Suits: Episode 8
Yeon-woo’s unique talent is beginning to come in handy in a big way, both for himself and for the firm. It’s a good thing, because his fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants technique isn’t winning him any favors, and he’s getting perilously close to having his secret discovered.
EPISODE 8: “Justice is giving back everyone what they rightfully deserve.”
Kang-seok and Yeon-woo play a game of one-on-one basketball. Kang-seok sinks basket after basket, until finally Yeon-woo takes a huge leap and knocks his shot out of the air.
Afterward, Kang-seok asks Yeon-woo what he thinks justice is. Yeon-woo quotes Greek philosopher Simonides: “Justice is giving back everyone what they rightfully deserve.” Kang-seok asks if he wants to find out what CEO Shim did wrong and make her pay.
He continues that when you look at the Namyoung Accounting situation without emotions involved, you realize that it could endanger them, too. But then he says that they need to expose the corruption, surprising Yeon-woo, who asks if he’s giving him permission to proceed.
Kang-seok is all, “No, I’m against this,” and Yeon-woo grins that he definitely won’t do the thing Kang-seok is totally against. Completely unrelated, of course, Kang-seok muses that a competent lawyer is logical and brings hard evidence.
Ha-yeon calls Kang-seok to her office to tell him that she wants him to testify against Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh. He says he was angry with himself for not being able to protect Ju-hee, his ex-girlfriend, and Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh reached out to him at just that time, “And then that happened.”
After learning that Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh betrayed him and tampered with evidence, Kang-seok had asked him why. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh had told him that he simply picked a side, and that after the presidential election he’d switch sides again. His goal had been to become chief prosecutor and gain political power, and he’d been willing to trade in his honor for the position.
Kang-seok had started to argue that wrong is wrong for whatever reason, but had decided to just quit instead. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh had said that nobody would take him because he’d be a burden, but Kang-seok said that he’d rather be a burden elsewhere than ashamed here.
But now Kang-seok is reluctant to testify against Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh, because he gave Ju-hee a job and in the process lost his chance at the chief prosecutor position. Ha-yeon asks if that’s the real reason, but Kang-seok can’t answer. She promises to act as his lawyer when he’s inevitably brought in for questioning, though she says she wishes he’d be honest with her.
The next day, Da-ham tells Kang-seok that she’ll always support him no matter what as he leaves to be questioned, having changed his mind. Ha-yeon congratulates him on getting Director Bang to sign the resignation agreement, but he rightfully gives Yeon-woo the credit.
Yeon-woo recalls having spotted Ji-na’s pay stub on her computer, and he runs into her office breathlessly to ask to it again. He points out a deduction from a company called Daesung Communications, which she explains takes money in case she gets training. She says the name changes, but the deduction is the same every month.
Flustered, he asks if she knows an attorney, and pfft, her face. Yeon-woo collects himself and asks if she knows someone out side the firm who can look into Daesung. Her expression is pitying, so backs down.
Prosecutor Ahn (who cornered Kang-seok about testifying) questions Kang-seok at the police station, asking about his personal relationship with Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh. He says he was his mentor, but Ha-yeon stops Prosecutor Ahn from asking more personal questions. She notes that he never lost a case as a prosecutor, wondering why he suddenly quit when he was doing well.
Kang-seok says that he met Ha-yeon in law school, and that she advised him to do some time as a prosecutor before working at a law firm, so he always planned to work for her eventually. He almost makes Ha-yeon laugh by quoting a made-up flowery motto, which annoys Prosecutor Ahn.
She asks if Kang-seok quit because he knew Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh committed a crime but couldn’t report it because he was his mentor, but Ha-yeon rejects the leading question. So she asks if, ten years ago, an ex-congressman asked Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh to get his son acquitted in a hit-and-run case, and if Kang-seok knew Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh destroyed the CCTV footage.
She continues, asking about the rumor that Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh was promised a promotion in return for the favor. She points out that in almost a hundred and fifty wins, it’s difficult to believe that Kang-seok wasn’t involved in the evidence tampering. She says that even if she believes he’s innocent, the people high up probably won’t, so if he doesn’t cooperate he may end up targeted.
