votes, and warns Jo to remember who got him to where he is.

Tiring of the threats, Jo Gap-soo issues his own warning, as he asks the chairman if he wants to build his “White Town” in Seoul instead of Yeongpa. Jo asks the chairman to think hard about who will benefit him most going forward.

Hanging up, Jo Gap-soo asks Sang-ho if the issue with Moon-sung’s brother-in-law has been resolved, and asks to see “the son.”

Outside Prosecutor Min’s office, Yi-deum pounces on Jin-wook as soon as he leaves and good-naturedly needles him about whether he has been suspended or not. Heedless to the jibes, Jin-wook turns to Yi-deum and sincerely asks her to help him.

At the hospital, Hyun-tae is smug as he carries a bouquet of roses through the halls to Ah-reum’s mother’s room. Armed police guard the door though, and with Ah-reum nowhere in sight, Hyun-tae belligerently throws the flowers to the ground.

Instead, Ah-reum is safely stashed away at Jin-wook’s mother’s house, where Jin-wook secures a tracking bracelet on Ah-reum’s wrist for extra protection. Downstairs, Yi-deum nosily looks around before she is greeted warmly by his mother, Dr. Jo Kae-sook. Yi-deum introduces herself and breezily comments that her name is so unique that she must be the only Ma Yi-deum Dr. Jo has ever met.

Dr. Jo looks away in consternation as she remembers an old patient of hers. In flashback, we see Yi-deum’s mom locked away in a cell, desperately crying that she needed to contact her daughter, Ma Yi-deum.

Before Dr. Jo can say anything though, Jin-wook interrupts. Dr. Jo fusses over Jin-wook and tells him to take care of himself while Yi-deum looks on. A touch of jealousy crosses her face at the motherly affection, but Jin-wook doesn’t notice and asks Yi-deum to follow him.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor Seo Yoo-ri volunteers to handle a child molestation case, determined to get it right after Ah-reum’s case went so wrong. However, in the interview, the little boy forgets important details, and his mother prompts his answers, or fills in details herself.

At the scene of the crime in Ah-reum’s apartment, Jin-wook and Yi-deum look for clues that Ah-reum’s mother is innocent. Yi-deum marvels at the size of the suitcase that could fit a whole person, but Jin-wook steers her back on track as he states that it makes no sense for Ah-reum’s mother to take sleeping pills voluntarily if she knew that Hyun-tae was coming over.

Certain that he is right, Jin-wook declares that Hyun-tae’s plan must have been to quietly kill Ah-reum’s mother in her sleep by drugging her, except his plan went wrong when she woke up. Realizing that Mom wouldn’t willingly take something from Hyun-tae, the two look around the apartment for something Hyun-tae could have hidden the pills in—and that’s when Yi-deum’s eye falls on the milk bottles that get left outside every morning.

At the hospital, a nurse informs Ah-reum’s mother’s doctor that the prosecutors have ordered a blood sample to be taken from Mom (to confirm whether the pills match those that might be found in the milk bottle). Unfortunately, this hospital seems to have no confidentiality policy, and the lurking Hyun-tae overhears the damning conversation.

Outside, a paranoid Ah-reum cowers as people brush past her, imagining them as her abuser. Ah-reum flinches as a woman bumps into her, but doesn’t notice as the woman stares at her from behind.

Over the phone, the woman confirms that she has placed the tracker on Ah-reum, and Hyun-tae smirks in satisfaction on the other end. He stands up—on his bandaged leg—and walks over, completely normally, to the edge of his window to stare down, as if he can already see Ah-reum and everything she is doing.

The test results come back, and there were traces of sleeping pills found in the milk bottle that match those found in the blood of Ah-reum’s mother. Although this gives the prosecutors the opportunity to search Hyun-tae’s place, it becomes clear that he hasn’t used it in a long time, and they can’t find anything of use there.

All is not lost though, as Yi-deum accepts an offer to meet with Jo Gap-soo, who claims to have important information for the case (but doesn’t notice as someone mysteriously snaps her picture as she enters Jo’s car). Yi-deum astutely asks Jo Gap-soo whether this information comes for free, and seems surprised that all he wants in return is a photo with her after the case is solved.

