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Law School: Episode 16 Open Thread (Final)

Law School ends on a high note, with a surprisingly satisfying finale that wraps up most of its loose ends and leaves us with a clearer thesis than it’s presented so far, and one that I can actually get behind: the law is not just, but it’s up to those who work in it, and especially those who teach the next generation, to do their utmost for justice anyway.

 
EPISODE 16 WEECAP

We see the lead up to that double sting operation from last week, the real Kang Dan finally stands up, and Assemblyman Go is arrested and brought to justice for solicitation of murder. A little too neat? Probably. No one as slippery as him in real life would ever confess verbally to something like that, no matter who he was talking to. But he’s been so hateful and conniving—from media manipulation, to using good laws to support his evil actions, to throwing his lot in with sexual assaulters like it’s going out of style—that I didn’t mind. It was just good to see our heroes finally put him in his place.

This production team has made a lot of baffling editing choices, but I’ve always enjoyed that the drama gives us plenty of well-done courtroom scenes—keeping the tension high, the emotional engagement present, and not going too long in between trials, even if it makes it look like the South Korean court system is the fastest in the world. My favorite court scene is still Ye-seul’s trial, but it was great to see Assemblyman Go come to a sputtering halt at the sight of the twins together.

We got a lot of study group friendship moments this finale, and I loved them all! I was hoping for more than an ambiguously close relationship between Joon-hwi and Sol A by the end, but we still got plenty of cute moments. I loved her promising to root for him in place of his uncle, and no one can convince me they weren’t flirting during that mock trial practice session.

I’m also glad we got that little moment between the Sols in the bar, of Sol B saying “Unni” and Sol A lighting up in joy at finally breaking down the cold girl’s epic walls. Their relationship has been slowly warming over the last few episodes, and this was a perfect ending for them.

It worked really well with both their character development, too: Sol B stepping out of her parents’ shadows and taking responsibility for her own destiny, and Sol A understanding what we (and Joon-hwi) have always seen—she may not be the best test-taker, but she’s brilliant at crafting arguments, seeing the law from creative angles, and advocating from a moral position that’s also smartly strategized. (I know Jong-hoon said there’s no such thing as a legal mind, but I honestly think Sol A has one.)

I enjoyed little moments like Ye-seul counseling a victim of intimate partner violence, and Jong-hoon’s genuinely funny admission that there was a “mastermind” behind him all along. (I support the sheer pettiness of taking even that small moment of undeserved credit from Prosecutor Jin.) Also, how great to see a dysfunctional family in a K-drama actually getting therapy! I want to see more makjang parents getting mildly told off by psychiatrists for their overly attached behavior.

I was a little miffed that Prosecutor Jin got off scot-free in exchange for simply dropping his former crony Assemblyman Go. The show doesn’t quite redeem him, but all the blame has been heaped on one villain, and none of the web of corrupt officials that enabled Go were penalized at all. The drama makes it seem like they were all just decent people taken in by a bad man, which I don’t think is the intention, but the execution doesn’t follow through on the complexities it’s aiming for.

For example, if they wanted to show a case of one person taking the fall for a whole system of injustice, making everyone else neatly fall in line and help with the investigation is both unrealistic and counterproductive. What’s more realistic is cold shoulders and stonewalling from the establishment, with the only the unavoidable concessions to truth and justice in the face of such damning evidence. And there’s no doubt that weaselly, infuriating officials like Prosecutor Jin abound, but with Epic Weasel Seo Dong-jae (Forest of Secrets) still fresh in my mind, it’s hard to find him remotely satisfying as a character.

Still, Law School leaves me with the warm feeling of comradeship, and the theme of fighting for perfection in an imperfect world. I did really like Jong-hoon’s imaginary conversation with Seo Byung-ju in the darkened mock trial court; this was the episode where I finally felt the weight of Byung-ju’s regret and Joon-hwi’s loss. Later, Jin’s offer to make a deal with Ji-ho shows that despite his rude awakening, he’s still up to his old tricks—but Ji-ho is determined to gain (perhaps imperfect) justice on his own, because he knows one compromise leads to more.

The crux of the drama is really Jong-hoon’s statement to Prosecutor Jin a few episodes back, when he declared that the reason he teaches is to make sure that there are no more legal professionals like Jin. Realistically, both men know that’s an impossible task; some students inevitably go into legal careers to game the system and line their pockets. But it’s a noble endeavor anyway, because even if he can alter the trajectory of one student’s life—as he does for several during the course of the show—that’s priceless. Eun-sook and Jong-hoon have shown us that a couple of great teachers can change you forever. I think that was my favorite message of all.

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Thanks for taking us on this journey @laica, I loved your pieces on this show and, while it wasn't what it could be, I enjoyed what it was a great deal.

I find that Korean dramas generally tend to prefer to portray the system as fine and blame imperfections on the corrupting influence of one person or one corporation. There are a number of reasons for this. Certainly it's a rare kdrama that's prepared to argue that Korea needs systemic change. In this, as in most other things, dramas fail before Forest of Secrets. But then I doubt Law School was ever trying to compete.

In the end, despite its flaws I enjoyed the show a lot. And I await the cloning of Joon-hwi so we can all get one. I think we all deserve one.

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Thanks LT! Give us all a Joon-hwi 2021 is a campaign I can definitely get behind. I think this is my favorite role of Kim Bum's - I've never found him this natural in his acting before. #SolHwi5eva

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I would gladly champion such a campaign. I haven't seen anything of Kim Bum's besides the horrendous Boys Over Flowers, which happens to be the second kdrama I ever watched, but I found him delightful here and will keep an eye out for his future projects.

