Reach of Sincerity: Episode 6
Our main couple take on a difficult case this week, with twists and turns that they will have to figure out if they’re going to be able to help their client. Our undercover Hallyu star Yoon-seo continues to throw herself into the legal work — and it’s beginning to look like that’s not just because she wants to impress her boss, Jung-rok. Jung-rok is impressed though, and who can blame him? The lovely Yoon-seo is just a delight, with more layers and warmth being revealed the longer he knows her. No wonder he’s a goner.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Yoon-seo tells Jung-rok that she will tell him of her feeling sometime. Confused, Jung-rok wonders why she couldn’t tell him now, but his attention is diverted when he spots a pork belly restaurant.
Jung-rok asks, “Do you like (pork)?”
Yoon-seo’s mind being firmly on her almost-confession, misunderstands and assumes he’s asking if she likes him. Flustered, she stammers that she thinks she might. Jung-rok casually says that most people do (like pork).
A touch acerbically, Yoon-seo admits that she didn’t know (he) was that popular, and is absolutely baffled by Jung-rok’s response (still talking about pork, lol) that, “It’s an easy choice, and fairly cheap.”
Yoon-seo finally realizes what Jung-rok is actually talking about, and covers up the confusion with another white lie. Lucky for her, Jung-rok is clueless.
Inside the restaurant and comfortable that her secret is safe, Yoon-seo narrows her eyes at Jung-rok and guesses that he’s never dated anyone before since he’s so bad at reading women.
Yoon-seo brags that she knows a lot about dating since she hosted a dating show. She starts, “I even had a nickname–”
“Single-since-birth,” Jung-rok interrupts, grinning as he reads aloud an article about her utter lack of dating experience. Ha. Jung-rok continues to tease a huffy Yoon-seo, even after she stuffs his mouth with food.
At the end of dinner, Yoon-seo gets more serious, as she encourages Jung-rok to do well in the trial. Her enthusiasm even rubs off on Jung-rok, who smiles and does a tiny “hwaiting” fist-bump.
The next day, Attorney Yeon calls Jung-rok in to tell him not to feel pressured about winning the case — he only has the eyes of the nation, and Attorney Yeon’s hopes pinned on him. Exasperated, Jung-rok nevertheless assures Attorney Yeon that he will win — because ‘someone’ said that he would.
Hard at work later that evening, Jung-rok encourages Yoon-seo to go home, despite her protests. But he seems less than pleased when Yoon-seo answers a call from her ‘oppa’ Hyuk-joon. He even cuts his work short to leave with her in the elevator…
Which comes to a juddering halt. Jung-rok rolls his eyes when a dismayed Yoon-seo rings her ‘oppa’ again. It’s definitely why he doesn’t comfort her, and instead crisply lists out the number of accidents that have occurred in elevators.
But when the lights go out, and Yoon-seo begins to really panic, Jung-rok rushes to her side. He gently touches her shoulder, and they stand staring at each other caught in the moment, even when the lights come back on. They only break apart when a guard opens the door.
It’s manager Hyuk-joon, waiting in the lobby, who really ruins the last of the atmosphere though. He takes the chance to berate Jung-rok for making Yoon-seo work too hard. Jung-rok takes note of how close Hyuk-joon and Yoon-seo are, and from the look on his face, I fear he has just jumped to the wrong conclusion.
Outside, Yoon-seo yells at Hyuk-joon for making Jung-rok uncomfortable. Hyuk-joon yells back that he was afraid Jung-rok would take advantage in the elevator since all the men in Korea want to be with her — and Yoon-seo stops his rant short by agreeing. Ha.
When Hyuk-joon accuses Yoon-seo of working too hard, and suspiciously asks if she’s really thinking of changing career, Yoon-seo quickly lies that she’s just working hard because of the acting job. Yoon-seo must be better at acting than she thinks, because Hyuk-joon actually believes her.
Back at home, Jung-rok broods over Yoon-seo’s ‘oppa’ Hyuk-joon. Meanwhile, in a totally different mood, Yoon-seo swoons over the moment they had in the elevator — and wonders at how conveniently movie-esque it was.
The next day, Jung-rok crankily refuses Yoon-seo’s offer of coffee and says, “Don’t you remember that I was accused of overworking you…by your boyfriend?”
Jung-rok shoots Yoon-seo a look, and she hurriedly denies that Hyuk-joon is her boyfriend. Jung-rok flashes the cutest little smile – and decides he does want that coffee, actually.
In the break room, Yoon-seo walks into Attorney Yeon and Ms. Yang gossiping about the couple caught almost kissing in the elevator after it broke down last night. The guard remembers them exactly: A tall guy with round eyes and a woman as pretty as an actress.
