Witch’s Court: Episode 14
We’re amping up for the final stretch as our heroes close in on Jo Gap-soo. He’s a slippery devil, however, and they find a find that there are still more hurdles to jump before they catch him. Meanwhile, Jo makes a few discoveries of his own that could prove dire.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
In court, Jin-wook reveals that Tae-gyu’s team had fabricated the brass knuckle evidence incriminating Min-ho. Lawyer Heo counters that the lab technician who analyzed the glove incriminating Tae-gyu has recently resigned for embezzlement. Ruling that both the glove and knuckles now lack credibility, the judge dismisses them from evidence and asks Jin-wook if he has anything else to offer in Min-ho’s defense.
Smiling from his vantage point above, Chairman Ahn smugly tells his secretary that they might as well leave since the trial is practically over. Just as he turns to go, however, the courtroom doors swing open and Yi-deum steps inside. Introducing herself as Min-ho’s new lawyer, she points at Tae-gyu and accuses him of Soo-ah’s murder.
In a warning tone, the judge asks if she has proof and Yi-deum holds up a flash drive containing the damning video of Tae-gyu brutally beating Soo-ah the night she died. As the video plays, Soo-ah’s grandmother sobs and even Lawyer Heo has to look away in horror.
Jin-wook states that Tae-gyu lied and even manipulated evidence in order to pin the blame on Min-ho. He asserts that Tae-gyu lacks remorse and should therefore serve a life sentence in prison. Overturning the previous verdict, the judge agrees to give Tae-gyu life in prison while Min-ho’s sentence is reduced to five years’ probation.
A protesting Tae-gyu is removed, as Yi-deum and Jin-wook share a cute thumbs-up.
Reeling from shock, Chairman Ahn stumbles out of the courtroom and calls Jo Gap-soo. Jo’s pleasantries are cut off when his brother-in-law accuses him of knowing about the video. Initially confused, Jo’s expression hardens as Chairman Ahn cries that the video condemned Tae-gyu to life in prison.
Jumping back two days, we return to Lawyer Min, Yi-deum, and Jin-wook as they watch the footage of Soo-ah’s beating. They realize that Jo Gap-soo will try to bury the existence of Kingdom when the video is revealed. Knowing that they need to expose it quickly, Lawyer Min worries about Jo’s influence in the media industry, but Jin-wook says he knows just the person to help them.
Which is where Reporter Han enters the picture. She explains that after leaving her previous job, she’d started reporting via the internet and vows to expose Jo and Kingdom.
Presently, Jo Gap-soo’s secretary informs him of a disconcerting news report circulating online. It turns out to be Reporter Han’s exposé of Tae-gyu’s trial and she expands on both Kingdom and the sketchy dealings played out with admissions at Hanguk University. Tae-gyu, an alum, had attended a grand total of two weeks and yet his report card reflected straight As, even earning him a scholarship. What’s more, he’s not the only one.
Jo trembles with rage as Reporter Han demands a special investigation of Kingdom, then he throws a potted plant like a petulant child.
In his cell, Tae-gyu hears the guards calling for Min-ho and leaps to his feet. He demands to know why Min-ho is being released (um, weren’t you at the trial?). The scene mirrors Tae-gyu’s release after the last trial and Min-ho can’t help but smirk at the irony.
Dressed in his own clothes, Min-ho retrieves his personal effects. The last item gives him pause, and tears well up in his eyes as he stares down at the deed for the house Sang-ho had bought for him.
Stepping outside the facility’s walls, Min-ho takes his first breath of freedom in months. Yi-deum is there to greet him, but she cuts off his thanks to ask for the “debt” his brother owes her. At Min-ho’s confusion, Yi-deum whips out her phone to show him Sang-ho’s final text. In it, he’d said that should anything happen to him, he’d left the evidence with Min-ho.
Yi-deum explains that Sang-ho had committed a severe crime against her, and had died trying to make amends. Min-ho admits that he doesn’t know anything, so Yi-deum tells him to call her if he figures anything out.
In a private room at a restaurant, Lawyer Min meets with an old colleague, assistant prosecutor general Song. He compliments her on the recent developments with Jo Gap-soo and she notes that it’s taken twenty years to get this far. She asks if he remembers the promise he made to help her catch Jo Gap-soo, and while he’s willing to follow through, he says they have to wait.
Apparently, the district attorney is against investigating based solely on public opinion, but Lawyer Min says that’s all the more reason for them to hurry and find evidence. They need to move before Jo has a chance to cover his tracks.
