Diary of a Prosecutor: Episode 12
There’s a new boss in town, and he’s not what everyone anticipated. Team 2 gets off on the wrong foot and struggles to adjust to the new office politics. The new boss makes some questionable decisions regarding our team’s cases and expects to be followed without question. And this right after their former boss encouraged them to question everything.
Seon-woong narrates that your life can change depending on who your boss is. With each boss you wonder, will we get along? Will I have to adapt to their ways?
Our team (sans Myung-joo) meets for grilled eel and drinks at the Fog. They exchange gossip about the new boss showing up tomorrow. Yoon-jin remarks that he supposedly rose through the ranks thanks to his father-in-law. The table goes quiet. She reassures Min-ho that’s not true of him anymore. Whoops.
Min-ho shares that he’s heard the branch chief cares a lot about performance. But he’s also the type who engages with everyone regardless of rank. “Like me, right?” Silence. Everyone laughs awkwardly.
The new boss is an alum of Jung-woo’s alma mater Yonsei University. Jung-woo thinks it could be of use, but Seon-woong warns him not to “learn bad stuff” and just work hard. Seon-woong encourages Min-ho to call the new chief before they meet.
Elsewhere, Chief Choi meets with Prosecutor Nam and Myung-joo for dinner. He names them the only ones he trusts to do well. He takes a call from Min-ho welcoming him and apologizing for not treating him to dinner. When they hang up, Min-ho comments his voice sounded nice.
Chief Choi brings up Myung-joo’s unfortunate transfer but assures her things will go well if she keeps working hard. Myung-joo stays quiet throughout the meeting.
The next morning, Min-ho and Jong-hak wait outside for Chief Choi’s arrival. Min-ho comments on Prosecutor Nam’s absence and calls him a fool for not knowing how things work. Chief Choi’s car pulls up and out pops Prosecutor Nam. They walk inside together, barely sparing Min-ho and Jong-hak a glance.
Chief Choi takes a call from the chief prosecutor before sitting down with Min-ho and Prosecutor Nam. It’s obvious Chief Choi and Prosecutor Nam already have a rapport as they discuss meeting with local officials. Then, Chief Choi tells Min-ho he can just email him unless it’s urgent. Whoa, what a dismissal. Min-ho watches as Chief Choi and Prosecutor Nam completely exclude him.
When Seon-woong gets in, Man-ok introduces him to their new assistant Shin-yeong. Aw, she’s super cute and terrified. She literally hides behind Man-ok until she’s directed to her desk.
Seon-woong, Yoon-jin and Jong-hak head out together and discuss the new boss. Yoon-jin has heard conflicting information about Chief Choi. Some say he leaves you alone if you do your work, while others say he only cares about politics and disregards his subordinates.
Seon-woong thinks that indicates he’s good to those who perform well. And dismissive of those who don’t, Jong-hak finishes. They throw concerned looks at each other and then fight about it. Pfft.
At the departmental meeting, everyone waits nervously while Chief Choi goes through the staff’s monthly performance reports. He sighs and asks, “Is Cha Myung-joo the only one working in Team 2?” Min-ho haltingly explains that Chief Kim … but Chief Choi doesn’t want to hear it.
He calls out Jong-hak for having the lowest performance even though he’s the most senior. Next on the chopping block is Seon-woong for having the worst arrest rate. Chief Choi puts him on night duty until his rate improves. He zeroes in on Yoon-jin’s high acquittal and low indictment rates.
Chief Choi criticizes Team 2 for being a social club rather than a prosecution team. Even Myung-joo looks angry at this public beratement. Chief Choi orders them to report to him weekly and individually submit a work plan for the week. He argues Myung-joo’s competence is the only thing keeping them afloat.
After enduring that abuse, Team 2 goes out for a meal. Jong-hak wonders if they can recover. For now, everyone agrees to send cases with a likely arrest to Seon-woong. Min-ho tells them to hang in there—Chief Choi’s probably just establishing authority.
At dinner, Choi Tae-joong introduces Chief Choi to a reporter with great connections in the area. Tae-joong butters Chief Choi up by saying how complementary the chief and deputy chief prosecutors were about him. As they smarm it up, Tae-joong brings up a “small problem” involving the reporter’s brother-in-law’s business.
