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Diary of a Prosecutor: Episode 7

This hour explores the brutal world of tweens and teens. The casual cruelty they inflict on their peers can have life-changing ramifications. Some kids truly don’t realize how their actions can affect the lives of others, but what about those who simply don’t care? That’s the question our parents and prosecutors grapple with as they’re faced with the unpleasant reality that kids can be vicious. Our lead’s family life and work life collide as he’s forced to stand on opposite sides of the same issue, caught between his love for his child and what he thinks is right.

 
EPISODE 7

Seon-woong narrates that we play various roles throughout the day: a superior, a subordinate, a spouse, a parent. At home, the prosecutor gang clears out so Seon-woong can be with his son. When they leave, Seon-woong takes Jae-hoon into his room while Jung-woo eavesdrops by the door.

Turns out he’s an informant providing updates to the prosecutor chat group. So far, Seon-woong and Jae-hoon aren’t talking, leaving the curious prosecutors to speculate on why it’s so quiet. A new message pops up in the chatroom. Seon-woong: “I’m here too.” Ha!

With that dealt with, Seon-woong tries to pry info from Jae-hoon, but the kid claims he just felt like coming. Jae-hoon’s mom calls Seon-woong and shocks him by saying his sudden appearance has something to do with school violence. She takes a call from the homeroom teacher, leaving Seon-woong hanging.

He rushes to his kid and makes sure he isn’t hurt. Worried, he asks who’s bullying him. Jae-hoon avoids his eyes and says he wants to sleep. Hmm… maybe he’s not the bullied? Seon-woong hugs him and says he loves him before putting him to bed. He watches him sleep, imagining scenarios of his son being bullied.

Jae-hoon’s mom calls back and tells Seon-woong the other mom said this has happened before. The school is trying to mitigate the issue, but Seon-woong thinks kids should face the consequences. She claims the police even showed up to ask questions after the victim’s parents reported it.

Confused, he assumes there must be two victims. She sets him straight: Jae-hoon is the assailant. (I love how the soft piano music comes to a screeching halt and is replaced by a cheeky bass line.) Now, Seon-woong watches Jae-hoon sleep with a totally different expression as he imagines Jae-hoon as the bully in the scenario.

On the way to take Jae-hoon home, Seon-woong stops at a rest stop. After buying Jae-hoon a snack, Seon-woong asks what happened. “Let me eat this first.” Wow. This kid’s brazen.

In the car, Jae-hoon casually remarks, “The police came over yesterday morning,” like he’s relating an interesting fact. He admitted to verbally bullying the kid, and the police warned him behavior like this could affect his future, so he’d agreed not to do it again. He relays all this while sounding bored and playing on his phone.

Seon-woong asks about the kid he bullied, but Jae-hoon brushes him off. Seon-woong finally loses his cool. Is Jae-hoon proud of his behavior? Why did he do it? Jae-hoon sighs, puts in headphones, and reclines his seat. Whoa, the audacity of this child is no joke.

The second they walk in the door, Jae-hoon’s mom Min-jeong yells at him for taking off to his dad’s without permission. Seon-woong pulls her aside so they can talk. She frets over what to do, but Seon-woong suggests waiting until the school’s investigation is over before worrying too much.

Seon-woong thinks it’s normal for kids that age to insult each other. “You could’ve mentioned that to the school.” Ooh, not a good move, dude. She doesn’t take well to his implication that it’s her fault.

He makes it worse by saying she doesn’t know how boys are at that age. Min-jeong: “Then why don’t you raise him!” She scoffs he must’ve been uncomfortable leaving Jae-hoon with someone who can’t understand him. “You haven’t been home in weeks. You have no right to say that!” Oh, I guess they are still married. She tells him to call the victim’s dad and walks out.

Seon-woong meets with the victim’s dad and (sort of) apologizes. But the victim’s dad isn’t having his you-know-kids-that-age excuse. “Weren’t you here to apologize?”

Seon-woong asks him to forgive this once, but the dad wants to follow procedure. If it had been Jae-hoon who’d come home asking if he was a piece of trash, wouldn’t Seon-woong do the same? Seon-woong assures him they’ll accept the school’s decision but requests he drop the police charges. They’re kids.

The dad isn’t moved and says his son isn’t ready to forgive yet. Um, I’m all for consequences, but isn’t getting the police involved in playground fights a bit much?