Geun-shik catches Yeon-woo reviewing the financial sheets of both the firm and Namyoung Accounting. Yeon-woo says he was just studying because he’s good with numbers, but Geun-shik claims to be the numbers man at their firm, and that Yeon-woo should be spending his time looking for his paycheck that doesn’t exist.
He says that no paycheck means that Yeon-woo isn’t a real associate and brandishes a copy of the most recent payroll, ordering Yeon-woo to give him a real answer. Yeon-woo just shows Geun-shik his employee ID, and when Geun-shik plugs his ID number into the company database, there’s Yeon-woo.
Kang-seok calls Yeon-woo into his office to ask how that thing he told him not to do is going. He notices that Yeon-woo seems fidgety, but Yeon-woo snaps that he’s fine and scurries out when Ha-yeon comes in.
Ha-yeon takes Kang-seok to a fancy restaurant where Prosecutor Ahn is already waiting in a private dining room. She shows him her evidence, which he pronounces circumstantial and refuses to testify, even firing Ha-yeon as his attorney when she tries to argue.
He stands to leave, but Prosecutor Ahn calls after him, “Do you think the hit-and-run is the only case Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh had his hands on?” She names four other cases Kang-seok handled that the special prosecution team is working on, and she threatens to start looking into them unless Kang-seok testifies.
She asks how sure he is that his perfect track record is because of his talent. She says he has two choices: protect the man who used him, and get blamed for everything, or testify truthfully and uphold real justice. Kang-seok leaves without saying a word.
Lawyer Seo apologizes profusely for (they think) giving him bad information about Yeon-woo. Geun-shik says with fake cheer that it’s all his fault for not recognizing Lawyer Seo’s incompetence and dismisses him.
This time Ji-na finds Yeon-woo moping on the walkway. She says she looked into it, and Daesung Communications closed down a week ago. Apparently it had way too much income for a small company and someone reported it, so it shut down to avoid being audited. Yeon-woo says it was a ghost company and asks how she found out, and she stammers that she knows a guy.
Yeon-woo gives her a half-hearted thanks and runs back inside to start lining up payroll sheets on the floor. He tags each month with the consulting firm that was withdrawing money from the firm’s employees that month, then goes up to see Kang-seok.
Kang-seok’s office is filled with old files, which Kang-seok is looking through because he could be indicted. Da-ham and Yeon-woo are insistent that he’s innocent, but he still refuses to testify against his mentor. Yeon-woo says that he has a lot of ways to solve the problem (Kang-seok: “You’re giving me advice I gave you.” HA.).
Yeon-woo insists on helping, so Kang-seok says he’s looking for a mistake he may have made. when Yeon-woo says that’s like putting a gun to his own head, he gets an idea. He jumps up, saying that Yeon-woo is right — the gun is aimed in the wrong direction.
He goes to see Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh, full of questions. He asks if the hit-and-run case was the first time he fabricated evidence, and Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh actually argues that he was doing it for Kang-seok. He maintains that it’s all fair so long as he put the guilty people in jail, but Kang-seok points out that he also got guilty people released.
Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh turns on him, accusing him of cleaning up after the rich and powerful even though he despises him. Kang-seok reminds him that he’s supposed to have character and morality, but Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh snaps that he needs a powerful position in order to fight the people Kang-seok defends.
Kang-seok says that power and position are meaningless when he’s committing illegal acts: “Power without justice is nothing but violence.” Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh says that he got this far because of that power, and because of that, he sent many of the type Kang-seok defends to prison.
He says that means he won, but Kang-seok counters that you can’t be a true winner without breaking the rules, and that he should pay for breaking the law. He repeats Yeon-woo’s quote, that justice is giving back everyone what they rightfully deserve. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh asks what he deserves, and Kang-seok says that even his probationary associate knows that.
Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh asks if Kang-seok is threatening to testify against him, but Kang-seok says that he’s giving his old mentor a way to stay out of prison — resign. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh refuses, so Kang-seok guesses that he’s not the righteous man he once claimed to be.
The next morning, in Ha-yeon’s office, CEO Shim of Namyoung Accounting says that she was too focused on her company’s clients, and got careless. She admits that they struggled to pay their employees at times, so she made a few paper companies using friends’ names and came up with a different pay structure. Ha-yeon says she understands, but she looks furious. She promises to speak to Kang-seok, and to “take care of” Yeon-woo.
Da-ham wants to know what Kang-seok plans to do. Kang-seok says that Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh wears worn-out shoes and still lives in a rented house, so he’s right to criticize Kang-seok for working for the rich. He asks what she would do if she were him, and after an interesting pause, she says she’d also struggle to betray him.
But Ha-yeon comes in, followed by Geun-shik, saying that he’ll have to sacrifice one person — Yeon-woo. Kang-seok finds Yeon-woo, angry that he didn’t keep his Namyoung activities confidential. Yeon-woo says he did, but that if he’s fired, then he’ll first say what he has to say.
They call Ha-yeon and Geun-shik, who are upset that he sided against their own client, into a conference room. Yeon-woo unrolls a diagram he made of all the paper companies that CEO Shim has been using to embezzle money from Namyoung’s clients… including Kang & Ham, whom she’s stolen the most money from.
Shocked, Ha-yeon vows to take back what CEO Shim has stolen and give back what she deserves. She orders Geun-shik to look into her finance team, who was probably bribed, and fire anyone involved. To Yeon-woo she says, “Good work. You did this for the company, so you won’t be fired. But regardless of your reason, you still did a background check on your client. You’re on standby until I appoint you again.”
Later, Ji-na finds Yeon-woo, who’s making copies, ha. He says wryly that it’s okay, since it’s the first job he’s been given by Ha-yeon. Ji-na fusses over him when he gets a paper cut, which Yeon-woo seems to enjoy.
They share a long look, until Geun-shik breaks it up and asks Yeon-woo if he still denies they’re dating. He thanks Yeon-woo sarcastically, rubbing it in that he did all that work only to lose the Namyoung case to him.
Seeing Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh in the news, Kang-seok calls Prosecutor Ahn. All she’ll say is that his mentor isn’t who he thinks he is, and that things are going the way she expects.
Da-ham goes to see Ha-yeon, unwilling to watch Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh take Kang-seok down with him. She tells Ha-yeon that Kang-seok was different when he was a prosecutor, more passionate. Everyone thought Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh was respectable, so Kang-seok saw him as a loyal and righteous prosecutor.
She tells Ha-yeon that she personally saw Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh tampering with evidence one night when she went back into the office for her umbrella. She found him in the evidence room, and he’d run out quickly, leaving behind a USB file in a bag wet from the rain he’d just run through.
She knew this would eventually come to light, so she’d started keeping records of all the times she knew he tampered with evidence. She gives Ha-yeon those records, worried that Kang-seok will find out and fire her.
She says that she told Kang-seok she couldn’t stab him in the back, fighting back tears, but Ha-yeon assures her that she’d have said the same thing. Da-ham reveals that Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh has denied his charges and blamed Kang-seok for everything. She begs Ha-yeon not to protect him anymore, even if Kang-seok fires her.
Ha-yeon finds Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh at dinner and stops by to tell him that she spoke to Prosecutor Ahn and learned that he denied everything. He says that Prosecutor Ahn isn’t one of his people like Kang-seok, and Ha-yeon asks through gritted teeth if that’s why he blamed his “baby” for his own crimes. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh shamelessly claims that he had no other choice.
Ha-yeon shows him copies of Da-ham’s notes and says she’s on her way to see the chief prosecutor. She tells him it’s a thirty minute drive, and that if she doesn’t hear from Prosecutor Ahn that he’s confessed and resigned in that time, she’s giving the chief prosecutor the original copies.