In the main section of the restaurant, Jin-wook eats with Hoon-soo, who asks about the nature of Jin-wook’s relationship with Yi-deum. Hoon-soo knows that Jin-wook found the video and therefore must have given it to Yi-deum, but doesn’t think that they’re actually dating. Jin-wook offers him a pickle in response, which only irritates Hoon-soo.
Grumbling at the disparity between the ways Jin-wook treats him and Yi-deum, Hoon-soo whines to be let in on whatever they’re up to. Jin-wook simply continues eating so Hoon-soo snaps that he should pay for their meal. Heh.
Lawyer Min and Prosecutor Song exit their private room and Hoon-soo leaps up to greet them. However, it’s Jin-wook that Prosecutor Song addresses, saying that he’s heard a lot about him from Lawyer Min.
Armed with a search warrant, Jin-wook and Investigator Gu lead a team into Hyungjae Hotel. Two security guards try to intervene, but Investigator Gu holds up a hand. He coolly tells them not to follow, before joining the rest of the team in the elevator… only to poke his head back out and ask them how to get to Kingdom. Hee.
Naturally, the guards are uncooperative and Investigator Gu slinks back into the elevator, where Jin-wook shoots him an exasperated look. Luckily, someone swipes a keycard across the panel and it lights up with a “K.” It’s Yi-deum, who shares a smile with Jin-wook as she joins them in the elevator.
Alas, when they arrive at Kingdom, they find only an empty room.
Someone calls Jo Gap-soo to report that the prosecutors left empty-handed. He flashes back to earlier, when he’d received a text from Chief Prosecutor Oh, giving him a heads up. At the time, he’d been meeting with Chairman Ahn. Furious over Tae-gyu’s fate, Chairman Ahn held Jo accountable and threatened to expose Kingdom as retribution. Jo had calmly pointed out that while Kingdom was his room, it was located in Chairman Ahn’s hotel.
Jo had went on to say that Chairman Ahn had also lined his pockets with some of that dirty money, landing them in the same boat. And so, Jo had suggested Chairman Ahn help bury Kingdom, adding that he should be alive and well if he had any hope of helping Tae-gyu.
Now, Lawyer Heo marches into Jo’s office to tell him that the one behind Jin-wook’s team is assistant prosecutor general Song. Jo tells her to arrange a meeting with the district attorney, and Lawyer Heo informs him that the university chancellor has been trying to get in touch with him. Jo snaps that he doesn’t have the time to clean up anyone else’s mess.
Min-ho stops by the columbarium to visit Sang-ho’s remains and sinks to the floor as he sobs. Afterwards, he heads to the house Sang-ho left him, and as he wonders where Sang-ho could’ve left the evidence, his eyes fall on the large tree in the yard. Stepping closer, he sees a patch of disturbed ground and begins digging with his bare hands.
Sure enough, he pulls out a notebook. Flipping through, he stops when he reads the last entry. It reads, “Meeting with Jo Gap-soo to get the video of Tae-gyu beating Soo-ah in Kingdom. I hope this won’t be my last.”
Prosecutor Song is called in by the district attorney and finds Chief Prosecutor Oh waiting inside as well. The district attorney opens by talking about a former colleague who has recently merged law firms, and pointedly wonders if Prosecutor Song would be interested in a job there. Prosecutor Song replies that he has no intentions of quitting, and the district attorney muses that Prosecutor Song seems interested in special investigations lately.
Chief Prosecutor Oh pipes up that he heard Prosecutor Song had a secret meeting with Lawyer Min. Prosecutor Song says that he also heard rumors that there are prosecutors involved in Kingdom’s corruption, causing Chief Prosecutor Oh to shift uncomfortably. Ignoring them both, the district attorney says that he’s seen many prosecutors ruin themselves chasing public outcries while preaching about justice, when in reality they only craved success.
He continues that he prefers people who take responsibility, and the meaning is not lost on Prosecutor Song. The entire nation watched as they marched into Kingdom and found nothing, so now the district attorney wants Prosecutor Song to take responsibility.
Outside, Prosecutor Song finds Jin-wook waiting for him. Prosecutor Song admits that they were too rash and should’ve followed the rules. Thus he’s decided to take responsibility—but Jin-wook offers to take the fall instead. “If someone must be accountable at this stage, it should be me, since I’m weak,” Jin-wook says, noting that Prosecutor Song still has more to do.