Sure they’re onto her, Yoon-seo tries to sneak out, and then trips over her words denying that it was her and Jung-rok. Attorney Yeon and Ms. Yang stare at her… and burst out laughing that of course they know it wasn’t them. Good thing everyone knows Jung-rok and Yoon-seo ‘hate’ each other.
Oh, boy. The elevator breaks down again, this time with Attorney Dan and Choi stuck inside and they do not take it well. Attorney Choi warns Attorney Dan not to fall in love with him, falls on top of her when the elevator jerks, which makes Dan push him to the floor. Haha, these two.
Meanwhile, Se-won and Prosecutor Kim work together on their case. Kim takes the chance to make a dig about Yoo-reum’s harsh treatment of Jung-rok – but it doesn’t go as planned when Se-won sharply tells her it’s none of her business.
Leaving to get coffee, Se-won spots Yoo-reum. He places a piece of cake in front of her and tells her to take care of her health. Frosty, Yoo-reum asks what that has to do with him, and Se-won smiles back, “If you don’t feel good, I don’t either.”
But Yoo-reum doesn’t soften, and abruptly leaves, leaving behind a saddened Se-won.
When the autopsy comes back in favor of the prosecution, Jung-rok decides to check out his client, Im Yoon-hee’s, house for more evidence. He balks at bringing Yoon-seo to the scene of the crime, but she persuades him since she’s already put so much hard work into the case.
Despite her claim that she played a detective once, the reality that this is a murder scene hits Yoon-seo when they arrive. Jung-rok notes that since Yoon-hee’s husband was standing when he was killed, the prosecution will argue this proves it wasn’t an accidental stabbing.
Yoon-seo and Jung-rok are both so intent on their work that neither of them notices when someone sneaks up behind them – and bashes Jung-rok in the head, knocking him to the ground.
The assailant runs off, with Jung-rok in pursuit. Jung-rok manages to catch up, and tackle him down, until the police arrive to arrest the man.
Distraught, Yoon-seo runs up to Jung-rok, who hurries her away from the gathering crowd to a secluded spot. Although Jung-rok tells her not to worry, Yoon-seo can’t stop crying at the sight of his bleeding head, and tries to mop up the blood with her handkerchief.
After Yoon-seo calms down, Jung-rok tucks her into a taxi, and heads to the police station to give his statement. The assailant, a local man named Park Soo-myeong, was a part of the neighborhood watch, and thought that Jung-rok was a thief.
When Jung-rok asks to speak to him, he realizes that Soo-myeong has a learning disability. Jung-rok softly asks if Soo-myeong was ever in Yoon-hee’s house before.
Jung-rok’s gaze sharpens when Soo-myeong answers, “Noona told me never to talk about it.” But before he can learn any more, Yeo-reum interrupts (she’d hurried there after hearing about Jung-rok’s assault). Jung-rok decides not to press charges and outside, both Jung-rok and Yeo-reum order background checks into Soo-myeong.
Jung-rok gets another surprise, when he sees Yoon-seo waiting for him beside his car. Yoon-seo explains she was so worried about him that she had to come see him, and urges Jung-rok to go to the hospital. Jung-rok looks touched by her concern, and lets her shepherd him to get treated.
Afterwards, Jung-rok insists on driving Yoon-seo home. Downcast, Yoon-seo admits that she felt terrible leaving Jung-rok alone earlier with his injury. In return, Jung-rok tells her that he felt bad sending her off by herself.
Awww, then Yoon-seo and Jung-rok take it in turns to tell each other they need to take care of themselves. Yoon-seo even makes Jung-rok pinkie-promise, and they linger over the touch, reluctant to break apart.
Back at his apartment, Se-won (who is hoovering, ha) thinks that Jung-rok is late because of the case, and asks him not to go up against Yeo-reum again. Jung-rok tartly agrees that he’ll only go against Se-won in the future, and tells him it’s nothing when Se-won sees the bandage on his neck.
The next day, Attorney Yeon agrees that Park Soo-myeong sounds suspicious, and warns him to be careful in the future. Yoon-seo adamantly agrees, saying that Jung-rok could have died. Piqued, Jung-rok declares that he can take care of himself, while Attorney Yeon joins in and calls him weak.
Haha, Attorney Yeon spins a yarn about the time he took on 17 drug dealers single-handedly. But when Jung-rok looms over him, Attorney Yeon wastes no time in raising his hands in submission and asking Jung-rok to talk it out. Jung-rok rolls his eyes and leaves. So awkward, I love it.
