Smart Prison Living: Episode 2
There’s more to a person than what meets the eye, and our hero is no exception. As the baseball star learns more about his fellow inmates and guards, the lines of good and bad become more apparent for him. Even though he tries to remain neutral, he can’t help but enforce what he believes to be right. But justice works a little differently in jail, and we see that righteousness may not be a savvy quality to have in prison life.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
In the morning, prison guard Jun-ho finds his superfan younger brother writing another blog post filled with worries about the timing of baseball star Je-hyuk’s appeal and his U.S. major league baseball debut. Jun-ho offers to set up a visitation session for his smitten brother, but his brother rejects the offer… because he’s too shy to meet his hero in person. Jun-ho scoffs, and his brother touches his flushing cheeks at the thought.
In jail, Porter announces the arrival of the delivery meal, and Je-hyuk looks pensively out the window at the snow. His sidekick Law Man finds him looking outside and figures that he likes snow, but Je-hyuk corrects him and says that he likes ice cream, which the snow reminds him of. Law Man says that sushi, ramyun, and ice cream are three things that are impossible to procure in jail, but with Je-hyuk’s appeal trial coming up, he may taste these foods again soon.
Law Man tells him that there are a few superstitions to be aware of approaching an appeal, but Je-hyuk says that he doesn’t believe in such things. As they prepare their meal, Law Man warns him not to eat seaweed soup or crack eggs, but Je-hyuk does both of these things, and Law Man watches with disbelief.
Scary gangster Seagull criticizes Law Man for trying to suck up to the superstar, and sarcastically says that it’s an honor to share a cell with Superstar Je-hyuk. Then, he checks the chicken stew and erupts in anger because there’s barely any chicken. He blames this on Porter, who timidly explains that he’s simply the deliveryman.
Seagull tries to leverage their superstar for more chicken and continues to taunt Je-hyuk about the benefits of his superstar status. But Je-hyuk isn’t bothered by this and finds joy in finding a piece of chicken neck in the stew. Professor Myung compliments Je-hyuk’s optimism and says that they should all learn from his positivity.
In the adjacent cell, Second-generation Chaebol (the high-pitched drug addict) sees a chicken drumstick in the stew and immediately grabs it. As he happily chomps away, the leader of his room flips the table, and the inmates beat him up for eating the precious chicken drumstick.
Passing guards see Jun-ho escorting Je-hyuk, and they all congratulate him on finally meeting his sports hero. They cheer on Je-hyuk for his upcoming appeal, and Je-hyuk looks amused that all the guards think that Jun-ho admires Je-hyuk as a fanboy.
Jun-ho claims that it’s easier to take care of Je-hyuk if the other guards are unaware of their friendship, and he begins to list off other superstitions for Je-hyuk to follow. He warns Je-hyuk to be extra careful in the next few days preceding his appeal trial, especially of the convicts on death row.
Je-hyuk mentions that he wants to meet someone before he leaves but doesn’t elaborate any further as they continue talking about the convicts on death row. Jun-ho explains that these convicts have no tomorrow, so they can do anything. He begins to warn Je-hyuk of one particular prisoner—one with white hair and a star tattoo on his hand—when a prisoner turns the corner, causing Jun-ho to stiffen up and order Je-hyuk to face the wall as the other prisoner passes. Je-hyuk peeks over at the passing convict curiously.
Ex-girlfriend Ji-ho is visiting again and claims that she’s only there because his mother asked her to visit. But Je-hyuk’s mind is elsewhere, and he tells Ji-ho that he just saw a death row inmate. Ji-ho asks if the prisoner looked super scary, but Je-hyuk shakes his head. He says that he looked like an ordinary person, which made it scarier.
We revisit that encounter from a moment ago, as Je-hyuk saw the death row prisoner with white hair and a star tattoo passing by. He recognized the prisoner as the man who shared his extra shampoo in the shower. Je-hyuk comments that jail is a strange place.
Je-hyuk asks why Ji-ho is visiting him even though they’re broken up. Irritated Ji-ho says that she just explained a moment ago that she was forced to visit because his mother asked her to. She’s frustrated that he never listens to anyone and just thinks in his own head.
In a voiceover, Ji-ho warns him that what he sees isn’t everything, and we see Porter diligently making his deliveries. “Don’t trust anyone and anything,” she says, and we see friendly prison guard Chief Jo comforting a wilted mother. “Live like an idiot, like you’ve always lived,” she says, and we see Seagull holding a pen and glaring at Je-hyuk as he plans out his training schedule.