Over the phone, Seon-woong reports how it went to Min-jeong and tells her to have Jae-hoon apologize to the kid again. He heads back to work.

Myung-joo stops by the coffee shop and catches a news report about a Jinyeong girl who jumped off the school roof (but survived) due to verbal bullying and depression. Seon-woong listens to that same report on his way to work.

Later, Myung-joo questions that very girl (Hyun-ji) about incidents in which girls at her middle school took her money, insulted her, and destroyed her things. Hyun-ji stays silent. Myung-joo clarifies that she only has witness statements, so she needs to hear from her directly.

The team discusses the bullying case over lunch. Hyun-ji still won’t talk, but they’re interviewing the suspects soon. From Yoon-jin’s experience, kids have no qualms about shifting the blame. Unlike adults, they have no fear of the law, trusting their youth to protect them.

Although Seon-woong stays quiet, Jung-woo notices that he looks unsettled. When Min-ho asks after Jae-hoon, Seon-woong lies that there’s no trouble. Jae-hoon just came to visit his dad.

Seon-woong sits at his desk lost in thought. Was it all the violent video games? Was it the wrestling they liked to watch together? He thinks back to when he and his wife cried while watching The Light in Your Eyes, and Jae-hoon had laughed. Apparently, he’s never been an empathetic child.

After his wife calls to say they have to go before the school violence committee, Seon-woong meets with Yoon-jin since she specializes in juvenile cases. He does the asking-for-a-friend thing and gives her a brief rundown. Of course, she sees right through him but promises not to say anything.

He calls to share the info with his wife. The committee will just have them write an apology and reconcile with the parents. She’ll have to handle it since he can’t make it.

At dinner, Seon-woong notes that he didn’t receive any cases. Yoon-jin looks hella guilty while everyone tells him to take the day off. He must be stressed. Yoon-jin apologizes when Seon-woong throws her a look.

Min-ho offers to let him take the day of the committee meeting off, but Seon-woong declines. Jong-hak comments that it all sounds like too much for a fight between kids. Myung-joo is silent but seems to disagree.

They discuss the issue, and Yoon-jin offers to check with her elementary school teacher friend about how best to prepare for the meeting. Seon-woong reveals that the real problem is that they’re pressing charges.

They’re all aghast. Myung-joo speaks up to say the police might forward it directly to family court. Jong-hak thinks that’s too much for an 11-year-old kid who has already apologized, but Myung-joo claims that accepting the apology is up to the victim. Besides, visiting the court may help Jae-hoon “feel something.”

Seon-woong bristles, wondering what he should “feel.” Myung-joo brings up a kid from an earlier case who told her things would’ve been different if he’d realized how tough the world can be. You could hear a pin drop. Seon-woong is visibly angry but says nothing.

A nervous Min-jeong heads to the school alone. The committee is a pretty intimidating affair with several silent, scowling parent members. When the mother of the victim enters, Min-jeong rushes to apologize. Only it’s not the mom—it’s their lawyer. Yikes.

Myung-joo’s interview with the suspect in the bullying case is juxtaposed with the committee meeting where Jae-hoon is accused of verbal harassment, ostracizing the victim, and forcing him to run errands for him. Min-jeong looks horrified and cries.

During Myung-joo’s interview, the girl eventually breaks down. She cries that she didn’t know the effect the bullying would have and apologizes. Myung-joo doesn’t look moved.

In the committee meeting, the victim’s mother reads her son’s statement in which he confesses he’s scared to go to school because of Jae-hoon. He prays that Jae-hoon can learn from his mistakes. Afterwards, the woman’s husband ushers his sobbing wife out. When she’s given the chance to speak, Min-jeong is so ashamed she can barely utter the words, “I’m sorry.”

Outside, Jae-hoon waves at his mom happily as he plays soccer with his friends. Distraught, she sinks to the ground and sobs. Jae-hoon sees her crying and stops playing.

In the interviews, the students deny bullying Hyun-ji—they were normal spats. One girl apologizes, but the other is unrepentant. If the victim felt threatened, that was her problem. When they confront the apologetic girl about her insults that the victim stank, she claims she was merely giving her advice to encourage her toward better hygiene. Wow.

