Reach of Sincerity: Episode 5
Our actress is fighting a losing battle to keep her feelings under control and Jung-rok finds himself amused, frustrated and confused by Yoon-seo’s antics, but never bored. Faced with one of the toughest legal challenges of his career, complicated even more when an old friend gets in his way, Yoon-seo senses that what Jung-rok needs most is her support and encouragement. Well, if there’s one thing Yoon-seo knows how to do, it’s how to stay optimistic.
EPISODE 5: “Murder or self-defense”
After the flurry of texts from the night before, Yoon-seo is greeted in the morning with another text from Jung-rok. He has a morning meeting and Yoon-seo reminds him to bundle up and giggles when Jung-rok texts back, “You should bundle up too.” Later, as she admires her pink coat, Yoon-seo gets an idea.
Attorney Yeon and Jung-rok inevitably end up on the elevator together and the CEO teases that the firm may snag a huge case. Jung-rok is curious enough to ask for details but Attorney Yeon can’t talk about it, however he does announce a team dinner for that night, which Jung-rok ignores.
Inspired by her pink coat, Yoon-seo decorated her office with pink accessories (everywhere). Jung-rok carefully suggests that a law office shouldn’t be pink, but Yoon-seo defends her right to the pursuit of happiness, so he relents. However, her argument doesn’t apply to Jung-rok’s office and Yoon-seo removes all of her pink touches, except for some heart-shaped sticky notes.
It isn’t long before Jung-rok has to use one of those notes to leave a message for Yoon-seo. She replies with a heart-shaped note of her own and they happily exchange notes all morning long.
Attorney Dan calls for a courier from the company where her crush works and while she waits, she plays, “Does he like me? Does he not,” as she eats the sections of a tangerine. Yoon-seo walks in just in time to announce, “He likes you!” Even though Yoon-seo has never had a boyfriend and admits that her experience is limited to a dating show that she once hosted, she’s caught up in Attorney Dan’s excitement.
Yoon-seo joins Jung-rok when he appears in court and later asks what made him become an attorney, especially when his friends became prosecutors. She’s surprised by his answer, “Attorneys make more money.”
Jung-rok and Yoon-seo are on their way to lunch until Yeo-reum intercepts them, in spite of Yoon-seo’s best efforts to keep them apart, “A UFO!” Yeo-reum invites Jung-rok for pasta to discuss a confidential matter, so Yoon-seo has to return to the office alone and pouts, “Do you know how much I like pasta?”
Yeo-reum asked to meet Jung-rok to discuss the Im Yoon-hee case — should the woman be charged with murder or was it an act of self-defense? After turning down a quick cup of coffee with Yeo-reum, Jung-rok races back to the office to invite Yoon-seo to lunch before his break is over.
Yoon-seo just confiscated Jung-rok’s heart-shaped notes, which she claims he no longer deserves, and glares at him. When Jung-rok asks why she’s looking at him that way, Yoon-seo snaps, “I…have blazing eyes,” and stomps out.
When the courier arrives, Attorney Dan confesses that she likes him and wants to date, but he asks for time to think about it — like ten years!
On his way to a meeting, Jung-rok notices how dejected Yoon-seo looks and asks if she’s angry with him. Yoon-seo won’t discuss it but she does have a question — which movie did he enjoy more, Avatar in 2009, or the movie that they watched the week before.
Jung-rok doesn’t catch on that what Yoon-seo really wants to know is whose company he preferred, Yeo-reum’s or hers. Jung-rok admits that he enjoyed both movies, for different reasons, surprised when Yoon-seo explodes, “You’re so mean, Mr. Kwon!”
After his meeting, Jung-rok texts some instructions to Yoon-seo who answers him with a simple text shorthand, “o o” (basically the Korean equivalent of responding to a text by just writing, “k”). Later that night, when the law team meets for dinner, Jung-rok is already seated at their table.
Over drinks, Yoon-seo only looks at Jung-rok to glare at him. When Attorney Dan gulps down her drink, Hye-young whispers that she was rejected again, which Attorney Choi cracks has become a weekly event. Attorney Yeon has to know why Jung-rok decided to join them and everyone jumps to the wrong (maybe not) conclusion when he confesses that he wanted to see Yoon-seo.
