The Devil Judge: Episode 10
It’s time to move onto the next trial, and our vengeful duo has the perfect target. The rash of vigilante attacks continues, giving our judges the chance for personal payback and to deal a blow to the president. Meanwhile, a certain minister investigates intel on the SRF chairwoman, looking for any cracks in her façade.
Ga-on finds Yo-han in the study building a house of cards, which is apparently the only thing he knows how to play with cards. When Ga-on is surprised he never played games with his family or friends, Yo-han shoots him a look that says Ga-on should know him better than to assume he had friends.
Ga-on thanks him for catching Young-choon, but Yo-han says they’ve still got floors to climb. He’s not sure how many but destroying the whole house will be fun. He acts like he’s going to topple his house of cards and then teases Ga-on for believing he’d do it.
Ga-on has traced back Jukchang’s (which translates to “Bamboo Spear”) violence to President Heo telling his followers to take to the streets to “make Korea safe.” In one of President Heo’s livestreams from four years ago, he laments that low-class foreigners are taking Koreans’ jobs.
He starts spouting some racist, xenophobic rhetoric about how there won’t be “pure” Koreans anymore. President Heo says they need to protect the country with a “bamboo spear.” His wife stops him when he starts talking about building a “patriotic” army.
The camera pans to a crew member: Jukchang. He was a fan of President Heo’s who even worked on his campaign. Ga-on firmly agrees with Yo-han’s suggestion they put him on trial. Yo-han knocks down his house of cards.
Elsewhere, Sun-ah promises the boys she’ll keep Yo-han on a tight leash. Chairman Park thinks they should move forward with the Dream Village. They discuss all the people they need to round up: the poor, dissidents, and “illegal immigrants.” President Heo argues he can’t trust the government, so he’ll leave it in the hands of the loyal group he’s building.
At the Ministry of Justice, Minister Cha is frustrated that her assistant hasn’t verified the info they got on Sun-ah yet. She’s largely unconcerned when he brings up the violent attacks on foreign laborers and women, especially because no one has died.
Minister Cha blows up at her assistant after he says the attacks are at odds with the “Safe Korea” slogan. Why should she care about President Heo’s pledge? Someone is bound to take things too far, and once the public’s anger is at a peak, she’ll step in to unify Korea in time for her presidential bid.
She instructs her assistant to focus on Sun-ah since she’s sure she had something to do with Chairman Seo’s death. When Minister Cha asks about Young-choon, her assistant nervously assures her he’s keeping an eye on him.
In their office, Ga-on stands out of frame while Jin-joo is interviewed. She shows off the supportive letters from citizens and says they give her strength. Afterward, she complains that Ga-on should’ve done the interview with her, but he hates the camera.
Ga-on shows Jin-joo a video of a recent attack and Jukchang’s livestream praising it, both of which horrify her. He later reports to Yo-han that Jin-joo is on board with the trial.
He’s worried they won’t be able to get any charges to stick since the cops have Jukchang’s back, but Yo-han is already on it. Attorney Go leaked that Jukchang is President Heo’s private little army to Minister Cha. Still, they’ll need a cop to make the arrest. Ga-on is aghast to realize Yo-han means Soo-hyun.
Elijah finds Ga-on watching Jukchang videos again. When he says Jukchang has been in hiding, she offers to help track him down. He leaves her to it while he takes a call from Soo-hyun.
She sighs that she had to turn in her gun due to Jukchang’s video, and none of the higher ups are willing to do anything. If she doesn’t catch him, who knows what will happen?
Ga-on goes back to Elijah who tells him she’s gotten the ball rolling, but they’ll probably have to wait at least a day before discovering anything. But then Jukchang clicks on the girl group photos link she put in his comments. They have a location.
He reports back to Soo-hyun who is ready to go out and catch Jukchang immediately. No one is going to back her up anyway. Ga-on worries that she doesn’t even have her gun, but she demands to know the address.