The unrepentant girl insists that she only said what was true. Even telling the victim to “drop dead” was no big deal. Her and her friends say that kind of stuff to each other sometimes. This girl is scarily unfazed. In the end, both girls apologize. The unrepentant one even wrote a long apology letter.

Jung-woo buys their apologies and doesn’t think they’re bad kids, but Myung-joo calls him naïve. Kids now are quick to assess the situation and act accordingly. They’re like the kids in “Lord of the Flies.” Ha.

Seon-woong calls his wife for an update. Jae-hoon won’t be expelled since he’s in elementary school, but he does have to transfer. Their son even forced another kid to be a “bread shuttle” (when someone is bullied into buying bread and running errands). What’s the use in having a prosecutor husband, she demands, when she had to face them and their lawyer alone?

Min-jeong yells that he should’ve mentioned he was a prosecutor to the victim’s dad. Maybe things would’ve turned out better. What’s he going to do about their kid’s permanent record? Seon-woong asks about Jae-hoon, and she scoffs that he was totally fine playing soccer.

At the team meeting, Myung-joo pushes for criminal charges, but Min-ho doesn’t think the evidence warrants it. The victim won’t talk, and the verbal harassment wasn’t even that severe. Myung-joo counters that the same circumstance can affect people in different ways. Yoon-jin presses that there could be other factors, but Myung-joo disagrees.

In the end, Min-ho agrees to let Myung-joo investigate further. Seon-woong, who has stayed silent, gets a text summoning Jae-hoon (and his guardian) to the police station on Saturday.

In his office, Seon-woong looks up information on juvenile trials and outcomes. He’s interrupted by a call from Min-jeong. He assures her he’ll handle the police interview.

He shows the text to Min-ho and Jong-hak. Seon-woong clearly wants to ask something but hesitates until Min-ho tells him to spit it out. He asks if Min-ho knows anyone influential in the police force. Min-ho goes to call his investigator friend when Jong-hak one-ups him—he knows the station chief.

Jong-hak calls and puts him on speaker to flex. He asks about Min-ho’s friend the investigator, which sets the chief off. He goes on about how much of a troublemaker he is. “Is your department head nuts too?” Ha! Jong-hak promptly hangs up.

Min-ho makes Jong-hak stay behind after telling Seon-woong he can leave. He closes the blinds, and we hear yells as Seon-woong walks away.

To make his day worse, Seon-woong gets a call from his dad who wants him to help a friend who got arrested. Seon-woong refuses, chiding that this kind of favor could cost him his job. He hangs up when his dad starts yelling at him.

At home, Myung-joo watches a report on the bullying case. The victim’s schoolmates fly hundreds of letters made into paper airplanes in support. In the next interview, Myung-joo reads one of the letters, but the Hyun-ji stops her. She cries that they’re the ones who watched and laughed while she suffered. She won’t forgive them and wishes they would die.

Over the girl’s sobs, Myung-joo says she doesn’t have to forgive or even go back to school. She should do whatever she wants to do. Jung-hwan and Seon-woong watch from behind the glass.

At the next meeting, Myung-joo recommends forwarding the case to the juvenile court. Min-ho takes issue with the harshness of the opinion she included in the report, but she argues they would all only receive probation otherwise. For the victim’s sake, they should face punishment.

Jong-hak agrees with the sentiment but thinks it’s overboard since they’re kids. Myung-joo points out that they need to learn that harming others will harm themselves. Again, Seon-woong is quiet but looks bothered.

That night, Seon-woong goes to his family home. He checks in on a sleeping Jae-hoon and remembers Hyun-ji’s words from the interview. “It’s because I’m weak, right?” Without things like looks, popularity, good grades, or money, she’s a target. Myung-joo had assured her it could happen to anyone; it wasn’t her fault.

The next day, Seon-woong and Min-jeong take Jae-hoon to the police station. Things finally sink in for little Jae-hoon, and he stops at the entrance, looking frightened. Seon-woong tells him it’ll be hard, but he hopes Jae-hoon will see how wrong it was to treat his friend that way and can see things from his perspective.

Seon-woong instructs him not to act tough in front of him—he knows how hard it is. Like the little kid he is, he cries and rushes into his dad’s arms. Seon-woong narrates that playing so many roles makes it hard to do them all well. It’s particularly hard to do well by your children, but you do the best you can.