In a remote area, Yi-deum meets with Hyun-tae’s old prison cellmate, who confesses that Hyun-tae would often make him uncomfortable. Hyun-tae would talk about the woman he was in love with, whose mother didn’t approve—and Hyun-tae would laugh that he would kill the mother if she kept opposing. As for his “girl,” well, he would just have to kidnap her.

Disturbed, Yi-deum wastes no time in calling Jin-wook to tell him that Hyun-tae plans to kidnap Ah-reum. Jin-wook is horrified as he realizes the signs were there all along—from Hyun-tae’s warning that he failed five years ago, to the person sized suitcase that was in Ah-reum’s room for Hyun-tae to kidnap her in.

Meanwhile, Ah-reum is elated as she answers the phone to her now conscious mother… except Hyun-tae looms over Mom and cuts the call short before Mom can warn Ah-reum to run away. Hyun-tae, dressed as a doctor, switches off Mom’s ventilation and hurries away from the scene undetected.

Jin-wook and Yi-deum frantically call Ah-reum’s number, but their panic escalates when they can’t get through. Meanwhile, Ah-reum answers her phone, but it is Hyun-tae on the other end as he sing-songs, “Ah-reum, where are you?” Ah-reum looks terrified, but doesn’t notice as Hyun-tae approaches her from behind, a (chloroformed) handkerchief clutched in his hand.

With no answer, Jin-wook and Yi-deum fear the worst, and they order a trace to be placed on Hyun-tae’s license plate number—at the same time as Hyun-tae loads an unconscious Ah-reum into the back of his van. On the hunt for Ah-reum using her tracker bracelet, the two prosecutors catch sight of Hyun-tae as he crosses the road right in front of them in his van.

Jin-wook’s face twists, and he drives straight on, heading for a collision.

 
COMMENTS

Well this case is disturbing. Hyun-tae’s smile in particular gave me the shivers, as if he expected Ah-reum to be happy in this creepy “love” fantasy that he concocted. It was unclear if Hyun-tae realized the extent of his delusion, given that he thinks Ah-reum is “his,” but that is the point—he never viewed Ah-reum as a person, but as an object for him to play with. And in Ah-reum, we have another strong portrayal of a victim, this time an abused child. The confrontation between Ah-reum and Hyun-tae at the hospital was a particularly effective scene.

Although it would have been physically easy for Ah-reum to get away from Hyun-tae, her debilitating fear stopped her, and the music and camera shots did an excellent job of building the claustrophobic atmosphere for the viewer. It was also the perfect choice to keep the focus on Ah-reum after Hyun-tae was pulled away, because even after he is gone, there is little relief to be found for her. We can see how Ah-reum’s world has become smaller because of Hyun-tae—literally smaller because she doesn’t travel outside, and figuratively smaller because she is consumed by the fear of her abuser.

However, despite appreciating the strong characterization that Witch’s Court brings to its victims, I can’t help but think that it’s missing the mark with its perpetrators. The last two criminals have been a tad melodramatic, and today Hyun-tae was one twirling mustache away from tying Ah-reum to an old railroad track. The show’s exaggerated villainy undermines one of the scariest things about sexual assaults, or child abuse-and that is how depressingly common these crimes are. It is not the maniacally laughing villain who elaborately plots these crimes, but your colleague, your neighbor, the person you would least suspect. I was hopeful at the start that this show would shine a light on the unspoken dangers in society, not just the evil outliers, and would like to see more nuance in the criminal characters as we go forward.

I actually thought this show was strongest in its premiere, when it addressed the everyday misogyny that Yi-deum faced, rather than the laser focus it has applied to these last cases. The show seems more interested in developing the mystery and weekly cases, but I connected so much with Yi-deum’s professional struggles with workplace sexism that I’m disappointed that that hasn’t featured more in recent weeks. I am glad that this has left space for Jin-wook’s development though, who is such a sweetheart, because he hasn’t had as much to do in the shadow of Yi-deum’s outspoken (and badass) personality.