He thinks she’s bluffing, but she informs him that the evidence is quite detailed. She tells him to do whatever he wants, but never to mess with Kang-seok again, because, “The moment you say he’s your baby again, I’ll disclose the evidence to news outlets, the Blue House, and whoever else I can send them to.”
Later, Ha-yeon goes back to the office to tell Kang-seok that he won’t have to testify, because Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh decided to tell the truth and resign. She says he probably just felt guilty, but Kang-seok knows she had something to do with this. She teases him for firing her as his lawyer, then says that she did it in such a way that he’ll be happy with the results.
Kang-seok asks dryly if he should carve this on a stone for posterity, and Ha-yeon says that she just hopes he realizes he’s not alone. She also admits that Yeon-woo is proving his value, and that Kang-seok does have a keen eye.
In return, Kang-seok tells her the truth about why he wouldn’t testify against Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh: “Because I was unsure. Did I really not know about Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh tampering with evidence? I could have found out if I’d been a little more careful. No… because they were the bad guys, I had to put them in jail no matter what. Did I just see what I wanted to see? I wasn’t sure that I wasn’t responsible.”
Ha-yeon says she’ll pretend she didn’t hear all that, ordering him to get rid of all these files and erase Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh from his head. She asks who’ll be the closing pitcher against CEO Shim, wondering if they should let Yeon-woo do it. She and Kang-seok both grin, and as she leaves, she nods to Da-ham that everything is fine.
Yeon-woo is still making copies when Kang-seok starts to tell him why he chose him. But Yeon-woo doesn’t hear him over the machine, and instead he just says his wait is over.
Ha-yeon, Kang-seok, and Yeon-woo are all there when they call CEO Shim in to talk to her. She has the gall to look mystified, until Kang-seok informs her that thirteen companies would like back the money she embezzled from them, and that they can no longer represent her because Kang & Ham is at the top of the list.
Yeon-woo gets the honor of laying out the facts (and awww, Kang-seok looks so proud) — Daesung Communications was established a year ago, sold to K Company a few months later, and was shut down last week. K Company is a Germany-based manufacturer of car parts, run by an elderly man, so it seems impossible that they made over five billion won in two months.
In addition, K Company closed down today. CEO Shim scoffs that they think she closed it down, but Yeon-woo continues. Before K Company was Maru Corporation, and before that was Samra Investment, and on and on — a hundred twenty-seven companies in all. Coincidentally, the CEOs of those companies were CEO Shim’s cousins, college friends, and their husbands.
CEO Shim introduces Yeon-woo as “Attorney Go Yeon-woo, an associate at Kang & Ham.” She says he was a probationary associate before, and Yeon-woo suddenly realizes he’s been promoted. CEO Shim says weakly that these paper companies are perfectly legal.
Ha-yeon stops her, saying that they already know what she did. She asks if they have proof, and Yeon-woo invites former-Director Bang into the room.
He’s now Consultant Bang, whom Kang & Ham has hired to help them in her case against her. Consultant Bang says confidently that the inconsistencies he found in Namyoung’s financial statements are so simple, he didn’t even need a college diploma to figure them out. Awesome.
Trying to squirm his way back into Geun-shik’s good graces, Lawyer Seo brings him lunch from his favorite restaurant, including an extra bowl of porridge. He thinks Geun-shik will invite him to join him, but he’s coldly dismissed instead.
Yeon-woo apologizes to Consultant Bang for not being able to protect his job, but Consultant Bang says that it’s okay because he got to see the look on CEO Shim’s face. He says he’ll never forget what Yeon-woo did for him, and advises him that if there’s something wrong,to fix it.
Geun-shik is standing right behind Yeon-woo, and he snarls that the sleeper caught a fish. Yeon-woo snaps back that he wonders where the supposed numbers guy was while that fish was being caught.
Geun-shik argues that he can’t be bothered to learn the details of every single client, but that Yeon-woo sympathized with a client because he’s a pushover. He says he’s been looking at things the way he wanted to see them, but he needs to change that.
