Diary of a Prosecutor: Episode 9
Our baby prosecutor experiences a setback and decides to take matters into his own hands to the consternation of his team. Although it seems like a minor issue to them, he takes it deadly seriously. Adding to their problems is the return of an infamous citizen with a penchant for suing people. All this begs the question, when is it acceptable to involve the law in your personal problems?
On his way to meet a girl, Jung-woo gets stuck behind an accident and subsequent fight between the drivers. Seong-woo narrates that this marks the 403, 159th case where someone has pressed charges in the past year. A lawyer walks up and, breaking the fourth wall, offers to handle your cases. Feelings get hurt? Press charges.
Ah, this is when Seon-woong broke into Jung-woo’s room (so it was a flashforward not flashback last episode). After beheading some action figures, he attempts to glue them back together with limited success. When Jung-woo returns and retreats to his room, Seon-woong anxiously awaits his reaction from the couch.
Jung-woo screams in frustration, and Seon-woong thinks he’s done for. Seon-woong hides when Jung-woo comes out for water. But then he stomps back into his room and slams the door, leaving Seon-woong confused when Jung-woo doesn’t confront him.
While Chief Kim has tea with the chief prosecutor, Min-ho and Prosecutor Nam discuss the upcoming chief prosecutor appointments with the deputy chief prosecutor. The deputy chief makes a big deal of Min-ho’s ex-father-in-law being rumored to become a cabinet member, clearly hoping to benefit.
Later, Chief Kim exits the building with a smile and tells Min-ho and Prosecutor Nam the chief mentioned Jeon-ju (suggesting he’ll be placed there). But he’s only one of the finalists, so they’ll have to wait and see.
At the office, Seon-woong fills Jong-hak and Yoon-jin in on his breaking and entering and Jung-woo’s lack of response so far. Jong-hak suggests coming clean, but Yoon-jin thinks it won’t go over well considering how into their games and collectibles kids are.
Meanwhile, Jung-woo is busy filing a complaint. Of course, the news spreads through the office like wildfire and reaches a shocked Seon-woong. Min-ho calls an emergency meeting, angry that Jung-woo is causing trouble at a sensitive time when the chief prosecutors are being selected and assigned.
Min-ho orders Jung-woo to retract his complaint—he’s never hear of a prosecutor filing their own complaint. Jung-woo holds firm, but Min-ho finds it ridiculous. Myung-joo speaks up for Jung-woo, claiming prosecutors can file claims as private citizens too.
When Myung-joo asks about the accused party, Seon-woong hops up and apologizes to Jung-woo, who looks confused. Min-ho appreciates someone feeling guilty, so he tasks Seon-woong with handling the situation. Min-ho: “How could a prosecutor fall for gaming fraud?” Startled, Seon-woong glances through the paperwork and realizes it all has nothing to do with him.
With that settled, Min-ho announces that Hwang “The Ax” Il-soo has returned, which garners a strong reaction. Seon-woong looks straight at the camera. “Who is Hwang ‘The Ax,’ you ask?” He introduces us to the “Three Kings” of civil lawsuits. One resides in Jeolla and always writes his petitions in cursive with tons of Chinese characters. Another lives in Gangwon and has an impressive ability to cut people down to size.
Now that the former has passed away and the latter has undergone therapy and is living well, that leaves only Jinyeong’s “The Ax.” He presses charges like it’s his hobby and filed over 200 lawsuits in a five-month span last year.
People suspect he may be a reason prosecutors avoid Jinyeong. He’s even known for bringing charges against civil servants for minor infractions. Plus, he knows the law inside and out and loves meeting with prosecutors.
Jong-hak got an ulcer for his efforts dealing with Il-soo last year, and Yoon-jin mentions letters that he keeps sending. When Myung-joo asks about these letters, everyone goes quiet. Min-ho cuts in to ask who’ll take him on this year. Everyone avoids eye contact until Myung-joo volunteers.
On his way to meet with Seon-woong, Jung-woo thanks Myung-joo for siding with him. She stops him to request he bring any issues to her next time so they can be handled quietly. Chastened, Jung-woo quietly heads to Seon-woong’s office to discuss his case.