Turns out that accountability calls for three months’ suspension, and Prosecutor Jung is not happy when Jin-wook reports this to her. She expresses her frustrations with Jin-wook acting on his own, and although she isn’t satisfied with his apology, she settles when Lawyer Min steps joins them.
Meanwhile, Yi-deum visits with the rest of the department. Hoon-soo takes the opportunity to grill her on what she’s been up to with Jin-wook, but Yi-deum demurs that Jin-wook is his junior prosecutor. Pouting, Hoon-soo argues that despite that, Jin-wook won’t talk to him. Hee.
Jin-wook is finally released from Prosecutor Jung’s office and Yi-deum walks out with him. She notes the box he’s carrying and wonders if he isn’t being too much, since he was only suspended and not fired. Laughing, Jin-wook says that the box isn’t personal effects, but case files. Yi-deum asks what he would need that for, and Jin-wook turns to her.
“Why else?” he asks, “Aren’t you going to catch Jo Gap-soo? I told you last time that I’ll punish everyone who did that to your mother, regardless of who they are.” Smiling, Yi-deum sighs that there’s nothing she can do if he’s chosen to walk a thorny path. Returning the smile, Jin-wook tells her they’re in the same boat. Their moment is interrupted by a call from Min-ho.
At the same time, Investigator Gu is startled awake by another call. Prosecutor Jung summons him and hands him a file, telling him to find someone.
Dr. Ko sees news reports about the failed search of Kingdom and hears that Hyungjae Hotel intends to hold the prosecutors accountable for lost business. She starts to compose a text to Jin-wook but stops, unsure what to say. Just then, a woman walks in to say that they’ve decided to go to a care facility in Bujin for their television special.
In the car with Jin-wook, Yi-deum takes a call from a doctor, who informs her that he’s stopped the medication on Jo Gap-soo’s wife and that she’ll wake up soon. After she ends the call, Jin-wook asks what it was about and she cryptically replies that it’s insurance on Jo Gap-soo.
Jin-wook isn’t in the mood for any more secrets, so when she refuses to share more, he pulls over and parks the car, then leans his seat all the way back, crossing his arms defiantly. It works and Yi-deum relents, admitting that the “insurance” is Jo Gap-soo’s wife. Satisfied, Jin-wook sits his seat up—emphasizing the whirring sound as it goes (a reminder of the falsified sexual harassment charge against her), much to Yi-deum’s annoyance.
They arrive at Min-ho’s new home, where Min-ho hands them the final page of Sang-ho’s journal. He explains that his brother’s evidence is a detailed log of every order Jo Gap-soo had ever given him. Min-ho agrees to give them the journal on the condition that they uncover the truth behind Sang-ho’s death first.
That evening, Jin-wook and Yi-deum return to find Lawyer Min’s office completely wrecked. Laywer Min tells them that all their files on Jo Gap-soo are gone.
The stolen files are burned by two henchmen, and when Jo Gap-soo arrives with Lawyer Heo, they hand him the last item, the Hyungjae Factory case file. Jo flips through to the picture of the women and then tosses it on the fire as well. Chuckling, Jo says that he’s safe for now.
Back in Min’s office, Yi-deum scoffs that she hadn’t expected Jo Gap-soo to go so low (really?) and Jin-wook asks if they’ll still be able to go through with a special investigation. Lawyer Min shakes her head, admitting that with the district attorney against it and the media attention dissipating, it’ll be difficult.
They realize that their only solution is Sang-ho’s journal, but first they need to resolve his death. The problem lies with finding evidence, since the case was dismissed as a suicide. Yi-deum asserts that if they can’t find anything, they’ll make something. Jin-wook says he’s already collected the records and suggests Yi-deum look through those with him first.
Lawyer Min says she’ll investigate as well, and after the others leave, she receives a phone call from Prosecutor Jung saying they caught someone.
Jin-wook pulls the car over and tells Yi-deum he’ll fetch the documents, since she might find it uncomfortable working in his home. However, Yi-deum brushes it off and leads the way to his apartment. Inside, they pore over stacks of files and set up a timetable for Sang-ho’s final day. Moving on to the suicide note, they each grab a photo of the evidence. Comparing the two, they discover that the pen at the crime scene and the pen that was taken into evidence are different.
Down at the police station, Jin-wook and Yi-deum attempt to gain access to the evidence but the detective is suspicious. Yi-deum nudges Jin-wook and he clears his throat before brandishing his prosecutor’s badge and declaring that they’re reopening the case. Luckily, it does the trick and the detective leads them to the evidence bin.