Seon-woong goes into the interview with Jae-hoon and holds his hand. He decides not to use his status as prosecutor and refuses Jong-hak’s offer to call in a favor. He even gives his occupation as “office worker” when asked. Jae-hoon looks at him in shock.

We fast forward three months. Seon-woong and Jae-hoon (who is stylin’) go fishing, and Jae-hoon muses that everyone blames his parents for his mistake. Seon-woong tells him not to worry about it. He’s at fault too for not making enough time for Jae-hoon.

Jae-hoon claims he’s doing well at his new school and knows better than to bully his classmates now. Seon-woong wonders why he never tells his friends his dad is a prosecutor. Jae-hoon balks, saying everyone hates prosecutors, and he doesn’t want to get bullied.

Seon-woong asks if their image is really that bad. Jae-hoon: “These days, people don’t even watch dramas about prosecutors. They might watch dramas about doctors, though.” LOL. When Seon-woong goes on about the good old days when prosecutors were respected, Jae-hoon tells him to live in the present and face reality. “Are you ashamed of me?!” Jae-hoon refuses to answer.

 
COMMENTS

This show does a great job dealing with serious topics. I appreciate that we’re always given multiple perspectives so that the issues don’t feel oversimplified. Today, we got a 360 view of how bullying affects all those involved from the bully to the bullied to the parents. Bullying is a commonly explored theme in recent years, but whereas most shows focus on the victims, I liked the twist of having Seon-woong’s son be the perpetrator. It put a fresh spin on a well-worn topic.

It’s harder to stand by principles when your own kid is involved as Seon-woong found out firsthand. He went from “those bullies need to pay the price for their behavior” to “eh, it’s just kids being kids.” Throughout the episode, Seon-woong struggled to reconcile his beliefs with his love for his son, but I’m glad he stood firm in the end. Although it’s harder, it’s even more important to show your kids what it means to take a stand and not be hypocritical. By not using his position or trying to step in for Jae-hoon, Seon-woong forced him to take responsibility for his choices, and Jae-hoon will be better off for it.

Part of an adult’s job is to foster empathy and understanding in children as they grow. We have to learn to be conscientious of others and make ethical decisions—it doesn’t usually happen automatically. And like Myung-joo argued, letting kids off the hook because they’re young does them no favors. I also liked that she brought up how severity of an action is relative. People are all affected differently, so something can be a huge deal to one person and inconsequential to someone else. What truly matters is the severity of the effect on the victim.

I wasn’t surprised, but Seon-woong is a super patient and loving father. It always makes me happy to see affectionate fathers, especially toward sons. Father and son relationships are often portrayed as more distant, so it was nice to see Seon-woong so involved and emotional with Jae-hoon. But his family situation has to be tough. Seon-woong moved to Jinyeong three years ago, so does that mean he’s been living separate from them for all this time? I imagine it’s really hard to maintain solid relationships like that. He and his wife must be exhausted.

Seon-woong being married pretty much squashes any romantic potential between him and Myung-joo. I didn’t really think it was going to go there, but it’s a kdrama which means you can’t ever rule it out. Truthfully, I’m kind of glad it’s off the table. In shows like this, sometimes a love line can feel forced and pull focus from the most interesting aspects of the show.

On a random note, I hate when shows play office abuse for laughs. That scene where it was implied Min-ho was hitting Jong-hak after the disastrous phone call rubbed me the wrong way. Employers abusing their employees is never funny, and for a show about social issues, that was disappointing. Min-ho is really the only character I dislike at this point, and his problematic work behaviors are the primary reason. Can we bring him before a violence committee?

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Bullying seems to be such a serious problem in SK it's good to see the school/police/prosecutors taking it seriously. HOWEVER, if they were really all taking it so seriously I doubt there would still be so much bullying and they wouldn't have so much of a problem. So I suspect the positive parts of the episode were wish-fulling fantasy (??)

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Recognizing it as a problem is the first step. I don't think this is a problem for SK only. It's just that from dramas (cuz I am only exposed to those), it seems like parents in SK are more concerned about bullying being a permanent record in their child's transcript than actually caring that their child is a monster, which is a pity.

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In fact that’s one thing SeonWoong and his wife talked about: if the boy is transferred to another school it will be in his record, not only the change but also de cause of it.