Porter arrives with today’s ordered goods, and his mouth falls as he realizes it’s Je-hyuk’s turn to pay for the goods. As Je-hyuk signs off for the payment of the items, starstruck Porter asks that he address the receipt to him like an autograph. Ha!
Before Porter can go, he’s summoned by Seagull about a secret request. Seagull asks for a knife, but Porter says that he can’t get him one. Seagull continues to intimidate him and demands that he bring one to him by tomorrow.
Je-hyuk watches Law Man open up his snack bag and asks for some, but Law Man refuses. He paid Je-hyuk for the bag, so he’s unwilling to share any of his precious snack. Law Man tells Professor Myung to drink plenty of juice and soda since he’ll be staying in prison for a while, but Professor Myung seems to think that he’ll be released next week.
Law Man is doubtful of Professor Myung’s early release and explains to clueless Je-hyuk that Professor Myung is the infamous “White Money Conman.” He had convinced people that a concoction could allow them to make fake money out of plain white paper, and he’s been jailed seven times, all for fraud. But Professor Myung corrects him that it was not fraud, but magic.
Je-hyuk is summoned out of the cell by a guard, who brings him to the office to sign one hundred autographs for the staff and volunteers at the jail. He starts signing the sheets as the guard pours him a cup of coffee. The guard mentions that Jun-ho is a big fan of his and always talked about him.
From the window, Jun-ho watches Je-hyuk run laps outside with Law Man trailing after him during free time, and another guard points out Chief Jo in the yard lingering around Seagull. He complains that Chief Jo is an embarrassment to the whole guard team.
In the yard, we see that Seagull hands Chief Jo a card in exchange for a cigarette. As Je-hyuk and Law Man run past them, Law Man explains that Seagull is exchanging a phone card for the cigarette. Phone cards are essentially useless in jail, since the inmates are not allowed to call anyone as they await their final sentence, but Seagull buys a phone card every day because it can be used as a proxy for money.
Je-hyuk looks up at the surveillance cameras, and Law Man answers that the cameras are broken. From inside, Jun-ho confirms that the two surveillance cameras are broken. But they spot another camera directed right at the bench where the exchange occurred, so they check the footage.
Law Man explains that the angle of that camera doesn’t show anything that happens behind the bench, so any transactions that happen from the bench to the wall are not caught on camera. In the surveillance room, Jun-ho finds that to be the exact problem and calls them low-lifes.
Back in the yard, Seagull asks Chief Jo why there has been no press on Je-hyuk’s behavior and wonders if Chief Jo is also submissive to Je-hyuk’s superstar power. Chief Jo calls him behind the bench—where the camera can’t see them—and punches him. In an intimidating tone, Chief Jo reminds Seagull that they’re not colleagues and that there’s a right time for punishment. He tells Seagull to lay low during his jailtime and plasters a smile on his face as he walks away.
Law Man tells Je-hyuk that they’re going to the church service today. Even though they went to the Buddhist temple yesterday, Law Man says that they need to pray to at least two higher beings with an important trial ahead. He adds that the church as a better spread of food than the temple and sometimes they even have waffles and cheesecake. As an added bonus, he says, the church has a hymnal time, which is perfect for a cathartic yelling session.
Their conversation is interrupted by Porter, who offers Je-hyuk a tennis ball to practice with. Je-hyuk barely has time to thank him, since Seagull calls over Porter for his requested item. Seagull hits Porter and grabs his cheek, giving him one more day to get him the knife.
Porter is saved by the guard announcing the end of their outdoor exercise time, and while the rest of the inmates head inside, Je-hyuk stays outside for an arranged extra few minutes of training. Je-hyuk runs laps around the yard, and Jun-ho replaces the guard, who’s timing the session. He resets the timer, allowing Je-hyuk to fit in some more training.
At the church service, the inmates sing-yell the hymns, and Je-hyuk remains seated in silence. He notices the Buddhist monk behind him, and the monk hilariously encourages Je-hyuk to join the cathartic yelling session.
In the cell, Law Man watches Je-hyuk read and flip the page in the opposite direction, so he corrects the page flip for him (lol). Professor Myung packs up his things in preparation for his release, and suddenly, something catches everyone’s attention.
In the guards’ office, Chief Jo looks through a chart, and he opens his drawer to reveal stacks of bribery phone cards. One guard comments that it’s eerily quiet today, like something is about to happen. That cues the call for an emergency situation, and Chief Jo runs out to respond.