Jung-rok clears up the misunderstandings when he explains that Yoon-seo is angry with him and he wants to know why. Believing Yoon-seo’s claim that she’s not upset about lunch, Jung-rok suggests that maybe it’s because he didn’t let her decorate his office in pink or that he assigned too much work with the sticky notes.
Upset that everyone now knows what goes on in their office, Yoon-seo makes up the excuse that she was cranky because she was hungry and stiffly apologizes to Jung-rok. Attorney Yeon calls for them to clink their glasses and when a relieved Jung-rok raises his glass, Yoon-seo has to force herself to do the same.
On the way back from the bathroom, Jung-rok discovers that a drunk Yoon-seo has been waiting for him. She scolds him for handling a personal issue as if it was a trial but Jung-rok argues that at least they resolved their issue.
Jung-rok is surprised to learn that nothing’s been resolved, unsure what to say when Yoon-seo glares at him and demands, “Why did you eat pasta without me?” Jung-rok offers to take her for pasta the next day but Yoon-seo starts to cry, “Why did you have pasta with someone else?”
As soon as Jung-rok gets home, Se-won mentions his pasta lunch with Yeo-reum. Jung-rok can’t understand what’s so special about pasta until Se-won confesses that he’s jealous because the girl he likes had pasta with someone else. Understanding finally dawns on Jung-rok, who asks, “If someone gets angry at you for eating pasta with someone else, does that mean that person likes you?” (Give that man a prize!)
On her morning ride to work, Yoon-seo suggests a trip to the beach and Hyuk-joon guesses that she got drunk again. When he presses her for details, Yoon-seo yells at him to leave her alone.
At work, Yoon-seo tries to explain to Jung-rok that she was jealous when he had pasta with someone else because she felt left out. After all they time they’ve spent together, Yoon-seo thinks of Jung-rok as her best friend at work, which is why she reacted so strongly and she asks him to forget the whole thing. Hye-young interrupts to announce that Attorney Yeon needs to meet with Jung-rok.
Attorney Yeon proudly hands Jung-rok the Im Yoon-hee case, disappointed when he turns it down. Jung-rok suggests that the CEO should take it, now that he’s not busy with television shows, which reminds Attorney Yeon of all his negative comments. It turns out that Jung-rok can’t turn down the case because he was hand-picked by a women’s organization to represent Im Yoon-hee.
Jung-rok asks Yoon-seo to begin research for Im Yoon-hee’s case. She’s confident that Jung-rok will prove that Im Yoon-hee acted in self-defense, but he has to explain how difficult that is. The most important factor in a self-defense case is that the victim can’t use greater force than what is used against them, even to save their life. Since the Supreme Court consistently rules against cases of self-defense, Jung-rok is at a huge disadvantage.
When Attorney Yeon summons Jung-rok again, he assumes the CEO wants an update on the case but he asks for help picking out a tie for a television interview. It seems his absence from television was short-lived, with a television crew scheduled to arrive the next day for an interview. Attorney Yeon suddenly remembers Yoon-seo and decides to find a spot where she can spend the day, away from the crew.
When Jung-rok runs into Yoon-seo, he invites her to join him at the detention center the following day. Yoon-seo can’t contain her excitement at the thought of a long drive with Jung-rok and that night she frets over the right outfit and applies a face mask.
In the morning, Yoon-seo gets ready for work with an extra spring in her step and happily prepares lunch boxes. On the drive to the detention center, Jung-rok learns that his visit has been delayed and suggests stopping for lunch. Yoon-seo announces that she prepared a lunch and confesses that it’s been her dream to eat somewhere outside with a nice view.
Jung-rok finds a large park for lunch and even though Yoon-seo changes her mind after a cold gust of wind, he insists that he can brave the cold for her dream. Awww. Jung-rok is pleasantly surprised by Yoon-seo’s lunch, but she’s more than capable thanks to her training for a role as a Korean chef.
Jung-rok guesses that her work must have been interesting and Yoon-seo admits, “Back then, I was really happy.” After a second gust of wind, Yoon-seo insists, “Let’s go inside. If you catch a cold or something, it’s my loss,” and then quickly adds, “If you catch a cold…it’s an extremely huge loss for our law firm.”