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Literally no one on earth cares about elementary school transfers! Literally no one! Have any one ever asked you when you applied for jobs, why did you transfer elementary school?
But the effects of being bullied can scar your self confidence for life and it is very hard to over come such effects.

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Not in SK, it seems. It sounds like the record stays with you permanently. They seems to take it very seriously.

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@msrabbit

You nailed it.

"more concerned about bullying being a permanent record in their child's transcript than actually caring that their child is a monster"

SK Drama culture is steeped in hierarchy and the brutal impositions of status and power. When we are watching a society that gives rise to the collective brutality that is "Wangtta", it is not :
..."Some kids truly don’t realize how their actions can affect the lives of others, but what about those who simply don’t care?"....

Sadly it is more about how to transgress and not to get caught...or learning the limits of your clan's power to squash any ramifications.

The son clearly knew what he did to the other child - and we never saw that as an issue. It was clearly shown that his realisation was not what he did but the blow back. Sure, from our outside view we would want to read it as the son who didn't realise how his parents would be affected. On the other hand an different reading is the son who thought is prosecutor father was more powerful and it wouldn't matter...and got caught out by the weakness of his father. Isn't that exactly what the mother also hinted at when she cried: 'what is the point of a husband who is a prosecutor?'

The reality is that he just isn't that high up. It wasn't that he was noble and didn't try to influence the case - he actually did. It was he didn't have the networks able to do it and when he relied on his colleagues they were also revealed as wanting in the power networks.

A transcript is problematic because it also carries so much cultural subtext...about your weakness and your fall (and your family...part of a TLDR discussion). Think back to every SK Drama with the lines 'avoid people with sad stories'. Once you have a sad story you are at serious "risk" that will follow you for life and the society will treat you accordingly.

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Thank you for the long comment, SadKDramalama.

But I think the son was just being a boy and not very sympathetic one, instead of trying to ride on his father's "power" as a prosecutor. He never told his friends that his dad is a prosecutor because prosecutors are not cool enough in his eyes. I think he's just a typical boy who has that I-don't-care attitude and his parents did not exactly pay that much attention to him either. Like when they are watching drama, he's sitting on the side playing games on his phone. How is he going to learn how to be sympathetic if he didn't watch the drama and know why his parents (or any normal person) cry?

As for Seon Woong, he could use his connection to influence the case. In fact, when they are in the police station, Jung Hak texted him about it. But thankfully, he decided to let his kid face the consequences. He could have mentioned that he is a prosecutor, I am sure the policeman would cut him some slack since they're on the same side of the law. I would not call him noble, but he got some credits for not going the easy way, imho.

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I feel like the flashback to the parents-watching-drama scene is just Seon-woong overreacting. You're right that extra attention from his parents could have helped. But sometimes kids with amazing parents who do everything right by the kid - that kid still ends up doing crappy things. That's a scary part of parenting. I'm glad Seon-woong didn't give Jae-hoon an easy out and is able to course-correct him from a future of further bullying.

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..."But thankfully, he decided to let his kid face the consequences"

Sure, we all want him to be more noble and your take is one reading. The other possibility is that he knows he is not powerful enough to resist what favours he would need to owe in return.

SK Drama land is a world of connections and favours...if you take a favour it will cost you. This is a trap if you are not powerful enough and for a lowly prosecutor this would be as damning as taking lone from a lone shark - it's a slippery slope.

I also note your... "I am sure the policeman would cut him some slack since they're on the same side of the law"...It's funny how such connections and favours (low level corruption) are so ingrained in our expectations even though we aren't SK.

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According to K-dramas at least, school bullying is endemic in Korea. You hardly get a K-drama without scenes of juvenile delinquents extorting money from classmates (most recently Psychopath Diary). There's a joke, repeated in several k-dramas, that North Korea is afraid to invade the south for fear of facing Seoul's middle school bullies.

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Thank you for recap! We have another great episode. I also like how this show presents serious cases without being preachy. It simply presents different sides of the story and let us viewers decide on our own.

I think getting the police involved in elementary school kids fight and lawyering up are a bit excessive, but in Jae Hoon's case he seems to need this extreme to finally get it.

I am glad Seon Woong gets the point that he needs to spend more time with his son and not just shifts the blame to mom or to other people like so many other drama parents of the bully.