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Well said, I have nothing else to add.

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Yes thank you for a recap, it put into words the reasons that I continued watching this show even when I wasn't always 100% sure why myself!

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Having binged all the episodes of this show in a matter of days, I'll probably remember it fondly, like a fever dream, or as a drama that always made me feel at least 40% confused 😂

Despite that, I really enjoyed the chemistry between the cast members; I thought they all brought something to the table and complemented each other nicely. I liked Jung-hoon immensely, even though I'm pretty sure I would crack like a boiled egg every time he called me out in class 🤮 Sol and Joon-hwi are obvious favorites - I was a little disappointed we didn't get more clues as to what their current relationship turned out to be, but I'll go watch some fan edits, and hopefully, my shipper heart will recover 😭

The show was far from perfect - it did think it was more clever than it was sometimes - but it was an enjoyable ride; as someone who always liked puzzles, I can appreciate the show for what it tried to be 🧩

Here's to Sol A becoming the best lawyer in SK and proving everybody who doubted her wrong!!

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SolA is definitely one of the best lawyers. Otherwise, there is no way that Prof. Yang will summon her to catwalk alongside him on the lobby of her alma mater. The man has standard.

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I watched this drama for the relatioship between the students and the teachers.

The rest wasn't interesting. The murder as a plot wasn't the best decision because we didn't know the characters. I really didn't care about this part.

I didn't like Erica Shin. She acted like she was the big sister who knows everything when she was just a twin who ran away without saying anything because she messed up. I didn't like how Sol A felt stupid during the whole drama... I hoped at one moment she would feel more confident.

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Yes! We did not know enough about Erica shin to justify her being treated so high. I kept waiting for a background story that never arrived.

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Aaaah! I'm still on the denial stage that this drama has ended. I liked the pilot week then watched episodes 3-6 just because my Wed-Thurs were free but after the 6th ep, I was hooked (mostly on SolHwi)!!!

I love the students and the teachers. I love how they showed the struggles of Uni students. I love the study group and their bickerings. I love Prof Kim and I'm probably the only one who didn't think she's sus. Prof Yang is amazing as well with all his theatrics. Ye Seul's case is my favorite non-Solhwi moment too. I'm just rambling here but I LOVE KANG SOL A AND HAN JOON HWI. Every scene, every stare, and every smile is etched on my mind and in my heart and I just love them so much. Hah.

💜💜💜

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Find someone who looks at your crazy like Joon-hwi looks at Sol A's crazy

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I quite ejoyed this show a lot even when goin in late,especially because of the relationship between these characters...It was fun and the OST rocked!
I wanted to see Sol A to be more confidant and realize that she is great and have more confidence as i felt bad for her even in the last 2 episodes while preparing for the contest considering herself the weakest link and accepting all the words from Sol B with the head low...Kinda funny how in the end she partnered up with Attorney Park jajja...Rediscovered Kim Bum,as i watched him in Nine Tails but didn't wow wow me and wish Ryu Hye Young would get more projects as she truly is an enjoyable actress...Kim Myung Min shined as expected!
Sad we didn't get more obvious end with Joon Hwi and Sol A even if we all know along the way they might end up if someone else doesn't snatch her!

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Currently hovering in YouTube to find SolHwi shippers who made videos of their bickering, how Hwi looks at Sol A with his puppy eyes, they're supporting each other, etc etc etc... (and let's assume their ship sailed from the way they look at each other in the last scene) :D

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I hope Kim Bum and Ryu Hye Young are in a drama again because they had crazy good chemistry. Better yet let them do a sequel with Sol A and Joon Hwi as our leads.

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Yes to this. Where do I sign the petition?

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I did enjoy this show a lot, and while , yes, there had been baffling moments, but I do get what they are trying to say (mostly =). This is still the only show so far that has tackled domestic abuse very realistically, so for that they get a bean. Of course, in my mind, the SolHwi ship sailed too, and it is now out there happily cruising away somewhere. One thing I will also acknowledge, I think the actors playing the villains (Lee Man Ho, AssemblyMan Go and his son) , despite their characters being 1-dimensional, I think nailed their jobs because I hated them so much.

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It's finally over, people 😭. You will be missed, show. You weren't the best, but you were pretty awesome in your own way.

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Am really inspired through this movie

Law school is a hit❤️

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So, I wondered why was the drama always bringing up cases with cameras and illicit pictures/recordings. Today I read an article, (please search via google (FT and keywords typed below) if you are interested in questions like: dramas reflect society or society reflects dramas) about how digital crimes haunt South Korean women!
Am now even more glad that I watched this drama and understand a bit of their law but I think I like the director as he stepped up for women :)

Oh and I love Sol A and the way Joon Hwi stares at her! I enjoyed Law School despite’s it’s flaws. Feeling pretty empty now and hoping for something nice to come up and fill my Wednesdays and Thursdays ! Soon!

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Thanks for the info, it was really insightful. That aside, I also love Sol A-Joon Hwi - I understand that the drama isn't supposed to be about romance so that was the best we could get 😂 I bingewatched this drama in 3 days so im having so much withdrawal symptoms rn hahaha I guess it's time for Hospital Playlist to start filling up my Thursdays!

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My main issue is about how they forcefully killed even a slight chance of any progress in joon-hwi and sol-a. He is apparently grateful for her and it's for this reason he keeps looking at her all the time. 🥴

Favorite was obviously the gang and it's antics. ❤️

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Sorry to ask this super stupid question but, why was Seo Byung-ju killed?

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