Jin-wook’s reason for becoming a prosecutor doesn’t surprise me one little bit, although it was interesting to see that it didn’t come from an untested academic desire for justice, when I honestly thought it might have. In fact, Jin-wook’s conviction in his responsibility comes from the opposite—he has already witnessed firsthand how poorly served victims are, and wants to be the one to help turn that tide. (Although I do think that in the case of Ah-reum, he would have been more helpful as her psychiatrist than prosecutor.)

Until this point, Jin-wook has seemed to be tightly in control of his emotions, and his resolve as a prosecutor unquestioned, but after this week I wonder if he is too emotionally invested. He is clearly still haunted by his “failure” to protect Ah-reum all those years ago, and he was far too quick to resort to violence against Hyun-tae for my liking. Even if it was satisfying, Jin-wook is still a prosecutor, and he needs to have moral authority. And apart from that, Jin-wook will find it a very difficult burden to bear in the Crimes Against Girls Unit if he takes on too much responsibility and doesn’t learn to step back when necessary. Hopefully, I don’t have to worry about that though, because in a refreshing move, Jin-wook went straight to Yi-deum to ask for help on the case rather than choose the renegade option, which I feared he would. And you know our girl Yi-deum will have no problem pulling Jin-wook away from a tricky case if she needs to.

 
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"I was hopeful at the start that this show would shine a light on the unspoken dangers in society, not just the evil outliers, and would like to see more nuance in the criminal characters as we go forward. "

Well said! I've been enjoying Witch's Court but there was something about the drama that didn't really sit well with and @helcat pointed it out in a very precise manner.
Other than that, the comical aspects of the show was done very well and I'm hoping to see more character developments!

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Agreed. I was wondering what made episode 1 shine over all the others, and @helcat has the answer! :)

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I thought that was really worth mentioning. I have been twirling the 'stache thinking what this show was missing since that odd seemingly perfect premiere, and that was it. The shows villains are typical baddies and while it does represent evil in how we recognize it, but it's not realistic in a way that's eye opening. There are deviant child molesters, but the scarier ones wouldn't be outwardly delusional. True evil is the one that's disguised and presenting itself as the norm.

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I wonder if the comical tone and mustache twirlyness of the villains are intentional. Maybe, the director and writer didn't want to turn people away by making this show too dark. Then again, there was no good reason to have this show be about misogyny and sex crimes if bringing awareness to them wasn't involved. If the purpose of them of was just to have shock value, then I have a problem with this show.

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This show consistently astounds me with how far it's willing to burrow into the dark depths of sexual assault.
I know that some were complaining that Yoon Hyun-min's character was just a one-dimensional do-gooder, but what about now? He was driven this entire time to prevent criminals from getting pitiful sentences, all because he failed to keep a little girl safe. He's good to the core, but definitely not one-dimensional.

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I was so seething at the scene where the prosecutor made a ridiculous argument about '10 years old is an age where sexual exploration is normal or whatnot' like BULLSHIT! Whether that's true or not how could they ignore the fact that an underaged child was sexually assaulted. I could totally feel Jin wook's anger when he beat the shit out of the guy

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*lawyer I mean

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This is why there are laws that criminalize sexual activity with minors regardless of consent, etc. Such laws completely do away with the remotest possibility of raising an argument like "the 10 year old girl wanted it." South Korea has such laws too - how could they be completely ignored in any proceeding?

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I was thinking if such law exist and yes it is, thank you for confirming @greenfields. Guessed the prosecutor was bribed, there's no other possible reason why he didn't brought that up. What about the Judges?

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Clearly everybody was bribed.
Judges are incredibly well-versed in the law - it's very difficult to become one in most countries. They also normally ask the right questions and form their own opinions.

SK law:
Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment, etc. of Sexual Crimes,

Article 7 (Rape of, or Commission of Indecent Act by Force on, Minor under Age of 13)
(1) A person who commits a crime prescribed in Article 297 (Rape) of the Criminal Act against a female under the age of 13 shall be punished by imprisonment for life or not less than ten years. (Amended by Act No. 11088, Nov. 17, 2011)

Thus, the law exists and 10 years is the minimum the guy should have gotten, once the act is proved - regardless of consent.