In Je-hyuk’s cell, Henchman convulses and chokes on the ground, grasping his heart, and Seagull urgently calls out for help. Another guard, Chief Choi, immediately calls for an ambulance, but Chief Jo stops him. He calmly observes them and orders them to cut out the show within his count. As he counts up, Henchman continues to choke, and Seagull looks genuinely concerned for his minion. Then, at the count of three, Henchman sits up and says that he’s feeling better now.
Chief Choi asks Chief Jo how he knew that he was faking it. Chief Jo points out that Henchman stupidly still believes that your heart is on your right side.
Chief Choi describes the situation to Jun-ho and marvels at Chief Jo’s ability to detect the act. Jun-ho says that he’s not envious of Chief Jo’s ability, which is probably rooted in his low-life tendencies. He heads out to meet his brother, who’s decked out in baseball gear to visit his idol.
Second-gen Chaebol gets a visit from his father, who promises to get his son out soon. His father is distracted by Je-hyuk passing by behind him, which makes Chaebol angry, as clearly indicated by his glaring eyes and pouty face.
Je-hyuk smiles as he sits down and sees a bouquet of flowers covering up his visitor’s face. Jun-ho introduces his younger brother, LEE JUN-DOL, and reveals that Jun-dol is a huge fan. Je-hyuk vaguely remembers him from their childhood, and Jun-dol looks enamored.
Just as Jun-ho is about to say what Jun-dol does for a living, he’s called back to work. Jun-dol tries to request extra visitation time from his brother before he leaves, but Jun-ho assures him that they’ll hang out soon, since Je-hyuk will surely get out in a few days. Jun-ho reminds Je-hyuk of the church service, which is great for cathartic yelling, but Je-hyuk mutters that he’s not a fan of noisy yelling.
All the inmates nod off at the service, and with three days before the appeal trial, Law Man advises Je-hyuk on how to dress and act in court. But Je-hyuk had been falling asleep and only wakes up when the music begins, as all the inmates also wake up and yell along to the hymn.
Porter cleans the guards’ office and steals a pencil knife from the guard’s desk. He enters the service, and Law Man notices Porter hand over the knife to a celebrating Seagull. Professor Myung and Law Man comment that he’s a pathetic fool, but Je-hyuk watches with a worried look.
That night, Seagull waits for Je-hyuk in the cell, knife in hand, and Law Man watches Seagull with caution. Meanwhile, Je-hyuk continues to sign autographs in Chief Choi’s office. Chief Choi says that he doesn’t need to finish all of the autographs, but Je-hyuk assures him that it’s his pleasure.
Je-hyuk finally returns to the room, and Professor Myung gleefully shares that their dinner is rumored to be port cutlets. But before they can gather and wait for their meal, inspection officers storm into the building. Before Seagull can grab the knife, the inspection officers force all the inmates to stand against the wall. Law Man explains that it’s impossible to know the inspection schedule, and getting caught with banned goods can result in a 30-day punishment in solitary confinement.
Sure enough, the inspection officer searches through the cell and finds Seagull’s knife, and as Seagull is escorted to solitary confinement, he passes by Porter heading in to distribute meals. This all seems a bit to convenient, and Professor Myung notes that it’s almost as if the knife hand-off was timed to match the inspection day. But no one knows about inspection days outside of the guards.
Professor Myung comments that there’s never enough pork cutlets, but he knows that getting more is impossible. Then, Porter comes by offering extra pork cutlets. Hmm, something’s going on. As Porter hands Je-hyuk the box of food through the meal slot, he thanks him for telling him the date of the inspection. Oh, he knew?
Porter asks Je-hyuk how he figured out the date, and Je-hyuk explains that he saw it on Chief Choi’s calendar. Porter thanks Je-hyuk for thinking of him, but Je-hyuk clarifies that he didn’t do this to help Porter.
That night, Je-hyuk does push-ups while everyone else sleeps. Jun-ho summons him out of the cell, and as they take a walk around the building, Jun-ho scolds him for causing trouble by sharing the inspection date. He says that Porter is a bad guy, so Je-hyuk shouldn’t have any sympathy for him. We see Porter in his room with buckets of food that he’s hoarded for himself, including all the drumsticks from the chicken stew.
Je-hyuk says that he didn’t do this to help Porter. He says he wants to live like an idiot, but he can’t because Seagull is a rapist. Je-hyuk erupts in anger and says that he couldn’t stand by and do nothing, because of what happened to his sister. He says, “Those guys just need to be killed.”