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I think the victim's parents involved the police because this wasn't a one time incident. It was a series of incidents that built on each other. It wasn't totally clear to me if the school had already intervened unsuccessfully.

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I think you're right. They did mentioned that this is not the first time. But still, I think the teachers, school committees and parents are enough. But then again, I do understand from the standpoint of a parent, I'd probably don't care about the perpetrator.

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Thanks for the recap and the comments. They are great.

I’m also loving the way this show touches so many delicate subjects, and the way it deals with them. Like in the previous episode where domestic abuse was shown from different angles, we have exactly the same thing with bullying.

And although we see it mainly from SeonWoong point of view, we never lose the victim’s side. To me it was specially touching the moment SeonWoong’s wife leaves the school totally devastated by what she’s learned about his son, probably feeling she must have failed somehow, and watches his happy son playing football: he’s laughing and having fun with his friends. He is a child being a child... can he be the monster that made another child so mortified?

Bullying is always hard. I recall my days in school and even though I didn’t bully anyone, I admit I never said nothing when I saw some sort of verbal abuse to other girls. Now as an adult I look back and think that my ignoring it, my saying it was “children are children” was part of the bullying. You never had that perspective as a child. We do have a responsibility as adults to stop this. But even so, a part of me always says... they’re just kids...

And regarding SeonWoong being married... I wasn’t expecting this, but then It is ok, I wasn’t into the love story, anyway.

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Dropping in to say: kid in the main picture has swag 😎.

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Re: Lee Pro as a Dad, @quirkycase, he is not a super patient nor a loving dad, this was what the show was about, he said that this is a hat he wears but he is not good at it and learning to accept his mistakes. This is what maes the episode and his growth worth watching.

He is playing the absent dad, who for whatever reason doesn't live with his kid and wife and then explains to kid a kid not to curse while cursing at him? Then wonders were does this kid learns cursing from.
He is not really a great dad. Also I did not like the fact that his first reaction to his wife was to blame her that she as a woman does not understand men talk, (given that she being a woman is the one raising the kid all on her own, wow sexism, it stings). And then when he had his day off he did not go along with his wife to the violence committee.

The good part of this episode was in character growth, so that he realises the effect of his absenteeism from the life of child and this is what he is trying to correct.

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Totally agree with you, specially considering that mum is a working woman, exactly like SeonWoong is, but she has to rise a boy on her own as dad is absent.
When I was a child my dad traveled all week long and he was home only during weekends. My mum was the one who was there all the time, and she was the one who was in command, and I always heard my dad saying that everything that was good on me and my sister was because of her and her hard work on us. That’s what I miss about SeonWoong being a dad in this episode. I know it is a hard time learning your child has an evil part inside, but blaming others is not the solution. And I can tell you from my experience that having an absent dad is a hard thing for a child.

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This weeks episodes were amazing but I guesss in order to enjoy it you need to be certain age :) This is why I am not into much high school dramas :) I have been watching Korean dramas in years , first time I wanted to ask my husband to watch those 2 episodes :) Never happened before :) You can only understand how terribly bullying can effect a family's life once you are a parents or the one that bullied by others . Seon-woong made the most common mistakes : First 'It is ok to swear for boys'(Of course not) ! and blame his wife !! I also wonder why they live apart ? Is it common to live like this in Korea ? It seems they are still married so no romance between the leads that I was expecting :)

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It's funny both this weeks episodes and Black Dog's episodes focused on growth. As @oppafangirl noted, this episode showed his growth as a man and as a father. It showed both he and his wife's growth about their son doing wrong. His wife realized how her wanting to protect Jae Hoon wasn't as important as the the harm committed on the other child. She realized that Jae Hoon needed to be punished to make up that harm Seon Woong recognized he was an absenti father and hadn't been doing his job as a parent very well. He also recognized that the victims peace of mind was better than letting his son get away with what he did. I hope Jae Hoon was punished accordingly. I'm also glad those girls were too.