Mr. Lee goes on a recon mission, and finds out from one of Soo-myeong’s neighbors that he was in love with Yoon-hee – and what’s more, Soo-myeong was at her house the night her husband was killed. Yoon-seo gasps that Soo-myeong might be a witness to the murder, protecting Yoon-hee. Jung-rok, meanwhile, suspects something else…
Having done her due diligence, Yeo-reum calls in Soo-myeong to question him, but he doesn’t answer any of her questions. Outside, Yeo-reum muses that might be for the best anyway, since Soo-myeong could harm their case if he testified to seeing Yoon-hee’s husband beating her.
But Jung-rok won’t give up so easily, as he prepares to go meet Yoon-hee. Yoon-seo makes sure that he eats before he leaves, and frowns, “You’re weaker than you seem.”
Jung-rok really can’t let it go this time, and argues that he was hit so hard that any normal man would have been unconscious for hours. Yoon-seo isn’t impressed, even when he points out that he caught the culprit. Jung-rok brashly says that he could sue her for slander, but quickly takes it back when Yoon-seo calls his bluff.
At the prison, Jung-rok asks Yoon-hee how she could kill someone much larger than her so easily, and without any of the injuries on her hand that would commonly occur in such incidents. Yoon-hee nervously admits to knowing Soo-myeong, but vehemently denies being close to him. So that’s a dead end.
The mood is tense at Always Law the day of the trial, and Jung-rok is disappointed to hear from Mr. Lee that Soo-myeong is stubbornly refusing to go to court. Yoon-seo steps in and asks if she can try.
Before Yoon-seo leaves with Mr. Lee, Jung-rok tells her that there will be many more reporters at court, so it would be best if she didn’t attend. Yoon-seo agrees, and sweetly wishes him luck.
Yoon-seo finds a distressed Soo-myeong, and sits down to speak with him. She quietly explains that she was angry at first because the man Soo-myeong hit was the person she likes. Yoon-seo tells Soo-myeong that he must have felt bad seeing Yoon-hee being hurt – and gently tells him that if Soo-myeong doesn’t come forward, Yoon-hee might get even more hurt.
In court, Jung-rok confirms with the forensic scientist that they didn’t find any of the expected blood spatters on Yoon-hee’s clothes. Intent, he asks if that means there is a possibility that Yoon-hee is, in fact, innocent. Yeo-reum looks perturbed at the turn of events, especially when she sees Soo-myeong being ushered into the room.
Jung-rok asks for Soo-myeong to be added as a witness. When Soo-myeong takes the stand, Jung-rok gets him to write his name, and asks whether he is right-handed. Soo-myeong confirms, and goes on to confirm that in his job, he doesn’t have to handle knives.
Which is when Jung-rok asks why he has a knife injury on his thumb then, with the medical records to prove it. Jung-rok explains to the jury that many people receive these when trying to penetrate the bones and organs of a person with a knife.
Jung-rok says that the prosecution just accepted Yoon-hee’s confession to quickly wrap up the case. Blunt, he states, “They were indifferent to revealing the actual truth.”
Seeing the case slipping away from her, Yeo-reum objects that none of Soo-myeong’s DNA was found at the scene of the crime. But Jung-rok has an answer for that too – very little investigation was undertaken by the prosecution. And they ignored the fact that Yoon-hee was an injured woman who couldn’t possibly have the strength to force the knife in.
Jung-rok presses Soo-myeong again, and demands to know who really killed Yoon-hee’s husband. When Yoon-hee tries to silence Soo-myeong, the guard holds her back, which agitates Soo-myeong even more.
Overwhelmed, Soo-myeong cries out that it was him who stabbed Yoon-hee’s husband and repeatedly babbles, “He was hitting her again. I stabbed him.”
The court erupts. Yoon-hee is mobbed by reporters outside asking why she lied, while Soo-myeong is escorted away in handcuffs.
Meanwhile, the Always Law firm are triumphant at the outcome. Attorney Choi attempts to claim that he always knew there was the possibility of another culprit but Attorney Dan immediately bats him down and says, “If you knew you wouldn’t have been able to keep quiet about it.”
So Jung-rok arrives to good cheer in the office, and Attorney Yeon won’t be defeated in his quest to give Jung-rok a great big hug for the win. But Jung-rok doesn’t look happy, and makes his excuses to avoid a celebration dinner that night.
As Jung-rok leaves that night, Yoon-seo senses his low mood and encourages him to take a rest after all his hard work. Instead, Jung-rok surprises Yoon-seo by asking her to go out for soju with him.
Over soju and food, Yoon-seo points out that Jung-rok seems glum, and astutely asks if it’s because he didn’t like winning against his friend Yeo-reum. Jung-rok admits that’s part of why – but somberly says that it’s really because the whole situation is sad. He understands why Yoon-hee protected Soo-myeong, and why Soo-myeong killed her husband.