On the walk to the car, Jung-rok urges Yoon-seo to warm her hands and when he mentions pockets, Yoon-seo gratefully places her hand in his pocket just as he points to her coat. Yoon-seo moves her hands to her pockets and walks away in embarrassment and when Jung-rok catches up to her, she hurries away.
In the cafeteria, Se-won and Prosecutor Lee are at a table when Yeo-reum walks in. Prosecutor Lee mentions that Prosecutor Im must be making Yeo-reum’s life difficult because he wanted the Im Yoon-hee case.
As if on cue, Prosecutor Im points out that Se-won and Prosecutor Lee make the perfect couple, “The son of a hospital owner and a daughter of a Blue House official.” After lunch, Prosecutor Im jumps into Yeo-reum’s elevator and gets more pointed, “Don’t Se-won and that newbie look good together…better than the son of a hospital owner and a daughter of a fraud suspect.”
Prosecutor Im knows that Se-won was sent to the countryside after he failed to indict Yeo-reum’s father for fraud. He reminds Yeo-reum that the only reason she was assigned the Im Yoon-hee case is because she’s a woman and predicts that no matter what she does, she’ll never be more than an ordinary prosecutor.
At the detention center, Jung-rok urges Yoon-seo to stay in the car, out of the cold, “If you catch a cold, it’s a loss for me as well.” When he goes into the detention center, Yoon-seo twirls happily at the thought that Jung-rok is worried about her.
Jung-rok meets with Im Yoon-hee, who can’t make eye contact and nods when asked if she killed her husband. After Jung-rok explains that a history of domestic violence isn’t enough to win her case, Im Yoon-hee looks up and asks, “Should I have died instead?”
After his meeting, Yoon-seo can see that Jung-rok is more conflicted that ever and promises to find a breakthrough in the case on the drive home. Instead, she falls asleep and Jung-rok thoughtfully lowers her visor and turns down the radio.
Yoon-seo opens her eyes to find that they’re parked in front of her home. Yoon-seo asks if anything happened while she was asleep and Jung-rok mentions that all she did was snore. When Yoon-seo protests that she doesn’t snore, Jung-rok asks, “…is snoring that big of a deal?”
Yoon-seo blurts out, “Of course. I only want you to think I’m pretty…,” and trails off when she realizes how it sounds. Yoon-seo feebly laughs off her comment but once she’s alone, she scolds herself, “Why would I say something like that?”
Before he drives away, Jung-rok calls Mr. Lee, who has a report on Im Yoon-hee ready by morning. Mr. Lee reports that Im Yoon-hee had an abusive father and that her mother ran away, but Jung-rok is particularly interested to hear that she once worked in insurance.
Back in Jung-rok’s office, Yoon-seo learns that a ruling of accidental death just became harder to win thanks to the client’s background in insurance. Yoon-seo mentions that she once played a psychotherapist and learned that women who remain in abusive relationships are psychologically damaged. Jung-rok tells her he already ordered a psychiatric evaluation just as he gets a call from Yeo-reum.
Yeo-reum angrily confronts Jung-rok about representing Im Yoon-hee, but he reminds her that it’s unethical to refuse a client’s request for defense. Jung-rok is determined to discover what really happened and defend his client to the best of his ability and explains, “That’s my job.” Yeo-reum vows, “She’ll never be…acquitted. Because that’s my job.”
On the first day of the trial, Yeo-reum tells the court that because the victim was stabbed in a vital spot, his death can’t be considered accidental and charges Im Yoon-hee with murder. Jung-rok argues that Im Yoon-hee’s injuries were too severe to leave her capable of a targeted attack and asks for her acquittal based on self-defense.
When questioned by Jung-rok, Im Yoon-hee confirms that her mother ran away in the middle of a beating, “She probably just wanted to stay alive.” After Jung-rok explains to the court that his client experienced a lifetime of abuse at the hands of her father and husbands, he calls on a psychiatrist to testify.
The psychiatrist explains that children raised in an abusive environment know nothing else and a vicious cycle is created when they choose partners who continue that abuse. Because of Im Yoon-hee’s early abuse, the psychiatrist concluded that she wasn’t in her right mind at the time of the fatal incident.