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Bullying is such a common thing every where, where I live it's so common but no one seems to notice the violence going on, everyday someone gets bullied and accept it and everyone else ignore the pain, it's not until you know the word Bullying and the nature of it that you understand what's going on is not right and all the stress that you feel everyday and everynight, is because you are being bullied

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Swearing is not okay! Calling someone a piece of trash is not okay and so yes Jae Hoon should be punished. His mother/father should have a talk with him and if they feel further action needs to be taken to discipline their kid they should do it! If the school thinks action should be taken to punish the kid to prevent future occurrence, they should do it! However pressing charges with the police was a bit too much! I understand and applaud the parents of the victim for calling out a violence committee but coming in with a lawyer!? Are you kidding me!? He's a little kid for gods sake!! I was glad that JH's bullying was called out at that young age because it means he'll hopefully learn early on that bullying is unacceptable but going to the police and refusing to settle was wrong on the victim's parents part! He's a little kid and little kids pick up stuff and do it all the time! Sometimes it's the right stuff sometimes it's the wrong stuff! When it's the latter, parents can look into it and punish/teach accordingly! Schools can issue a letter of warning but pressing charges was unacceptable! He's a little kid who did wrong and could have learned his lesson without being traumatised with the police stations memory!

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I guess the victim's father only employed a lawyer because when they were in the cafe and Seon Woong was painfully attempting to apologize, he mistakenly let out the fact that he was a prosecutor. He was probably thinking that dropping that bit of info would persuade the victim's family not to think about the bullying as a big deal. I am glad that eventually, he did not avail of the undue influence of his friends' friends and alloeed his child to learn from his mistake.

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He did not tell the victim's Dad he was a prosecutor. The whole point of all of this was for Sun woong not to use his pull. The parents pulled the lawyer card on them because they are pissed.

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@larelle79
There are other reasons the parents called a lawyer.

When SK Drama repeatedly shows how being bullied follows you and how wide spread 'blaming the victim' is, it was their only real option in attempt to squash that fate. (its success is still uncertain).

However, when SK Drama culture is about hierarchy as seen by the exercise of power - it's game recognise game. Every parent would be on notice (and tell their child) not to mess with this kid because his parents have the means to fight back. Such a common scene in many dramas...also notice how many SK Drama bullying scenes are expressly shown as children acting out the statements of their parents about that child (Camellia was this).

It is not that 'they are pissed'. They just know full well what happens to bullied children in that world. There is no place for being meek in response.

P.S. the cafe apology scene is not an apology. These are always about 2 families sizing up who has the most power and the father accurately summed up Sun-Woong's real status at that moment.

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Min ho is the worst supervisor EVER !!! Good Lord. You know what, Chief Prosecutor Nam has had his number since day one. I just wonder how the other prosecutors would be if they did not have to deal with Min ho and his BS.

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I'm hoping that we get an episode soon that deals with Min-ho's workplace verbal and physical abuse problem. If the drama skips over this issue, I'll be left not so satisfied.

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Me too! I hope we get one.

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On the other hand wasn't the chief, the one fishing with Lee pro in the opening scene of ep1 and slipped like an eel? I doubt that any of the seniors are better or nicer but i would like an episode about them as well.

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It was Min ho's boss Kim, whose nickname is The Otter.

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Then who is the chief prosecutor?

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Min ho and Prosecutor Nam (the dude he is always fight with) each oversee their own group of attorneys.

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Well, it seems all the guesses last week about Seon-woong's marital status were wrong. Beanies were guessing separated or divorced but nobody guessed an intact long distance relationship. I suppose the mechanism behind that was he married, purchased a home, enrolled the kid in school, then got transferred for work.

The choice of actress to play his wife is interesting because she bears an uncanny resemblance (in my eyes) to Lee Sun-kyun's own wife, the actress Jeon Hye-jin

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That scene where Seon-woon and his wife are weeping at the end of Radiant/Dazzling and the kid doesn't have a clue. I distrust people who don't/won't/can't react to emotional scenes in films. I recall watching some emotional movie with a date, glancing at her an seeing her sitting as impassively as though she were watching a weather report. My first thought was "You're a soulless monster."

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He probably wasn't watching the drama. He just noticed his parents crying, and as a pre-teen boy, he wasn't mature enough to console them. I believe it was a natural reaction for Jae-hoon's personality.

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If he hasn't been really paying attention to the story, it would just look silly that his parents are crying over a tv show with fictional characters. Sometimes, the characters on tv for a daily drama my mom's watching would cry, and I would be like "Boohoo. Blah blah's alive/dead/missing. So noisy! I want to browse the web in peace". But then, I would bawl while watching Coco for the 3rd time.

