Law School: Episodes 7-8 Open Thread
Law School is really hitting its stride now, an entertaining blend of legal drama and campus hijinks, with thrilling courtroom showdowns in every episode. And exam stress. Lots of exam stress. New murder suspects continue to emerge, but the prosecution is hellbent on pinning this crime on our hero, whether they have the evidence to back it up or not.
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP
I feel like this show really settled into its groove this week. The previous unevenness in tone has smoothed out, and now there’s a good balance of twisty reveals, nail-biting suspense and study group drama. Maybe it’s also that I’ve let go of some of my expectations and am starting to enjoy the show for what it is—a soapy, fast-paced and witty legal drama with a talented ensemble cast.
Jong-hoon remains the anchor of this group, but each week highlights new characters, and these episodes were all about Ji-ho and Ye-seul. We finally found out why Ji-ho’s been keeping that folder about Seo Byung-ju, and I particularly enjoyed his turn on the witness stand, practically bantering with Jong-hoon as the man skillfully cross-examined him.
Ji-ho keeps his pain and anger bottled up so tight that he comes across as cold. I’m glad Ramyun Bandit Joon-hwi has finally broken through that wall a bit by earning his trust. Joon-hwi clearly sees his job as leader of the study group as more than just a tutor. He’s always looking out for the others, quietly stepping in to help when needed.
But my heart went out most to Ye-seul this week, whose situation has only worsened since she started school, her abusive boyfriend using her as a punching bag for his frustration at getting rejected from Hankuk. I was already worried about her, but the nauseating revelation of that spycam, and then his and his father’s blackmail of her with that video, was absolutely wrenching to watch.
The boyfriend knew exactly what kind of threat he was holding over her, as he laid out coldly and gleefully what the release of that video would do to her life—a true-to-life violation that so many women have experienced, without even a hope for justice.
I’m glad the writing highlighted that, and that he didn’t kill her, which I was half-dreading, but I hate that she’s now going to be on the hook for his death, even though it wasn’t her fault (and even if it had been, in my book that’s self-defense). I’m glad Jong-hoon is the one who showed up, honestly, because if anyone can use the law as a weapon in her defense, it’s him—and another student might have panicked and convinced her to cover it up.
As for Seo Byung-ju, this week’s revelations increasingly point to suicide as the most logical explanation for his death. His warning to Sol B that “the moment you decide to cover up your wrongdoings, the door to hell opens” is a pretty large clue to his state of mind at the end.
He was too weak to own up to his mistakes, and too guilt-ridden to face the world sober, especially once Joon-hwi found out the truth. But Jong-hoon is so adamant that it was murder and not suicide, and the show has set him up to be so infallible, that it’s hard to discount his view.
More than Jong-hoon’s legal genius, though, what really stood out to me in these episodes is his passion for teaching. He seems genuinely grieved at the thought of being convicted of murder, primarily because he won’t be able to teach anymore. His determination to not allow any of his students to turn out like the corrupt Prosecutor Jin is a bit naive, but I think he recognizes that, given his conversation with Sol B.
He knows it’s idealistic, but he stubbornly holds on to that attitude through sheer force of will. The wistful moment when he and Eun-suk linger in their old spots in the courtroom was lovely, but no amount of nostalgia can hide how much they both love teaching—and love their students. Even though it’s also clear that the justice system could use another honest prosecutor and judge.
Jong-hoon has an unconventional style, but what makes him a good teacher is that he doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach; he treats his students as individuals and provides each with what they need. Knowing both Sol B and Ye-seul would perjure themselves, he confronted Sol B and refused to let her take the stand, while showing kindness and respect to Ye-seul and putting all the power in her hands. Sol B responds to strength, is working from a position of relative power, and has proved herself untrustworthy and self-serving in the past.
Ye-seul has had her power systematically, violently ripped away from her, and that freedom to choose on her own terms was exactly what she needed. Hearing both Jong-hoon and Sol A defend her right to make her own decision, even when that decision would cause harm, gave her the courage to stand up for herself. I loved that.