This to me illustrates @helcat's point about the show not quite hitting the mark.

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/catholic-church-sex-abuse-paedophile-criminal-injuries-compensation-scheme-victim-support-sexual-a7903396.html

The law and how lawyers play it are, sadly, two different things and arguing this obsenity is not uncommon. See the link above for one in the UK, similar in the US (standard argument for that horrible man/boy love org).

I'd be as worried that the age abusers need to worry about is 13, although I saw a report this week that many US states have no lower age limit for marriage, with children as young as that being forced to it.

We seem to live in a world where the rights of abusers to abuse and sexualise children are too often given greater import than those of the abused - the ones who won't have the power/money to fight.

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This is me. I was yelling furiously at my screen while watching that courtroom scene. From the beginning - the rather harsh approach of a prosecutor toward a 10-year old rape victim followed by that lawyer's twisted argument, I need to pause it for a while to calm myself down or else I would most likely throw something on my screen. Phew!

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Courtroom scenes in K-dramas are almost always infuriating because they are so far from reality. It's really hard to believe that a prosecutor would treat a child victim like that just five years ago. But, if he were more compassionate, then we wouldn't have a reason for Jin Wook to become a prosecutor. Drama logic comes first.

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It's hard to believe that they would put a child on the stand. I think in the US, the abused child meets with professionals who specially trained to interview children in a way that doesn't lead them on. That is usually recorded and submitted into evidence. I was disgusted with the prosecutor in this drama. I'm hope his name gets dragged out in the open - that he was the guy who failed to prosecute this monster properly and only gave him 5 years.

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I was thinking about this too. How ca the lawyers use the defense of consent when the age of consent in Korea is 13? And even at that point rape happens when the party initiating has authority over the other party whether that is explicit or implicit. Is this a plot hole or was the law not explained properly in this show?

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It was about this time that I pulled out pics of Mike D. Angelo and his son and Jackson Wang and his niece and idols and playing with babies and bubbles. Cuteness! To get through the sheer horror.

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the part that really makes me seethe is that I'm sure some prosecutors have used that very argument in real life.

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Helcat! Thank you for the recap!

For me, I am happy to see this deeper look into Jin Wook’s personality. Up till now, he has always seemed in complete control of his emotions. I am enjoying how the drama is perceiving too much empathy and how it gets Jin Wook in trouble. I am enjoying how both leads outlooks can come off as very flawed, especially when Jin Wook has been painted as the overachiever.

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Like Helcat, I've also wondered if Jin-wook is too emotionally invested in the cases. From the beginning, I've thought his empathy is bound to get in the way. Not because empathy is bad, but a person, especially someone involved in the legal field certainly needs to know when to dial back that switch, or dare I say, turn it off. To his credit though, Jin-wook did ask Yi-deum for help so that was perhaps some internal, self-awareness on his part.

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Oh no you didn't! I was making notes on what to write in the comment as I was reading through this post. But then you have to put that lip biting photo, I've lost my thoughts. I do think that the quality of the story was declining a bit, but still very enjoyable. I'm just grateful that I get to see Jin Wook on a weekly basis.

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I have the hots for Jin Wook and Yoon Hyun Min. Yes to the lip biting photo and I love his ear-scratching move too. I also felt like there was a slight decline this week. I still squee at all the Yi Deum and Jin Wook moments, but I also felt that Yi Deum was dumbed down this week so that Jin Wook can shine. Then again, Jin Wook is more familar with the nuances of sexual assault cases due to his past while Yi Deum has to navigate such cases with a background of white collar crime.

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I mean, there are still real shit-head prosecutors who ask rape victims: "If you wanted to avoid sexual penetration, then you could have moved your hips in resistance right?" (See YooChun court case.)

Who's to say there weren't shit-heads 5 years ago.