At the Ministry, Minister Cha muses over how to get more evidence linking Sun-ah to Chairman Seo’s death. Her assistant rushes in with the news that the SRF has cut their funding. They don’t have enough for their unofficial organizations.
Minister Cha marches into Sun-ah’s office, interrupting her nap. She gets right to the point and asks why their funding was cut. Sun-ah blames it on fewer donations, but Minister Cha knows they increased funding to the Blue House.
She remarks that the stench of blood surrounds Sun-ah and says Sun-ah must be devastated by Chairman Seo’s death. Sun-ah wants to know what she’s getting at, so Minister Cha says she hears things. Some wonder why Sun-ah cremated Chairman Seo’s body so quickly and why an elder known for calligraphy skills typed his suicide note.
Sun-ah tells her to return when she has evidence and has Jae-hee walk Minister Cha out. Oh, and the cost of fuel for her car is too high. How touched would the citizens be if Minister Cha exchanged it for something smaller? Minister Cha calls her crazy and walks out.
While Minister Cha has her assistant set up a meeting with Yo-han, Ga-on accompanies Soo-hyun to Jukchang’s location. He enlists Elijah’s help in opening the electric shuttered entrance and handling the security system.
Ga-on and Soo-hyun enter Jukchang’s dingy little studio and hear him talking in the other room. He’s alone, so they apprehend him easily. Halfway down the hall, a group of men armed with wooden batons attack.
In comes vigilante Yo-han, sporting his own wooden baton. He and Ga-on take on the group while Soo-hyun chases Jukchang who makes a break for it. Once they’re outside, she manages to tackle and then handcuff him.
Yo-han makes a trip to Minister Cha’s secret headquarters and gets to see her unofficial private spy service in action. Minister Cha wastes no time and immediately asks whether Sun-ah was really a maid at Yo-han’s home. What about the rumors of her killing her parents?
She’s willing to negotiate for the intel and agrees to have the prosecution to indict Jukchang. Yo-han whips out a manila envelop from his briefcase and tosses it to Minister Cha’s assistant on his way out. It’s an accidental death report and autopsy.
At the courthouse, Yo-han gets the okay from Chief Justice Ji for a public trial of Jukchang after convincing him the case aligns with President Heo’s law-and-order agenda. Ga-on is excited to hear they can move forward and says he’ll do the planning this time. He knows the Jukchang types. Yo-han smiles at his initiative.
Once the trial is announced, President Heo publicly denounces the courts for putting a “patriotic young man” on trial. Chief Justice Ji watches in horror as President Heo accuses the judicial system of a coup-d’état.
Elsewhere, Jukchang meets with Attorney Go, his legal representation, and loftily calls himself a political criminal. He wants to leak the altercation with Yo-han and Ga-on to the media, but Attorney Go argues he doesn’t have any hard evidence or witnesses. No matter, Attorney Go promises to get him released on probation.
At home, Ga-on gets nervous when Soo-hyun makes a comment about him being strange. He asks if she’s talked to Justice Min lately. She hasn’t but between him asking what she’d do if he did something bad and Yo-han showing up at Jukchang’s hideout like that, she guesses Ga-on is up to something.
Soo-hyun is jealous that her best friend is suddenly hanging around the upper class and entering a different world. Ga-on argues that he’s much richer than Yo-han – he has the warmth of his parents’ memories, their home, and … he stops short of saying Soo-hyun, instead mentioning his new fan club.
The next day, Yo-han returns to his office to find Sun-ah sitting at his desk. After flirting a bit, she asks why he’s causing trouble again. She barely managed to talk President Heo out of trying to disband The People’s Live Court.
Yo-han pretends to be unaware of Jukchang’s connection to President Heo and says he’s just trying a petty criminal who attacked his niece. Sun-ah advises him to give him a good scolding in court and then let him go. Otherwise, she’ll be in a difficult spot and so will he.