Man-ok briefs Seon-woong on a case involving a man who owns a small construction company. Hmm… the “small problem” business? His license was revoked after his two DUIs, and he’s just been caught driving drunk in a friend’s car. Seon-woong tells her to request an arrest warrant. This should help with the arrest rate issue.
A voice loudly proclaims, “That’s right!” They turn in surprise to the new assistant. Seon-woong is confused. Is she agreeing he can’t get arrests? Shin-yeong’s lip quivers. Oh, no. She runs out crying right as Jung-woo walks in.
Jung-woo looks hesitant and mentions he’s supposed to have night duty tonight but with the new arrangements … Seon-woong gives a strained smile and says he’ll do it. Jung-woo breathes a sigh of relief and apologizes as Seon-woong waves him out.
Myung-joo and Jung-hwan interview a man who stole money from a shop a week after he finished probation. He sits with a bowed head and admits to the charges. When asked why he did it, he quietly says he was hungry and apologizes. He spent the $50 on food. Oof.
In the office, Jung-hwan tells Myung-joo the accused has 12 charges already. Each time he stole, it was small amounts. The current victim is sympathetic to the accused and doesn’t want to press charges. The accused is homeless, and his only family is a son they can’t get ahold of.
At home, Jung-woo chats with “Camulos” while gaming and wonders why she always uses informal language here. Mi-ran responds, “Because I’m a princess, and you’re a coachman.” He mutters that she talks well in the game. Ha. They’re attacked, and Jung-woo is outnumbered. Mi-ran steps in to save the day with a single blow. Jung-woo looks on in wonder.
After work, Min-ho goes to Chief Choi’s apartment, hoping to smooth things over. He gives him some red ginseng and promises to do well. Annoyed, Chief Choi says all he needs is results. “Don’t try to stand out. That’s not your role.”
Seon-woong and Man-ok read through Shin-young’s personnel report. It states that she has trouble regulating her emotions and has unpredictable moods. They look over at Shin-young who is positively chipper now. Seon-woong wonders if personnel sent him someone difficult on purpose.
Myung-joo and Seon-woong meet with Min-ho about their cases. Seon-woong is requesting a preliminary arrest warrant. Myung-joo requests a non-indictment since the man impulsively stole such a small amount due to extreme poverty.
Min-ho heads to Chief Choi’s office to get his approval on the documents. Chief Choi takes one look at the requests and throws them back on the desk. He says Team 2 really doesn’t know what it’s doing.
Team 2 goes for lunch at the restaurant the man stole the money from. Seon-woong has known the owner his whole life, so she animatedly gives him the scoop on what went down. She watched the man steal the tin of money and run. She met him after she reported it and wanted to let it slide, but it had already been sent to the prosecution.
Min-ho arrives looking upset. Chief Choi wants to indict without detention in Seon-woong’s case and indict with detention in Myung-joo’s. His reasoning is the DUI guy shows remorse, and they even received a petition for leniency. The man who stole has a long record and isn’t showing remorse (huh?), so he should be detained.
Seon-woong and Myung-joo are frustrated, but Min-ho tells them to meet with the suspects again. Maybe they’ll gain a new perspective. He doesn’t even sound convinced. Myung-joo scoffs that Chief Choi wants to tame and control them.
Jung-woo offers Mi-ran an apology drink for not “serving her well” in the game. She continues typing like he’s not there. He asks for a chance to make it up to her, so she tells him to be at the “windy hill” Friday at 7:00.
As he leaves, he realizes there’s two “windy hills”: a café in the real world and a literal windy hill in the game. He wanted to meet in the game, but now he wonders if he just got asked out. Ha. Chief Choi spots Jung-woo in the hall and calls him to his office.
Chief Choi serves him tea and says he was happy to see a fellow Yonsei graduate. When he hears Jung-woo has been there almost a year, he comments he should be getting his own team soon. He brings the conversation around to Seon-woong and Myung-joo, noting that Seon-woong seems rebellious and Myung-joo cold. Chief Choi asks Jung-woo to keep an eye on them and report anything unusual directly to him. Ah, so that’s why he’s being nice. Jung-woo agrees but looks uncomfortable.
Seon-woong receives Chief Choi’s directive to indict DUI guy without detention right before he shows up for the interview. The man admits to driving his friend’s car while drunk, but he doesn’t remember hitting a police car and injuring the cop. Wow. Seon-woong does not appreciate his cavalier attitude.