The gist of it is that Jung-woo paid for in-game items, but the seller didn’t deliver. Jung-woo gets worked up and launches into how important these items are. He had to sell crops and flowers in the market and even mine to earn enough for these items. Seon-woong looks baffled and asks, “You had to mine?” Exasperated, Jung-woo clarifies: “In the game!” HA.
Meanwhile, Il-soo has arrived. Jung-hwan is a nervous wreck while Myung-joo coolly meets with the infamous lawsuit king. Chief Kim and Min-ho are crouched outside, watching through the window. When Seon-woong comes up, they unceremoniously shove him into the room.
Il-soo is thrilled to see him and immediately asks after Min-ho and Chief Kim. Then, he rattles off legal codes and chastises Seon-woong when he doesn’t have them all memorized. He appeals to Seon-woong since Myung-joo isn’t “understanding” him.
Reciting the applicable law, he complains that an officer issued a criminal investigation record without even confirming his identity or purpose behind wanting the information. Wait, so if I’m understanding correctly, he’s complaining that they gave him what he asked for too easily?
Il-soo asks Seon-woong if Myung-joo is his junior. Myung-joo throws him this look, and Seon-woong hesitates before admitting she’s his senior, even though she’s younger. Il-soo commiserates that it must be hard having a younger, female prosecutor as his senior. Wow.
Seon-woong takes this chance to escape and gives Myung-joo a subtle, half-hearted “fighting” gesture. Ha. She scoffs at his running away and leaving her alone.
Still waiting for his crimes to be discovered, Seon-woong listens from the living room as Jung-woo games intensely. He comes out for a beer and discloses that he thinks the items he was “sold” weren’t even real. He wants to meet with “King Camulos” to confirm his suspicions. If he was cheated, he’ll never let them get away with it.
Seon-woong sounds him out with a “hypothetical” scenario where someone, maybe, breaks his stuff. Would he press charges? Jung-woo responds with a resounding “Yes!” What if it was an accident by a close friend? Jung-woo thinks they still need to take responsibility. But what if they’re genuinely repentant? Jung-woo answers that people only care when they’re facing consequences.
That night, Seon-woong searches online and is disheartened to learn the action figures he broke are worth hundreds of dollars each.
At work, Jung-hwan interviews the police officer Il-soo filed a complaint against. He insists he checked Il-soo’s ID, but he doesn’t remember if he asked why he wanted the records. He’s still learning the ropes since he was just switched to this department.
Jung-hwan shares the officer’s sob story with Myung-joo. His mother has cancer, and his wife is pregnant with their second child. If he’s penalized, he won’t get promoted. Myung-joo announces she’s dropping the case anyway; it’s not a crime to forget to ask why the records were being requested.
Jung-woo peeks around the door to observe Seon-woong’s interview with the accused gamer. She admits to selling empty items but argues that she didn’t know the market value at the time. She was planning to explain the situation and ask for more gold from Jung-woo, but he immediately filed a complaint.
Seon-woong brings up the possibility of the item being fake, and she rants about someone spreading rumors about that. “It must’ve been that jerk.” She accuses Jung-woo of being the if-I-can’t-have-it-nobody-can type and asks if she can file a defamation countersuit as Jung-woo seethes in the background. Seon-woong startles her by going off about how lawsuits don’t solve all life’s problems.
At the team meeting, Myung-joo presents her report, and Seon-woong gives an update on Jung-woo’s case. He assures Min-ho he’ll work to have both parties reach a settlement, but Jung-woo undermines him by asserting he’ll never settle. Min-ho orders him to settle and not cause problems.
In the game, Jung-woo finally tracks down King Camulos and respectfully inquires about whether the item is real. “You fool,” Camulos replies and logs out. Jung-woo is heartbroken.
Seon-woong knocks on his door to ask if he can watch him play the game so he understands the case better. Seon-woong makes a big deal of seeing his room for the “first time.” Jung-woo starts to explain how the items work, but Seon-woong makes for the pellet gun.