After he’s gone, Yi-deum pulls out the pen, which reads “Doobalro Soccer League.” Jin-wook wonders if it was Jo Gap-soo that replaced the pen but Yi-deum points out that Jo would’ve simply destroyed the pen. She muses that perhaps the culprit suspected foul play and Jin-wook reasons that it’s likely the person knew Sang-ho.
Running an internet search on the soccer league, they discover a photo of Sang-ho with the team. Jin-wook recognizes one man as the officer he’d previously asked about Sang-ho.
Lawyer Min arrives at the prosecutor’s office in regards to the man Prosecutor Jung had found. Turns out that it’s Young-woon, the older guard from Kingdom, and Lawyer Min proposes a deal. In exchange for everything Young-woon knows about Kingdom, Min promises to help Young-woon out at trial. He scoffs and she points out that he can’t go back to Kingdom anyway, so there’s no point in keeping quiet.
With a laugh, Young-woon guesses that Min intends to threaten him with charges for sex trafficking. But Min says no, pulling out her phone and saying that she’ll just call Jo Gap-soo to pick him up. Her words hit their mark and Young-woon’s smile drops off his face.
A crowd of protesters greet the university chancellor with demands for his resignation and repentance. When he shouts that it was for the school and tells them to shut up, they begin to throw eggs and flour. The chancellor flees to his car…
And arrives at City Hall, where he forces his way into Jo Gap-soo’s office. Looking up from his desk, Jo calls the chancellor rude, which only incites the man further. The chancellor shrieks that he had given Jo’s names to the prosecutors to have him investigate as well, only to be ignored. He wonders what shady deals Jo made in order to come out of the scandal scot-free.
Jo warns him not to make a bigger fool of himself and two security guards arrive to escort the man out. The chancellor swears to finish Jo as he’s dragged away, kicking and screaming.
A secretary delivers a box containing the hole-in-one ball from Jo’s golf trip in Bujin. Infuriated, Jo barks at him to get rid of it, but the mention of Bujin jogs his memory and he recalls the run-in with Mom. He hadn’t recognized her then, but he seems to place her now and smiles.
Meanwhile, Mom is helping out at the health-care facility. Spotting Nurse Choi sweeping, Mom offers to help and learns that a TV station is coming to film.
The TV station in question is currently waiting for the ferry with Dr. Ko. The PD asks if Dr. Ko has ever been to Bujin, and she replies this is her first visit.
Jo pulls out Sang-ho’s journal from the safe in his desk (why do you still have that?) and flips to the entry regarding Mom’s “death.” Sang-ho had approached Dr. Ko and asked her to remove Mom’s oxygen mask. Appalled, Dr. Ko had refused, stating that not only was Mom still alive, but she’d saved Jin-wook.
Sang-ho had pointed out that Dr. Ko was the one who locked Mom up for seven years. Dr. Ko had rebutted that she would bring Mom out into the public and pay for her sins.
Sometime later, though, Sang-ho met Nurse Choi in Mom’s hospital room. Nurse Choi injected something into Mom’s IV and they’d both watched as Mom had flatlined. Nurse Choi promised to cremate Mom immediately and Sang-ho had handed her an envelope, warning her to take this secret to her grave.
Snapping the journal closed, Jo muses that Sang-ho wouldn’t kill a person that easily. He picks up his phone and places a call to the police commissioner. After exchanging pleasantries, Jo drops his smile and asks the other man to find Nurse Choi.
Jin-wook and Yi-deum meet with the officer they suspect of switching the pens. Averting his eyes, he mutters that he doesn’t know anything about it, but when Yi-deum mentions Sang-ho being murdered, it piques his interest. Yi-deum shows him Sang-ho’s journal entry and says that she believes Jo Gap-soo murdered him.
Jin-wook adds that they can uncover the truth if they find proof, which is why they sought him out. With a shuddering breath, the man goes back into the station… and returns with the original pen.
He explains that when he’d heard about the incident, he’d run to the scene. When he got there, the detectives were mulling about, joking. Flashing his badge, he’d asked the lead detective if they’d finished processing the scene but the other man had replied that it was a straightforward suicide. Sang-ho’s friend had argued that he’d heard the position of the body had been strange, demanding to know how someone could hang themselves while seated.
The other detective had asserted that it was a suicide and the two men had gotten into a tussle. Falling to the floor, he’d noticed the note and pen and then secretly swapped the pens.