I'm not Korean or living in Korea, but from what I heard, I have no trust in their justice system at all. Maybe with new president Moon JaeIn in place and the resulting overhaul from "conservative" parties to a "liberal" party, it'll get better.

My gahd, I can't even begin to believe that the conservative goverment party in the past actually had spy agencies try to fix election results! But it's true! And former president Lee MyungBak had a long list of people on his blacklist for being "too" liberal, with notable names including Lee JunKi and Kim GyuRi. What the hell was wrong with Korea's government????

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I love this show but there are inconsistencies which is bugging me. As much as i hate that creep but didnt that prosecutor hit him.. so shouldnt he be kicked off the case? And too many coincidences to move the main plot. I wish the cases and the main plot were separate and move at their own pace.

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Yeah, that's right, too many coincidences. JW dreamt of the past case and boom, the girl Ahreum appeared in front of him when he went to work.

I'm quite sick of criminals disguising as doctors and they got away with it - I knew this scene was coming! Does this actually happen in real life?

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Jin Wook’s mom is Go Jae Sook... not Jo Kae Sook... if I read her name plate correctly.

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I love this show, but this episode made me furious, it was so ridiculous.
What prosecuter would pester a child rape victim like that? What lawyer would successfully argue, that the child wanted to be molested? What judge would state that he didn't want to give a long sentence because the man had "a good career"? That is so absurd!!! And why, if they only wanted to focuse on the stabbing, does this case go to the Crimes Against Girls Unit?
Please be better by next episode. I am rooting for you, show!

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There are times when being a first time offender and not wanting to damage someone's career is an ok reason to give a lighter sentence but rape should not be one. I've seen it often in kdramas so I wonder if this really happens.

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Can't think of examples for child rape, which would be hard to excuse in real life, but for other rapists, this happens too often, especially in the case of high school/college rapists, whose future the judge doesn't want to "ruin".

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There's a K-movie called "Silenced" aka "The Crucible" (and it starred Gong Yoo) that is based on actual events that took place at Gwangju Inhwa School for the hearing-impaired and deaf students. These students were victims of sexual assaults by faculty members and when the truth came out, the teachers got off with minimal punishment. This is such an outrage and heartbreaking incident. I have nothing but cruel things to say to those teachers.

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"What judge would state that he didn't want to give a long sentence because the man had "a good career"?"

In real life cases:
(1) The judge from Brock Turner's case. Turner got a lighter sentence because "a harsher penalty would have a 'severe impact' on the former athlete. "
(2) The Oxford student, Lavinia Woodward, who got no jail sentence for a knife attack because she was deemed as too brainy. Going to jail will ruined her career chances.

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I'm glad yi-deum didn't stay depressed for long over the events of the past episode...
her positive energy is charming.

this episode was kinda hard to watch because of the child offender.

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I think Jin Wook also finds her positive energy charming. When he commented on how well she looks and how she had put on lipstick, she was like "of course. I don't want to be seen as a wreck after the camera incident" *hairflip* - it elicited a smile from Jin Wook.

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I find the episode very disturbing but i think it's good to show that this kind of cases do happen in reality. Sex offenders should received life sentence, really. Liking this drama more and more! Can't wait for the romance to bloom😚

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I always knew that a case about child abuse would be thrown a light in a drama like this, since it is a drama on crimes against children and women. But my god, this case was seriously disturbing and disgusting. I felt very uncomfortable watching a prosecutor questioning the little girl about the sexual assault. I hope the young actress wouldnt get much affected by this role later on. Normally, we havent seen in any korean drama so far, showing such scene in a courtroom drama. No wonder i always felt this show to be more on the darker side of courtroom drama.

It is sad in reality also, such cases of child abuse, the abuser doesnt get the maximum punishment they should get , and get away with it. Just spending mere few years in prison they are back in the society and repeating their offense. I have seen from news from countries that those child assaulter/rapist specially in case of the rapist being the biological father or step father , once released from the prison kidnaps the child and have children with them and they are also held captive. These people are such disgusting monstrous creatures, and it scares me such people live near us, hiding their true self.