Tae-joong hands over his client’s apology letter and a petition for leniency with 141 signatures. Even the mayor and some city council members spoke for him. Seon-woong doesn’t care who signed the petition. As a CEO, he should’ve taken his responsibility for his employees’ livelihood more seriously.
Myung-joo stares at the directive to indict with detention. She comes to a decision and calls Busan City Hall.
After the interview, Seon-woong resubmits his indictment request to Chief Choi. Man-ok had informed him about DUI guy’s reporter brother-in-law and his high-up connections. Seon-woong holds firm and argues that the accused shows no remorse, and the traffic code mandates an arrest.
Chief Choi scoffs that it’s not a serious case. Min-ho acquiesces, but Seon-woong pushes back that he doesn’t get why he’s being so lenient with this particular suspect. Min-ho gives him a warning tap. Chief Choi looks ready to blow, so Min-ho steps in to chastise Seon-woong for being disrespectful.
They both apologize, and Chief Choi threatens Min-ho he’ll consider it insubordination if this matter is brought up again. He questions why Myung-joo hasn’t sent in the indictment request yet, faulting Min-ho for that too. Afterwards, Min-ho trudges silently to his office.
Chief Choi messages Jung-woo for intel on why Myung-joo hasn’t submitted the warrant request. Jung-woo tries to casually ask her about the case, which she finds odd. She just tells him she’ll handle it. Chief Choi also wants intel on Seon-woong’s case, but Jung-woo claims they don’t talk about work.
Jung-woo then gets a message from Mi-ran reminding him about their meeting. Jung-woo mentions he didn’t find “windy hill” on the map. The look she gives him confirms she meant the real café.
Just then, Hot Flight Attendant texts that she’s available tomorrow at 7:00. He frets over what to do when Chief Choi messages again and tells him to figure out what Seon-woong is up to. Mi-ran messages again to say she wants to sit where they can see the sea. Stressed baby Jung-woo just smiles.
Min-ho stops by with soju and snacks while Seon-woong is on night duty. After they sit, there’s a knock on the door. Jong-hak enters with more food and drinks. A few minutes later, in comes Yoon-jin. They’re having a grand old time when a third knock sounds. Min-ho opens the door and comes face to face with Chief Choi who walks in on everyone stuffing their faces.
At home, Jung-woo lies despondently on his bed, reading the barrage of questions about his team members from Chief Choi. He still hasn’t texted Hot Flight Attendant back either and stresses over what to do.
Seon-woong and Min-ho bicker good-naturedly as they write long apology letters. They decide they’re taking it too seriously and head to the Fog for round two. Min-ho rants about Chief Choi and proclaims he won’t go in tomorrow, but Seon-woong doesn’t believe him. They agree that Chief Choi is the worst.
Min-ho suddenly gets a video call from Chief Kim. He thanks them for all the lotus leaf tea the office sent. They go quiet when he asks about the new boss. But then, drunk Min-ho whines that he’s a jerk. He’s adamant that Chief Kim is his only chief. When Chief Kim gives them permission to call him “hyung” now, they exchange looks and cry out, “Hyung! I miss you!”
While Seon-woong supports a very drunk Min-ho on the street, he catches sight of DUI guy bragging to a gaggle of ladies about how he can do whatever he wants in this town. He then gets in his car and drives off. Seon-woong promptly drops Min-ho, sending him sprawling, and chases after the car to no avail.
The next day, Chief Choi calls Team 2 to his office. Myung-joo admits that after much thought, she finally understands his grand plan in arresting an impoverished man for petty theft. With winter coming, Chief Choi must’ve wanted to let him stay in a detention center. She’s sorry she was so slow on the uptake, but once she figured it out, she sent him to homeless shelter in Busan instead. Ha! Well played, Myung-joo.
Jong-hak can barely keep a straight face as Chief Choi is forced to pretend this is what he wanted. Chief Choi gets a call from Tae-joon asking why he issued a warrant for DUI guy. Everyone’s shocked to realize Seon-woong went straight to the court and got the warrant without approval.
Chief Choi labels it insubordination and illegal, but Seon-woong counters that prosecutors have the legal right to request a warrant. He witnessed DUI guy driving under the influence again, so he put in an urgent request. Chief Choi yells at Min-ho for not keeping his subordinate under control.
Min-ho covers for Seon-woong and lies that he ordered him to request the warrant. Chief Choi calls insubordination — Is that the only infraction he knows? — but Min-ho frustratedly wonders if there’s any course of action he wouldn’t count as insubordination. Chief Choi immediately places a call to the Inspection Department.