In the present, he tells Jin-wook and Yi-deum that many things had seemed suspicious, but everyone had rushed to close the case. Yi-deum asks if he’d tested the pen and he hands over a report. He says that prints from two different people were found, but he’d had nothing to compare them to.
Yi-deum assumes that the prints belong to Jo and Sang-ho, and Jin-wook promises to get everything analyzed. The man admits that he owes Sang-ho a lot and implores them to find the truth.
Jo’s henchman calls from Bujin and informs Jo that he’d found Nurse Choi and that Mom is living under an alias. Intrigued to confirm that Mom is alive, Jo orders the henchman to kill both women.
Meanwhile, Nurse Choi frantically drags Mom along as they make their escape from the health-care facility.
In Min-ho’s home, Yi-deum presents the new evidence from the pen. She explains that one of the prints was Sang-ho’s—and as soon as they confirm that the other belongs to Jo and run an ink analysis on the suicide note, they should be able to charge Jo with murder.
Min-ho is anxious to press forward, but Yi-deum tells him that it’s not enough. She and Jin-wook clarify that they’d be lucky to even get Jo five years with the murder charge, even less if he asserts that it was a suicide. Yi-deum vows to make Jo rot in jail for the remainder of his days, but Min-ho asks how she plans to do so if she’d just claimed it was impossible.
Jin-wook explains that they’re arranging a special investigation, and Yi-deum proposes Min-ho join them. She reminds him that he had sworn to avenge his brother’s death and asks for the rest of the journal.
We see Jo receiving a call from an unknown source, and he drops the phone when he hears that the prosecution team has Sang-ho’s journal. At the same time, Yi-deum holds the press conference for the special investigation team.
Finally!!! Holy cheese on toast, I feared we’d never gain solid footing against Jo Gap-soo. Jo has managed to elude our heroes at every turn and not even because he’s particularly crafty, or covers his tracks well… I mean, he still has Sang-ho’s journal, for Pete’s sake! That was chock-full of evidence against him and he keeps it? For what, sentimental reasons? But no, Jo manages to wriggle away solely thanks to his never-ending web of connections and lucky happenstance. He’s a villain who never truly squirms because he always has an easy out and that chaps my buns.
Not to mention, the convenient way that he suddenly realized that the woman he’d ran into was Mom. He hadn’t recognized her when they’d met, or even seemed to register her face at all, so I find it so bizarre that he would have such an “Aha!” moment. Thank goodness Nurse Choi escaped with Mom before Jo’s henchman had the opportunity to comply with his boss’ orders. But now I’m curious as to who tipped her off. Sang-ho is gone and I doubt Dr. Ko knew anything. My only guess is maybe Nurse Choi noticed something wasn’t right… but either way, I doubt they’re in the clear.
As for our heroes, how funny is Jin-wook dipping his toes into Yi-deum’s not-so-moral waters? I loved his face when Yi-deum made him flash his (suspended) badge and fib. I don’t think Jin-wook is going to the dark side anytime soon, but I like that he’s learning to bend the rules now and then. On the other hand, Yi-deum is learning to rely on others (even if Jin-wook had to resort to petty means in order to get her to divulge her backup plan). I like seeing our leads take these baby steps of growth while not losing sight of the people they are.
I was a bit miffed with Min-ho for bartering with Sang-ho’s journal. I understand he wanted the truth behind his brother’s death but I feel like that would naturally come to light when they exposed Jo Gap-soo’s laundry list of criminal activity. And the fact that he had to be convinced to give them the journal in order to get Jo at the end struck me as unnatural. It seems like this was just a convenient filler mission before the final week.
With only two episodes to go, I do wonder if we have enough time to wrap everything up. We’ve spent so much time chasing Jo Gap-soo in circles, that I’m worried as to whether we’ll get satisfactory resolutions for the things I actually care about. Like Yi-deum’s reunion with Mom (I’m still concerned about Mom’s memory… she saw Jo and showed no signs of recognition or fear) and her relationship with Jin-wook! For the time being, they seem to have pushed the conflict with Dr. Ko aside, but it’s not like it’s gone away. Is it too much to ask that we resolve all the problems and still have time for kisses?
On the upside, we’ve gained some more allies while Jo Gap-soo has been throwing away his cohorts like candy at a parade. I don’t see how he’ll weasel out of the oncoming storm (and will ragequit like nobody’s business if he does) but I’m sure he won’t go down without a fight. With just one week left, I’m interested to see how their final battle will play out.
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