Flashing back to Chief Choi’s office, we see that Je-hyuk had snooped around while mindlessly signing autographs, which are second nature to him at this point. He was reading through the list of inmates and froze when he saw Seagull’s crime listed as rape.
As Jun-ho escorts Je-hyuk back to his cell, he reminds Je-hyuk that he has one day left before the appeal, the most important day of his life. Approaching the cell, they hear Professor Myung yelling for a guard, so Jun-ho runs over to find Henchman choking once again, this time in Professor Myung’s arms with Law Man watching stoically. Chief Jo arrives and starts counting, but Henchman stops moving at the count of two.
At this sight, Chief Jo runs into the cell and tries to shake Henchman awake, but when he gets no response, he immediately calls for an ambulance and begins CPR. Fortunately, Henchman starts to breathe again, and Chief Jo carries him out of the cell in a panic. Jun-ho and Je-hyuk watch this curiously, and Professor Myung expresses awe at what just happened, particularly at Chief Jo’s response. Law Man nods in agreement.
Into the night, the radio host comments on how time feels especially short, as they’re already halfway through the short month of February. Je-hyuk disagrees aloud, and Law Man cracks up next to him. The host continues by asking if everyone met good people today and wonders what the standard for a “good person” is. She thinks that everyone has their own standard for a good person.
Chief Jo runs into Jun-ho outside in the break area, and when he comes up empty after searching for coins, Jun-ho buys a the more expensive cup of premium coffee for him. The radio host narrates, “No other person’s judgment matters. Only judge the person as is, how the person looks and feels in the present.”
Jun-ho hands Chief Jo the cup of coffee and tells him that he put in a good effort today, seeing him very differently after the heroic rescue. Chief Jo smiles and says that it’s all in their line of work. But then his smile drops as he curses that he almost blew his career because someone almost died during his shift. The music scratches away, and he warns Jun-ho to be careful not to let anyone die on his watch, because they’ll become the scapegoat. Chief Jo sips on his coffee and says that Jun-ho is a good person, but Jun-ho grimaces at his momentary misconception of Chief Jo.
The next day, Jun-ho comes by to keep an eye out for Je-hyuk while the inmates are out in the yard. Continuing with the superstitions, Law Man tells Je-hyuk that he needs to wear fully dried clothes to court, or else he’ll get framed. He offers to wash and iron his clothes that night.
But then Chief Jo comes by and summons Law Man because he’s being transferred to another prison. Law Man asks for a little more time, but Chief Jo orders him to quickly pack his belongings. Before he leaves, Law Man runs back to Je-hyuk and finally says the thing he’s been hesitating to say for days: “Thank you.”
Law Man’s voice begins to break as he thanks Je-hyuk for saving his mother, and he admits tearfully that he can’t live without her and would have no reason to live if she’d died. He wishes that he had thanked him earlier, but says that it’s been so long since he’d been thankful for anything. He sincerely thanks Je-hyuk and wishes the best for his appeal and major league career. As he runs off, he tells Je-hyuk that he left something for him by the window. And with that, he leaves.
Chief Jo finishes writing something as he listens to the news anticipating Je-hyuk’s appeal trial. He calls a reporter and says that the news needs to spread before the trial so that it can influence the outcome. On his computer, we see an email with the subject line: “Revealing the Reality of Kim Je-hyuk.” Uh-oh.
Professor Myung waits on the bus to the courthouse, and Jun-ho waits nervously for Je-hyuk to board the bus. Before he boards, Jun-ho stops him with eyes full of worry. Je-hyuk silently pats his hand with a comforting smile and boards the bus.
The bus rolls out of the jail, and Je-hyuk looks stiff and worried. As they approach the tunnel, Professor Myung advises Je-hyuk not to get his clothes wet and wishes him good luck. But when they approach the courthouse, it’s raining, which seems like a bad omen.
The crowd is buzzing at Je-hyuk’s trial, and Ji-ho arrives to watch. Lawyer Ryu nervously waits for the judge to arrive, and his face falls when the prosecutor approaches him with a note. When the judge enters the courtroom, everyone stands up. We see the note, which reads: “Brain-dead. This may be hard.”
As the bus exits the tunnel and returns to the jail, we hear the final ruling: Je-hyuk’s actions against the sexual offender were considered self-defense, but chasing the offender and striking him with a dangerous object was declared excessive violence, because he ended up brain-dead. The original one-year sentence stands. Je-hyuk rides the bus back to the jail alone, and his mother, sister, and superfan Jun-dol cry at the news of Je-hyuk’s verdict.