Jung-woo indulges him for a second before going back to his explanation. Seon-woong takes a deep breath and fires at the action figures he already broke. Well, I guess that’s one way of handling things.
Jung-woo screams in fright and gasps at his beheaded figurine. Seon-woong yells at him for not putting on the safety, saying that would get you imprisoned in the army. Then, he angrily sweeps out of the room as Jung-woo searches for the figure’s head. Pfft.
Chief Kim reads a book on Jeon-ju while our team goes out for lunch. Seon-woong encourages a depressed-looking Jung-woo to eat. Min-ho wonders if you’re provided a residence if you’re placed in Uijeongbu, but denies he’s being placed there. He changes topics and asks about “The Ax.” Myung-joo assures him Il-soo’s keeping quiet.
Speak of the devil, Il-soo gets the notice of non-indictment and is not happy. He marches straight to the post office and mails a bunch of letters to various assembly members and prosecutors. The contents are pretty inflammatory and cause a stir.
A telephone chain leads to Min-ho summoning Myung-joo to his office. She thinks the letters are a trivial matter, but Min-ho reveals even the prosecutor general got a letter. Il-soo is asking for Min-ho and Myung-joo to explain the decision in person or he’ll keep sending letters. Min-ho instructs her to go to Il-soo personally.
When Myung-joo returns to her office, her very own inflammatory letter awaits. In Seon-woong’s office, Jung-woo tries to persuade him to track down King Camulos for his case. Seon-woong tells him to give it up and settle.
Mi-ran wheels in two shopping carts full of Il-soo’s complaints. Myung-joo has her pull just the ones where he was sued for false accusations. To Myung-joo’s delight, Jung-hwan informs her the officer countersued since he was passed over for a promotion because of the false accusations.
Seon-woong sits down with Jung-woo and the accused gamer. He tells her what she did is fraud, but she can settle the matter by apologizing and returning Jung-woo’s gold. “But I don’t have any gold left.” She assures a floored Jung-woo that she’ll have the gold once she sells the items.
Jung-woo accuses her of selling fakes. She, in turn, calls him pathetic. Before Seon-woong can stop him, Jung-woo whips out his prosecutor’s badge. And now she thinks they’re in cahoots. Seon-woong tries to talk her down while Jung-woo further incites her.
They start screaming at each other until Seon-woong yells at them to be quiet. He’ll bring in King Camulos to check the items’ authenticity. If they’re real, she returns the gold, and it’s over. If they’re fake, she’ll be charged with fraud. They both agree.
Meanwhile, Myung-joo and Jung-hwan work all through the night, sifting through the stack of case files. In the morning, Myung-joo calls Il-soo and summons him to her office to discuss the false accusation charges filed by the officer. He refuses to appear.
Myung-joo hangs up on him when he claims to have nothing to say to a “mere female prosecutor.” Ugh. She meets with Chief Kim and Min-ho to reveal the 23 false accusation charges against Il-soo, including the one Team 1 is currently investigating. She thinks she could get him charged. Chief Kim and Min-ho are in.
The warrant is out, but the police are too scared to arrest Il-soo. Jung-hwan informs her they won’t go unless he and Myung-joo join them. So off they go. But at his house, Il-soo hands them a medical certificate and argues a health condition is a valid reason to not cooperate, so they can’t arrest him.
Myung-joo stops him from slamming the door in their faces and informs him in strict legal terms that as he didn’t request a postponement at the time of the summons and he’s not experiencing symptoms of his condition, his argument isn’t valid.
He mutters some misogynistic nonsense under his breath, and Myung-joo informs him of the law he’s violating and that she intends to press charges. Ha. Bested in his knowledge of the law, he turns conciliatory. But Myung-joo’s over it and orders them to arrest him.
Jung-woo nervously awaits the arrival of the infamous King Camulos and requests that Mi-ran escort him upstairs so he doesn’t get lost. Pfft. Jung-woo and the other gamer have a ridiculously serious conversation about some “legendary war” in-game. Seon-woong rolls his eyes while Man-ok barely stifles a laugh.