Yo-han says he’ll think about it, which makes Sun-ah happy. She asks if his house is still pretty and grows angry when he asks if she’s missing the house she cleaned as a maid. Sun-ah grabs him by the shirt and warns him to never insult her like that again. She was a temporary guest in that house. That’s some delusion.
The day of the trial, Jukchang’s fervent supporters come protesting at the courthouse. Due to high tensions, the trial itself will be closed to the public.
In the courtroom, Yo-han reads the charges: assaults on foreign workers and LGBT+ women. Before he can go further, Kim Choong-shik (Jukchang’s real name) asks to read a declaration. When Yo-han opposes, the man actually compares himself to Korean freedom fighters during the Japanese occupation.
Yo-han chuckles at his ridiculousness and lets him read his statement. Jin-joo can’t keep the disgust off her face as he rants about the way foreigners are taking Koreans’ jobs and women and ruining the country. “Let’s kick the hybrid humans out of Korea!” Ugh.
As he reads his hateful speech, his followers vote in droves so that the innocent vote stands at almost 80%. Once he finishes, Jin-joo points out the foreign laborers he attacked didn’t take jobs from anyone – they took the dangerous jobs Koreans refused. Choong-shik argues that there are bound to be innocent victims of war.
He’s not only remorseless but proud of the violence he and his group have perpetrated. When Jin-joo plays a video of a foreign worker being attacked, Choong-shik says it’s justified because he “took our women.”
She struggles to control her temper as she reminds him that women are not objects but equal citizens of the country. Jin-joo scoffs at his “pure race” nonsense. Choong-shik says he couldn’t hear her and tells her to come over to him. When she naturally doesn’t, he tries to approach the bench and almost gets apprehended by security.
Ga-on notes that, although this is his first time meeting Choong-shik (Yo-han grins), he feels sorry for him. How hard has his life been? Ga-on gets Yo-han’s permission to go down to the floor.
He tells the public that this is a young man who acts tough but is truly a wounded child. According to the materials submitted as extenuating circumstances by Attorney Go, Choong-shik has always been an attention-seeker.
They play a video of Choong-shik’s grandmother saying he’s not a bad kid, and there’s no way he would’ve done this. Choong-shik is shaken and looks to Attorney Go in shock. He yells at them to turn it off when a villager reveals that Choong-shik stole his grandmother’s funeral savings.
Next, Attorney Go plays a video of Choong-shik’s homeroom teacher who testifies that he always tailed the bullies around but wasn’t a part of the group. There’s no way he could start some revolution. Jukchang’s followers start to scoff at this loser pretending to be tough.
Ga-on then asks what he’s been doing with all the money he received through donations via his livestreams. Did he buy weapons on the black market? Choong-shik starts to panic when Ga-on accuses him of high treason which can carry a death sentence.
Attorney Go intervenes and reveals that Choong-shik has been using that money to support a female vlogger he’s a fan of. Through another video, the woman divulges that Choong-shik kept sending her desperate messages asking to meet. Ga-on sighs that spending his grandmother’s funeral savings on this is too much.
Choong-shik is stunned when Attorney Go argues he’s no revolutionary. In fact, this matter doesn’t even deserve to be tried. He hopes the court can give him the chance to redress his wrongs.
Yo-han announces that, considering requests to give this young man another chance, the court sentences Choong-shik to three years in prison with a five-year suspended sentence. The final vote stands at 96% guilty.
Choong-shik is further required to wear an ankle monitor while on probation since he’s at high risk of recidivism. His location will be publicly visible through the voting app so that the citizens can monitor him and help enforce his sentence.
While Choong-shik breaks down in tears, President Heo has a temper tantrum in the Blue House. Sun-ah realizes with frustration that Yo-han played her by following her directions to give Choong-shik a good scolding and let him go.