The guards at the jail also deplore the outcome and wonder how Je-hyuk’s sentence is fair when con man Professor Myung was let off. Rumor has it that he may be the son of a powerful person, and the news drops hints by showing the election of a politician with the same last name. The guards wonder where Jun-ho went, and we see the trashcan knocked over in the break area with Jun-ho nowhere in sight.
When Je-hyuk returns to the jail, the guards offer to help him get a single room or get him anything he needs. Je-hyuk says that his previous room was fine but asks for a favor: to let him exercise. So in the pouring rain, Je-hyuk runs laps in the yard while Jun-ho watches from the sidelines, enraged.
Jun-ho approaches Je-hyuk with an umbrella and towel looking pissed, but Je-hyuk insists that he’s fine. After a shower, Jun-ho seriously proposes that Je-hyuk escape jail, but Je-hyuk finds no reason to. He can’t kill the judge or the rapist for this misfortune, so he’s decided to accept his fate.
Je-hyuk asks if it was on the news, and Jun-ho confirms that his trial was all over the news all day. But Je-hyuk isn’t asking about his trial. He’s curious about another piece of news. At the break area, Chief Jo calls his reporter friend with news that will flip this sympathetic sentiment, but the reporter doesn’t pick up.
Je-hyuk lies in his room by himself, spreading out his arms and legs in the space. He celebrates his large single room in a monotone voice, and he turns to his side. He notices a string connected to the window and looks at it curiously. Aha, this must be what Law Man left for him.
With the same news of Je-hyuk’s trial being replayed over and over throughout the day, the guard is about to turn off the news when Chief Jo stops him. He seems to be waiting for his story and watches the TV with anticipation.
Back in the cell, Je-hyuk opens the window and pulls the string. As he pulls it, we see a small portion of Law Man’s snack wrapped up for him. Je-hyuk pulls the string more, and he finds a flattened milk carton. Hmm, curious.
In the guards’ office, Chief Jo calls Jun-ho over to watch the news, since he expects something interesting to come up soon. The news transitions over to a story about the western county jail facility itself, which catches the attention of all the guards. Jun-ho walks over, and the news focuses on the misbehavior of one particular guard, whose bribery for cigarettes was caught on the surveillance camera.
We jump back to Je-hyuk’s training time, when Jun-ho took over and added extra time for Je-hyuk. Breathing heavily, Je-hyuk took a break by Jun-ho and showed off his tennis ball that he got from Porter. Jun-ho quickly took it away and said that it was a restricted item that could be confiscated. He promised to give it back after his appeal.
Je-hyuk shrugged and continued to run, but he turned around and asked to throw it just once. Jun-ho wound up to throw the pitch, which was hilariously bad and bounced into Je-hyuk’s hands. Je-hyuk then located the surveillance camera pointed at the bench in the yard, and threw the tennis ball right at the camera to adjust the angle. He turned to Jun-ho and said that he fixed the camera.
Back in the present, the guards continue to watch the news of this “Guard Jo,” who has been caught taking bribes on camera, thanks to Je-hyuk. He’s also been accused of bribing families, and we see that Chief Jo had sweet-talked that mother the other day about wanting to treat all the inmates well but not having enough money to do so. She went inside to withdraw money and pleaded that he take care of her son.
Chief Jo’s smile gradually falters, and the police come to escort him out. As he leaves, the guards wonder who could have been behind all of this, and Jun-ho presumes that it was a currently working guard. As the news concludes, we see the reporter sign off. That reporter is his brother Jun-dol.
Flashing back to Jun-dol’s visitation with Je-hyuk, we’re now privy to their remaining conversation after Jun-ho had left for work. Jun-dol shared that he’s an investigative reporter. Hearing this, Je-hyuk decided to give him a present, and Jun-dol prepared his pen and paper eagerly.
In his cell, Je-hyuk opens up the flattened milk carton that has a written letter from Law Man. In the letter, Law Man has confidence that Je-hyuk will win his appeal because justice is still alive. He hopes that one day they will cross paths, and if that time comes, he promises to buy him better ice cream. But for now, this is all the money he has.
Je-hyuk opens up the rolled-up snack bag, which has a homemade popsicle inside, made of the remaining snacks frozen together in milk by the freezing weather. He takes a bite and enjoys his ice cream, alone in the room.
Ji-ho visits him the next day, and Je-hyuk tells her not to worry because he’s fine. Going into the trial, he knew that it would be a 50-50 shot, and he had briefly speculated that he wouldn’t be leaving soon. Even though he insists that he’s fine, Ji-ho is still upset and yells in frustration that he’ll be rotting in jail for a year, losing his chance in the major league. She curses and cries that it is not fine.