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Mike

Just because things look similar does not mean they are the same. You see one thing and filter its meaning through your lens - that is rarely the only lens. Culture, experience and so many other things come into play.

That scene has many layers and your reading depends on which of them you prioritise as its meaning and who it is actually about.

Eg. MAPS. Most people look at them as a way of getting from A to B. Whereas maps are and have always been about power and control. Most people may be oblivious to that function - as it becomes so internalised it's like breathing - but it does not remove that underlying structure.

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Seon-woong leaving his wife to face the school discipline board alone was a huge blunder . He threw his wife to the wolves. Bad, bad move. I don’t know what he was thinking, but he sure screwed up.

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I was annoyed with Seon-woong for most of the episode, especially since Seon-woong's reactions reflect attitudes that 1. put an unfair burden to mothers (and then you wonder why the birth rate is dropping!) 2. are sexist 3. perpetuate bad social development in their children and 4. encourage bullying.

I did like how that drama didn't shield him from criticism. His wife did not just sit there and take it; she clapped back. When he was talking with the other dad, the drama showed the other dad as being a calm and principled guy. He didn't yell or scream or exaggerated. He simply called Seon-woong out on his non-apology and stood by his victimized son's right to not forgive.

Seon-woong threw his wife to the wolves because he was dismissive of the idea of verbal abuse, ostracizing a classmate, and forcing that classmate to run errands as school violence. Not like Jae-hoon was stomping on the kid, right? I think a part of him was in denial that this was a serious matter and he just wanted to shove his head into the sand.

If I were the wife, as revenge, I would have the kid go to school in Jinyoung district and have Seon-woong take care of the kid full-time. Yoon-jin is already doing it with twin babies.

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Defiantly agreed . I would never go that room all by myself. Plus how come he did not think he should have been there . A minus point to my recent favorite drama character :)

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I agree that the multiple perspectives were great, and I really liked how the parents don't get into dramatic histrionics on how their kid was victimized or how their kid was not the victimizer. And we get also get a range of reactions from all the girl-bullies. I felt like the first was sincerely remorseful. She seemed to have accepted that what she was doing was bullying and only now realized the effect bullying could have. The second tried to cover her own butt - probably just sad she got in trouble. The last one was unrepentant and defensive. I liked how in both bullying cases, the victims didn't feel ready to forgive. Bullying cut deep into you.

As for moments of humor - I thought Jung-woo texting updates to the group chat was hilarious even though I had anticipated that joke. I also loved that moment when Yoon-jin has Seon-woong's asking-for-a-friend thing figured out- the pause and look - brilliantly played by the two actors. I also loved the epilogue - reference to Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim 2 - airing in the same timeslot?

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I dunno. I felt like the first girl was just faking remorse so she got brownie points for at least shedding tears. Maybe I just watched too many monster bullies lately, hence am pretty jaded like Cha pro.

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I agree. Those girls already knew the loopholes but jaded Ms. Cha is ahead af them. It might appear as overboard to elevate bullying to the police but if handled properly, it will avert probably more serious ramifications. The victims might end up forever scarred, may turn out bullies themselves in the future if they find people more timid than themselves, or worse, end up as another mortality by suicide. On the other hand, it would help the bullies early on and before adulthood to realize that their actions are harmful, equally to themselves and the victims. The scene with the school violence committee was heartbreaking for me. I felt the guilt and the sorrow of the mother of the bully and the pain and anguish of the victim's mom when a more detailed account of the bullying was read right from the victim's diary. Seong Woo's kid is a bit hard-headed, quite disrespectful to his parents, and do not seem to be a kind kid. There was only a tiny glimmer of hope that he will learn from his mistake and be a more responsible adult when he grows up. His parents surely have to invest more time to guide him.

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Best episode so far! I like that both prosecutors are indirectly learning from each other's cases.

It's so tough for a parent I'm sure to handle a situation where their child is wrong. Although Seon-woong took some time to get there, I really liked how he and his wife handled the situation with their son. I feel between two extremes of covering your child's mistake and getting so angry and ashamed of your child to the point that you're resenting your child and always expecting the worst from them (which also happens a lot I feel), this is the best way. They got their child to be disciplined, but also supported him when he was taking the punishment and asked him to think from the victim's perspective. I really liked that!

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