Later, a battered Choong-shik runs from a group of men livestreaming as they beat him like he beat so many others. President Heo denounces the attempts to hold these vigilante nationalist groups accountable, calling it a conspiracy, but he also denounces Choong-shik as a “fake” Korean.
At the mansion, Yo-han and Ga-on watch the livestream of Choong-shik being beaten by his own former followers. Ga-on turns it off and says he feels he’s created another monster, but Yo-han argues a monster merely awakens when the opportunity arises.
That night, Sun-ah is shocked when Minister Cha shows up at her house. Minister Cha came to remind Sun-ah of her place. She should know she’s better serving others.
Why do people around Sun-ah keep dying? First it was her mother, then her father who abandoned them, and finally Chairman Seo. Minister Cha says she should do work that suits her. Wasn’t she a maid? She tsks at this “beggar-like” woman as she walks out.
Sun-ah is rattled but tries (unsuccessfully) to calm herself down as she calls Jae-hee. She screams at her to find out what Yo-han leaked about her to Minister Cha. Sun-ah has a meltdown and vows, “Kang Yo-han, I’m going to rip you apart.”
I guess Sun-ah is done trying to win Yo-han over. He committed the cardinal sin of revealing that she was once poor. Sun-ah is so obsessed with wealth and appearance that I’m pretty sure stripping off the veneer is the only way to truly get to her. Yo-han was smart to clue Minister Cha into Sun-ah’s past and misdeeds – now he can sit back and let her do most of the work in fighting Sun-ah. She’s been suspicious of Sun-ah for years, but now that she could pose a threat to her upcoming presidential bid, Minister Cha is out for blood. Both women are incredibly ambitious and ruthless, so they might just take each other out which would make Yo-han and Ga-on’s jobs easier. Then they can focus on ridding the country of the blight that is President Heo.
President Heo is infuriating with his yelling and blame-shifting and all that “patriotic” nonsense. He’s out there shouting about “pure” Koreans, creating a little army of insecure men who spout that they’re patriots to excuse their hatred and inferiority complexes. I loved Ga-on’s strategy of presenting Choong-shik as this loser who steals his grandma’s money to desperately beg pretty girls to meet with him. From the start, it was obvious there was no way to reason with Choong-shik; he was proud of disgusting his opposition and getting a reaction. He couldn’t have cared less about being reviled by a portion of the nation – it was all about feeling powerful. So making the public pity him and deem him irrelevant is the perfect way to shut him up and destroy his image. Of course, then Yo-han made his location public, ensuring he’d endure the same “righteous anger” he inflicted on others. I wouldn’t be surprised if his former followers end up killing him at this rate. Although Choong-shik is no longer running amuck, Jukchang is still alive and well as an organization with President Heo’s backing. I doubt we’re done with them yet, unfortunately.
I didn’t expect Soo-hyun would still be in the dark about Ga-on’s decision to side with Yo-han. Like Ga-on, I thought Justice Min would tell her since she’s the only one who could potentially change Ga-on’s mind. I’m wondering what Justice Min’s next move is going to be because he was determined to put a stop to The People’s Live Court. He seems the ideal-driven type, so I imagine he’d be willing to go against Ga-on to win this fight. It might be better for Soo-hyun not to know about what Ga-on is doing so she has deniability if things come to light. Ga-on is willing to risk his own future to join in this fight, but I’m sure he’s not willing to risk hers. If she knew any specifics, she’d be faced with either letting it slide which goes against her principles or turning in her best friend. I’m not usually an advocate of keeping major secrets, but when it comes to crimes, perhaps it’s better not to involve your loved ones.
- Premiere Watch: The Devil Judge
- Kim Min-jung antagonizes Ji Sung in new promos for The Devil Judge
- Jinyoung stands against Ji Sung in new The Devil Judge teaser
- Ji Sung commands the courtroom in new promos for The Devil Judge
- Kim Min-jung joins Ji Sung in The Devil Judge
- Ji Sung courted for new drama The Devil Judge