I can finally say that this drama has got real bad villains. In each case, the perpetrator really makes me want to go and punch them so hard, they teeth could fly.

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I want to add that, in real life cases also, the police or the prosecution do favor the sexual offenders more than the victim and the victim suffers thrice from such cases., from the act, , and the aftermath of it, and also during the investigation too.

I read on Wikipedia about the real life case of Miryang gang rape case about many high-schoolers to middle-schoolers were raped by around 41 male students. I was so disgusted and mortified reading that case, because the police handled the investigation in such a sloppy manner providing more favoritism to the offenders than the victims. Moreover, the families of the offenders were pointing fingers to the victims saying they enticed them into doing such acts. Since the boys were from upper class they blamed the victims for ruining their life. And most importantly NONE of the offenders got convicted.

Watching this episode made me feel so disgusted, but it is sad in reality many of such cases are handled are so poorly and there are chances of the offenders getting away with everything at the end, not getting convicted.

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Just...wow. Being rich really is a get out of jail free card.

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The movie "Han Gon-ju" was inspired by this Miryang gang rape. I remembered reading about the case and I, too, felt extremely disgusted at the police, court, the parents of the boys, and the boys. Those boys should rot in hell for what they have done. And it's sad that those boys are actually married with kids and have decent jobs.

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I don't really like this episode mainly because this episode shows how ugly and twisted people can be. I can't imagine or believe how a father could/would rape his own daughter, but this case has been happening here and there. What a sick bastard the father is. UGH

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Isn't he the stepfather? So no blood relation? He's still evil, just maybe one degree less evil.

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1/1000000 of a degree less disturbed. Equally evil. Because using a position of trust and power over a child that way is just sick, wrong, evil, gross, horrible, etc.

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The most disturbing episode so far
And my less favorite
Thanks God there was a little fun moment between our OTP
- He noticed his lipstick 💋💄
- Their convo in elevator 😍

Btw why this case assigned to CAGU? The charged is about Ah reum/Mom stabbed the evil dad right?

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I think it is a CAGU case because it is related to the prior crime, also it is called into question if it was self-defense. I think in theory CAGU is meant to work on cases where the crime is related to gender issues? Someone correct me if I am incorrect.

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I think that perhaps episode 6 ties things together better and continues the plot regarding Yi-deum's mother disappearance. I don't mind the procedural part that much, as they are also used to bridge the main story a bit. Sure the villains seem a bit cookie cutter but it doesn't bother me.

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I always wonder about the child actors in dramas like this. Someone mentioned above hoping the little girl doesn't get effected by the courtroom scene. It made me think of a movie on Lifetime (based on a true story I believe) about a little girl who was raped and molested by her father pretty much from the moment she was born until she and her little brother are taken away and put in foster care when she's around 8 or 9. There's a scene where the little girl is sitting on her foster fathers lap and she reaches into his pants and rubs his---and tells him that he can be her big daddy and she'll be his little honey. I saw that movie once about 20 years ago and on top of being horrified for the real family I always wonder about that little actress. She really looked 8 or 9 years old and she reached into the actors pants and said that line---does that effect them some how? What are they told to think is happening?

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This is a hard episode to stomach, watched halfway and have to stop and postpone until next ep is available. That villain is a perverted sicko and ought to be cut from humanity, plus the prosecutor and lawyer should be put in a mental hospital for treating a child like that, I dunno how they can live with themselves after this, ugh ugh!
Next to hitting chaebol maknaes with golf stick, apparently the last trend is to exploit you comatose wife to get public sympathy; Jo Gap-soo is so smarmy, watching him makes me want to take a bath. After hearing the list of crime he was acquitted from, was kinda relieved seeing Yi-deum's mom alive even if imprisoned in a mental hospital; is she still alive somewhere and is there a possibility of a reunion..? Am leery of the possible obstacle of "your mom did this to my mom" for our OTP in the future.
Also, last screenshot is hilarious ^^

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The villain for this episode is by far the most disgusting, son of a b piece of sh*t human. Ugh. The actor playing it is doing a mighty job though because I literally want to kill his character.

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