When Yeo-reum questions Im Yoon-hee, she submits the insurance policies that belonged to her father and first husband. Yeu-reum then verifies that Im Yoon-hee’s second husband had life insurance as well and the courtroom gasps when they hear the amount — $4.94 million.
After the trial, Se-won overhears Yeo-reum confront Jung-rok, “I won’t let you win with an insanity plea, so don’t even bother trying.” When she walks away, Se-won stops her, “Why are you obsessed with this case?” Yeo-reum tells him, “You were born with a silver spoon, so you’ll never understand.”
A subdued Yoon-seo returns to the law firm and fields questions about the trial. She explains that Jung-rok made a strong case for insanity until the victim’s insurance policy was introduced. Hye-young worries that losing this case will hurt Jung-rok’s career, which he happens to overhear.
Yoon-seo offers Jung-rok some encouragement, “I think that you’ll win this case.” She tells Jung-rok that good attorneys should be warm-hearted, like him, and confesses, “There was a time when I felt like I was alone in this world…Back then, if I had someone like you in my life, it would’ve been better.” Yoon-seo assures Jung-rok that she believes in him and cheers him up with a “fighting” gesture.
It’s late when Jung-rok looks up and sees Yoon-seo still at her desk. She’s pleased when he invites her to join him for dinner.
As they walk down the street, Jung-rok tells Yoon-seo that he became a defense attorney because he wanted to help people, not punish them. Jung-rok explains what moved him to tell the truth, “Because what you said made me want to be honest. Thank you for saying that you believe in me. Also, if there comes a time when you feel like you’re alone in this world..I’ll be there for you.”
Moved, Yoon-seo confesses that one day she’ll share her feelings from that moment. She’s taken by surprise when Jung-rok asks, “Ms. Oh Jin-shim. Do you like me?”
I’m waiting for the appeal of Reach of Sincerity to wear off, but I’m still fully smitten by the charm of our lead couple, in fact, I fall harder each week. I adore each of Yoon-seo’s foot-stomps, pouts, twirls, waves, smiles and blazing glares. Even better are Jung-rok’s reactions, because he never knows which of Yoon-seo’s personalities will be waiting for him when he walks through his door. He’s turned out to be amazingly patient, which can mean only one thing, Yoon-seo’s crush isn’t so one-sided.
It’s been a sweet journey so far as we watch these two very different individuals get to know each other and face their deepening feelings. It’s been obvious for some time where Yoon-seo’s heart has been headed, not only because she’s such an open book, but because we see everything from her perspective. Less obvious are Jung-rok’s feelings, because he’s naturally more reserved, plus there is the fact that Yoon-seo works for him. But the more time that Jung-rok spends with Yoon-seo out of the office, the more his actions convey what might be going on in his head and in his heart.
It’s been hinted that Yeo-reum chose Se-won over Jung-rok in their university days. While Jung-rok may have harbored lingering feelings for Yeo-reum, it’s pretty safe to say that they’ve gone up in pink smoke now that Yoon-seo is around. When Yeo-reum forced Jung-rok to take that pasta detour instead of having lunch with Yoon-seo, he didn’t look too happy, but more telling, he turned down the chance to get coffee so that he could race back to Yoon-seo. Add to that his determination to make Yoon-seo’s outdoor picnic dream come true in spite of the cold, not waking her when she fell asleep… The evidence is adding up, even as Jung-rok suspects that the reason for Yoon-seo’s jealous reaction to his lunch with Yeo-reum is the same as Se-won’s. Jung-rok hasn’t distanced himself from Yoon-seo now that he suspects that she has feelings for him, which suggests that perhaps he returns them? I can’t wait to see these two grow closer because so far, it’s been darn cute.
As I was watching this week’s case of murder or self-defense, I was trying to think how it affected Yoon-seo, because so far, each case has touched on her own personal experiences. When Jung-rok was explaining the conditions that must be met to successfully claim self-defense, I was suddenly very worried for Yoon-seo. My fear is that this case foreshadows future events for our plucky actress and her ace attorney. That would mean a dark turn for our couple that I don’t think I want to see, because their love story is just beginning and that’s what I look forward to each week.
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