Taking a breath, Jung-rok sincerely thanks Yoon-seo for believing in him, and worrying about him when he got hurt. Yoon-seo bashfully smiles, and takes the chance to ask him why he wanted to go out with her when he was too tired for a team dinner. Jung-rok says simply, “I wanted to drink alone with you today.”
Walking home, Yoon-seo chuckles as she recalls trying to put her hands into Jung-rok’s pockets to warm them. Yoon-seo confesses that she was really embarrassed, and says, “I’ve been on too many TV dramas and that interferes with my sense of reality.”
Jung-rok’s face softens, and he slowly takes one of her hands and puts it into his pocket. At the growing look of surprise on Yoon-seo’s face, he explains, “I’m worried too. As much as you worry about me, and console me, I wish to do the same for you.”
First of all, I absolutely love everything to do with our lead couple. But before I move onto what I think this show is doing well (oh yes, there’s still a whole lot to like) I just want to say that I’m not sure how I feel about this case of the week. For one thing, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about their choice to make the character with a learning disability the killer. It was handled as sensitively as I suspect it could have been, but I still think it was a misstep when it is overwhelmingly the case that vulnerable people like Soo-myeong are on the receiving end of violent attacks, not perpetrators of them. Jung-rok obviously felt badly about the way the situation ended up, and his duty ultimately was to Yoon-hee and the firm – but it still felt uncomfortably like a trap when Soo-myeong took the stand. Further, it didn’t even really work narratively for me. It, again, wrapped up the case neatly for our protagonists with the twist telegraphed too strongly to be compelling.
Finally, it feels somewhat of a letdown to end this way, when the groundwork for the confrontation between Jung-rok and Yeo-reum was being laid since the start of the drama. There just wasn’t the emotional connection there that I expected, since we haven’t really explored Yeo-reum as a character enough, and Jung-rok was just doing his job to the best of his ability. To my knowledge, in South Korea, prosecutors have a general duty and powers to investigate the truth of a case (rather than solely the police), which means that Yeo-reum was conducting some shady business by ignoring the potential evidence Soo-myeong could provide. Given that, I don’t imagine she will get much more sympathetic if she tries to pass the blame onto Jung-rok for upending the case, but we shall see where this goes. I am getting slightly more interested in Yeo-reum and Se-won’s backstory the more hints we get (and the cuter Se-won looks doing things like hoovering) so I hope we get more context sooner rather than later about them. There is clearly still a lot of unresolved tension there, but without any forward momentum, it’s at risk of going stale.
Forgetting all that though – which is remarkably easy to do whenever Jung-rok and Yoon-seo come back on our screen – I loved that it drew our main couple closer together. The heightened drama drew out a few lovely shared moments, especially the sweet touch about both of them worrying over each other. After Soo-myeong attacked Jung-rok, Yoon-seo was too focused on him to care about getting spotted — and even in the midst of the chaos, Jung-rok was so hyper-aware of Yoon-seo that he moved them away to a hidden area. Side note: is it now just a running joke that Jung-rok will have to tackle someone each week? I doubt your average defence lawyer gets this much aggravation from cases.
And as has become the norm for Reach, there’s always plenty of comedy, and big-grin moments. This time, it was the hilariously obvious jealous Jung-rok. Who, it turns out, can be just as petty as Yoon-seo when it comes down to it. The tables really turned on her, from Jung-rok’s snippy facts about elevator accidents, to his melodramatic refusal of coffee. I genuinely thought they were going to use the misunderstanding as a roadblock to their budding relationship, so I was delighted when it turned out to just be an opportunity for Lee Dong-wook to throw some serious side-eye. And I think this may have been the first time that Yoon-seo actually admitted liking Jung-rok (to Soo-myeong), though let’s be honest. Girl has not been hiding it. Jung-rok has been inching ever closer to declaring a romantic intention as well – who knew I could get so fluttery over Jung-rok putting Yoon-seo’s hand in his pocket? Or weak-kneed at their moment in the elevator? That’s just the power of Lee Dong-wook and Yoo Inna’s chemistry, I guess. Keep it coming, show.
- Premiere Watch: Reach of Sincerity, Legal High, Trap
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- Lee Dong-wook and Yoo Inna take the bickering to court in tvN’s Reach of Sincerity
- Reach of Sincerity to pull off last-minute casting switcheroo
- Wishing for a lucky start for Reach of Sincerity
- Yoo Inna and Lee Dong-wook get cozy in first teaser for Reach of Sincerity
- Yoo Inna and Lee Dong-wook to reunite for Reach of Sincerity