He notes that most people here know each other from school, and that if Yeon-woo is really a genius then he’d be famous, but nobody knows him. He asks if Yeon-woo and his educational credentials are fake, furiously demanding to know why Kang-seok chose him.
He starts to scream, asking if Kang-seok knew that Yeon-woo could solve cases that Geun-shik can’t solve. Yeon-woo calmly stares as Geun-shik nearly gives himself an aneurism, then stalks off in a huff.
Yeon-woo goes to Kang-seok’s home to ask why he chose him. Kang-seok says to think of it as that he chose his own place, and that he can choose what kind of lawyer he will be, because what’s important is him, not the client. Yeon-woo decides that he definitely won’t get attached to clients anymore. Okay sure, sweetie.
He says that he also came to give Kang-seok a file, wondering if this is the “mistake” he forgot he made. It’s the file from a murder case twelve years ago, Kang-seok’s very first case, in which he just went in for the court trial. Yeon-woo says he read the records of all hundred forty-seven of Kang-seok’s prosecution cases but didn’t find a single error, so he looked at the evidence lists that Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh was in charge of, and found something.
He gives Kang-seok a love letter, written from the murdered woman to the culprit, Jang Seok-hyun. Jang had claimed to be in a relationship with the murdered woman, but there was no evidence, so he went to prison for murder. Kang-seok reels at the knowledge that Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh was doing this from his very first trial, and he’s upset that he sent a possibly innocent kid to rot his twenties away in jail.
Yeon-woo tells him that Jang’s fifteen-year sentence is up in only three years. We see Jang in prison, exercising in his cell then being led out by guards, but we never see his face.
Oh, now this is getting interesting. If we’re about to see Kang-seok and Yeon-woo on a mission to right the wrongs from Kang-seok’s days as a prosecutor, then consider me a hundred percent down for this. The cases they’ve handled so far have been interesting, but the stakes have always been financial. This is now about people’s lives, and I’m ready to see them tackle some real, life-and-death situations. Neither of them will be able to avoid getting emotionally involved.
Kang-seok and Yeon-woo are working together better with each episode, and their relationship is getting so much fun! They keep things very professional, but you can tell that they respect each other’s viewpoints and values a lot more now that they understand where the other is coming from. They still argue, because their philosophies are so opposed, but it feels more like colleagues respectfully disagreeing than boss and employee. Kang-seok is even using Yeon-woo to do the things he can’t, telling him to definitely NOT do things he shouldn’t while making it clear that he wants those things done. It’s pretty adorable (as much as the law can be described as “adorable”) and now they’re even starting to care and ask after each other personally. Even though originally I wanted them to soften each other’s sharp edges, now I hope they keep those edges and just learn to balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
It was good to see Kang-seok struggling with something for once, and something relating to his personal moral code, no less. He’s endlessly criticized Yeon-woo for getting emotionally involved, so I appreciated seeing that Kang-seok is just as likely to fall into that trap, if only to prove that he’s not lost his sense of justice. In addition, I think it was healthy for him to face the fact that he’s not perfect and doesn’t always make the right decisions, and can sometimes fail. And it may have been misplaced, but he has a line he’s not willing to cross, and that’s betraying a friend and mentor. Hopefully that works both ways (I believe it does) and means he won’t ever betray Yeon-woo.
I said previously that I’m glad Yeon-woo has someone in power to protect him, but it was nice to see in this episode that Kang-seok has that, too, in Ha-yeon. He thought of Deputy Chief Prosecutor Oh as his mentor, but it’s Ha-yeon who’s willing to put her neck and even her firm on the line for Kang-seok. She’s been as much of a mentor to Kang-seok as DPC Oh was, more so considering how loyal she’s been and the fact that she’s made sure he gets the recognition he deserves as a great attorney. I’m happy that she’s beginning to see what Yeon-woo can offer the firm, because when Geun-shik eventually stumbles across the truth and crows it to everyone. Kang-seok and Yeon-woo will need all the allies they can get.