But when Ji-ho goes to Je-hyuk’s mother and sister, she’s bright and optimistic for their sakes. She tells Mom that Je-hyuk is doing fine, and when Mom tells her that she should limit her visiting time to focus on school, Ji-ho insists that she goes because she wants to. Ji-ho tells his sister that he’s completely adjusted, but his sister isn’t entirely convinced. She bursts into tears, and Ji-ho tries to comfort her.
Jun-ho also tries to convince his brother that Je-hyuk is completely fine, and Jun-dol slowly accepts this. Jun-ho insists that Je-hyuk is fine because of who he is, and Jun-dol agrees because he believes that Je-hyuk is someone who does not accept defeat. He begins spewing out the history of Je-hyuk’s career, starting with the car accident that severely injured his left shoulder. But after four years of training and recovery, he was selected on a professional team after a competitive tryout.
In his cell, Je-hyuk eats breakfast and makes instant coffee for himself as Jun-dol continues in voiceover that Je-hyuk has never been discouraged by hardships. As Je-hyuk prepares his training schedule, Jun-dol narrates that through all the overwhelming challenges, Je-hyuk has faced them with a calm smile.
A guard notifies Je-hyuk of the church service, and this time, Je-hyuk is inclined to attend. He sits silently during the sermon, and when the hymns begin, he stands up to join his inmates. At first he remains silent, but then he allows himself to let it out. He screams, “Fuck! Fuck! Fucking bastard! Fuck!!!” Like they said, church is a great place for cathartic yelling, which he finally understands.
Porter talks to his cellmates about Je-hyuk, and they wonder when he’ll transfer out of this facility. It’s impossible to know when anyone will be transferred, but Porter says Je-hyuk could probably figure out. He shares that Je-hyuk was the one who told him about the inspection date, so he gave the knife to Seagull in time to align with the inspection. They wonder how he figured it out, and one cellmate in the glasses looks a little sinister as he listens.
Later that night, Glasses delivers the news about Je-hyuk and the inspection through the meal slot of a solitary confinement room. Does it belong to Seagull? Oh, this is bad.
The guard informs Je-hyuk that he will probably get another cellmate that night, and he does. It’s Henchman, now fully recovered, and Je-hyuk asks how he’s feeling. Henchman doesn’t answer and immediately takes the sharpened toothbrush shiv and sticks it in Je-hyuk’s left shoulder. He tells Je-hyuk to die, as blood seeps through the white shirt. Je-hyuk yells in rage and pain as he pulls away.
This episode definitely got the momentum going, since we’re seeing more of Je-hyuk’s personality and values being manifested in the small vigilante moments of justice. I loved all the flashback moments throughout this episode that revealed that there was more to the scene and more to Je-hyuk than meets the eye. The first episode set me up to believe that Je-hyuk was simply a dim dude with an incredible work ethic that fostered his talent. But this episode broke that image and seemed more promising with Je-hyuk’s ability to adapt to prison life. Je-hyuk is still very slow and a little dumb (I was rolling when he turned the page the opposite way), but he’s not the idiot everyone thinks he is. I’m definitely more hopeful and excited to see how Je-hyuk manages his need to be low-key and his inability to let horrible guys continue to be horrible.
I love Law Man’s character. He’s definitely a know-it-all, but he’s the perfect quick-thinking partner that Je-hyuk needs to help with his adjustment. The moment he broke down in tears of gratitude was a nice break from all the criminal tension in the place. It was a pure moment, one without any layer of deceit or doubt, and I think that is Je-hyuk’s charm. Doublespeak isn’t a part of his language, and he often just means what he says. I’m sure that won’t be the best quality as he continues to navigate prison life, but that’s why he needs Law Man, right? He’s the Virgil to Je-hyuk’s Dante through the circles of prison hell, and I hope they’ll be reunited soon.
This production team has a distinctive style, and I think they’re really good at introducing and tying in themes that are embedded into the show very seamlessly, like with the radio narrations. I like how subtle they are, but they’re definitely a core component in reflecting on a moment or summarizing a general theme that has been brought up. I like how the narration posed the question of what a good person is, and I think that will be a central question as we continue with this show. All these inmates have committed some sort of crime, but are they good people? Is goodness redeemable? I’m looking forward to seeing how Je-hyuk’s purity will shed light on some of these questions within the context of prison life.
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