While her comrades fell, the accused gamer reminisces, Camulos saved her. Jung-woo looks awed but then accuses her of lying. Suddenly, they hear heels clacking in the hallway and strain their necks trying to see the legendary Camulos. Hold up, is King Camulos Mi-ran?! Please tell it’s going to be Mi-ran.
It is Mi-ran! She takes a seat in front of Seon-woong’s desk and dramatically raises her hand. The gamers freak out when they see her ring. She sits there with her eyes closed as Jung-woo and the accused gamer scream, “the Supreme Ring!” Oh my gosh, I’m dying. Seon-woong jumps as they abruptly kneel like knights pledging fealty and address her as “Your Majesty.” Ha!
The accused gamer promises to pay the gold back. She’s much more friendly now and demurely calls Jung-woo “Prosecutor Oppa.” HA. She actually prostrates herself in front of the office before she leaves, saying it was an honor to meet Mi-ran and she’ll keep this a secret. By this point, Man-ok is shaking with laughter.
When they go out for dinner after work, Jung-woo won’t sit until Mi-ran is seated and hastily sets her silverware for her reverently. Seon-woong is flabbergasted while Man-ok continues to find it all hilarious.
As they leave, they witness two ajummas in the market duking it out with veggies and screaming at each other. Seon-woong narrates that people fight and some are treated unfairly. Sometimes it’s necessary to turn to the law, but can a lawsuit solve every problem?
At home, Seon-woong sits Jung-woo down and presents him with expensive, limited edition action figures. He confesses he felt bad, so he bought Jung-woo these. Jung-woo is thrilled since his were fake and only cost $25 each. HA! He happily runs to his room.
Whew. The last five minutes had me in stitches. I wondered why Mi-ran complied so easily when Jung-woo asked her to escort Camulos there. Her deadpan silence with their adoration… just like Man-ok, I was losing it. They were just SO into it. I mean, the girl did a full-on forehead-to-the-ground bow. I’m not gonna lie, I can kind of see Mi-ran as a cult leader now. She’s already amassed the following for it.
Despite the fact that’s she’s barely uttered three whole sentences in all the episodes combined, I love Mi-ran. She serves as a great counterpoint to the chaos and ridiculousness that sometimes goes on in the office. Everyone respects her and, since she does her job well, no one messes with her. Although it seems like an odd pairing on the surface, I wouldn’t be surprised if her and Jung-woo got together. I’d already wondered if we were heading there, but with this recent gaming revelation, it seems more likely. She doesn’t give in to his antics, but she doesn’t seem particularly bothered by them either. And her stoicism with his extra kinda works. He’s certainly seeing her in a new light now. Heh.
Both Il-soo’s and Jung-woo’s arcs involved the notion of using the law for solving personal issues and when that goes too far. With Il-soo, clearly, he was just suing to sue. There was no good reason to file so many suits against people who had no idea what they’d even done wrong. He went straight to the prosecution rather than trying to talk things out with people. I have no problem with people suing over something legitimate when it’s warranted, but he used it as a means of intimidation and a crutch to avoid solving his own problems.
In Jung-woo’s case, it seems like he’s just the reactionary type and, seeing as he’s a prosecutor, it makes sense that he would jump straight to the law to solve his problem. Plus, even if it was blown a little out of proportion, he did have a legitimate reason in that there was a fraudulent transaction. And even though he said he would file a suit against a friend if they destroyed his property, Jung-woo didn’t even hint at doing that when Seon-woong broke his action figures right in front of his face. That was a bold move. Although Seon-woong chickened out of doing the honorable thing and coming clean, I’d say his spending nearly $1,000 unnecessarily just to keep his secret was a pretty good comeuppance.
We seem to be alternating between more serious and more lighthearted episodes. Even though it can feel a bit jarring to switch tones like that, I don’t really mind since it keeps the show from getting too heavy. I think it also helps that it handles both serious, social topics and more lighthearted fare well, so I enjoy both offerings.
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