Law School: Episodes 14-15 Open Thread
We’re almost to the end, and the case that started it all is no longer a mystery, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for our protagonists to prove it. Now it’s a matter of outsmarting the culprit, who isn’t above using all manner of corrupt and illegal means to literally get away with murder.
EPISODES 14-15 WEECAP
Now that everyone knows for certain it’s Assemblyman Go pulling all the strings, they put their all into bring him down once and for all, but for their every move, he has a dirty trick waiting to counter them. Nothing new is actually revealed, but at least everyone is on the same page now, I suppose. Law School has a unique talent for being boring and hard to follow at the same time. Last week was the show’s high point, but now that the focus is back on Seo Byung-ju’s murder and Assemblyman Go’s web of corruption, I find it barely keeps my interest.
We’re also sadly lacking in Sol A/Joon-hwi moments this week, and instead we get Yangcrates becoming weirdly chummy with skeezy Prosecutor Jin, who now suddenly discovers that Go was evil all along, the strange reappearance of Kang Dan as a Harvard Law scholar, and enough double-crossing and fake-outs that I honestly felt exhausted at the end of two hours.
That last one where Sol A revealed herself to have impersonated Dan was pretty great though—I enjoyed the fact that she was definitely channeling her favorite professor’s cool condescension in the role. It’s too bad it lacked some impact because of how many plot twists were stuffed into Episode 15 alone.
I’m being harsher than usual on this show, but I really felt the drop in quality after a truly decent wrap-up of Ye-seul’s case last week. It feels like we’re back at the beginning with the confused timeline, constant “Gotcha!” reveals that aren’t as surprising or as dramatic as the drama thinks they are, and this writer again mistaking complexity for profundity.
On top of that, the show has a very muddled view of the law—it seems to be arguing for everything at the same time, with no clear sense of ethics except that as long as it’s legal, anything goes. That’s fine if you can magically make the “good” guys win every case through a mix of clever arguments and coincidence, but it totally ignores the very real brokenness of the criminal justice system and reduces injustice to the result of a few bad actors. So all it takes for the rotten-to-his-core Prosecutor Jin to see the error of his ways is an elaborate murder board showing him that the guy he’s hitched his wagon to is A Very Bad Man. Even Vincenzo was more realistic than that.
And along the same theme, anything our protagonists do is fine simply because they’re doing it. For example, Eun-sook scratches the back of whichever bigwig is expedient in service of her purportedly high legal ideals—regardless of how evil that person might be, or who might be harmed by either the appearance or the reality of her joining them, even temporarily.
In a better show (say, Forest of Secrets) this would prompt an exploration of the well-meant seeds of corruption, a road to hell paved with so many good intentions. Alas, this is not that show, although it seems to be under the regrettable impression that it is.
The cast are still great and they’re doing their best, but now that everything is wrapping up, the seams are really showing. Sticking the landing is a tall order for any drama, but especially a legal mystery where all the threads need to come together in a way that’s satisfying but not obvious. We’ve still got one episode to go, but this was a messy penultimate outing. I’m hoping the finale will lean on what this show does best: the students’ struggles and friendships, Jong-hoon being stern but mentorly, a good last underdog victory for our study group, however unrealistic. And Joon-hwi finally confessing his obvious crush!