Seon-woong narrates that everything can change with a new boss. Prosecutor Nam reassures someone over the phone not to worry about the arrest warrant now that his team’s in charge. Chief Choi again tries to use Jung-woo to pry into Seon-woong’s life, but this time, Jung-woo announces he’s a member of Team 2 as well and leaves.
Seon-woong narrates that some people grow by refusing to adapt. Others manage to adapt without compromising. Myung-joo stares at the notice announcing a three-month pay cut for Min-ho and Seon-woong. Others still refuse to be tamed at all. Seon-woong is reassigned to trials and Yoon-jin takes over for him in investigations.
Aw, Jung-woo chose to meet with Mi-ran. She looks so happy. When he refers to her as “your majesty,” she tells him to call her by her name. Jung-woo can barely look at her as he clarifies that he can only “serve” her online. Nooo. He clearly feels terrible when she looks crestfallen.
Chief Choi wanders the halls at night, annoyed that no one stays late unless it’s to drink. A little girl’s voice begins to cry from a locked Room 309. Suddenly, the door opens and slams back shut. He hears the clacking of heels and books it out of there.
Poor Mi-ran! She took the initiative and even asked him out only to get immediately heartbroken. It was sad watching her go from those sweet little smiles to closed off again. But Jung-woo clearly didn’t want to hurt her and tried to let her down gently, so I can’t fault him. I was glad he didn’t stand her up to meet with Hot Flight Attendant. He does seem to care about Mi-ran and handled the situation as carefully as he could. Even though I don’t blame him, I can’t help feeling protective of Mi-ran. Look how sad she looked! Maybe he’ll reconsider?
Wow that new boss is awful. I figured he wouldn’t be a saint because where’s the challenge in that? But he’s worse than I imagined. First, there was the public shaming of Team 2 for their performance. As their boss, of course he has the right to expect them to pull up their numbers and such, but his approach was just abusive. Has he ever heard of morale? Then there’s the whole being brazenly corrupt issue. He didn’t even try that hard to make reasonable excuses for his decisions on the two cases. Did he think they’d just accept his flimsy argument that was little more than “because I said so”?
I was super impressed by Myung-joo’s play. She thoroughly trapped Chief Choi while appearing innocent. She’s clever and strategic without compromising her values, which I appreciate. Really, the main issue with her is her delivery. I typically agree with her point of view, but she tends to present it in a way that feels belittling. She’s fair-minded and great at her job, but she makes no effort to connect with others or get them onboard with her. It’s her prerogative to not prioritize getting along with others, but even for efficiency’s sake, I’m kind of surprised she doesn’t try harder in that area. Things would be smoother for her if she focused slightly more on people skills.
Oh, Seon-woong. That was a gutsy move, although maybe not the brightest. He’s pretty much just asking to be fired. You don’t go behind your boss’s back and do the exact opposite of what they ordered without endangering your job. I guess he’s making up for waffling on whether or not to stand up to his superiors last time. I think Chief Kim getting penalized for doing the right thing made Seon-woong more determined to not give in this time. There had to be a better way to go about that, though. He should’ve consulted Myung-joo for a plan.
I’m glad Jung-woo finally took a stand with Chief Choi, who never should’ve put him in such an awkward position. He was clearly uncomfortable passing along information about his team from the start, but he’s inexperienced in handling these situations. And as a baby prosecutor, he’s basically powerless. Now that he’s not as useful to Chief Choi, I have a feeling he’ll come under fire too.
Min-ho is probably in the worst position right now. The only way to protect his team is to try not to piss off the boss too much, but it’s hard to do that without aiding in Chief Choi’s corrupt behavior. There’s really no winning for him. And now that he’s implicated himself in what Seon-woong did, I can’t imagine he’ll get away with just a pay cut. I think things are about to get worse. That is, unless the ghost chases Chief Choi out.
- Premiere Watch: Diary of a Prosecutor, Black Dog
- Different approaches to justice in Diary of a Prosecutor
- Jung Ryeo-won, Lee Seon-kyun take a stand in new teaser for Diary of a Prosecutor
- First script read for slice-of-life legal drama Diary of a Prosecutor
- Lee Seon-kyun, Jung Ryeo-won to co-star in new JTBC drama Prosecutor’s War