The Devil Judge: Episode 11
Our team goes all in on the next phase of their plan, focusing on the two most powerful women in the country. No matter how strong the adversary, no one is invincible. As the cracks in the women’s armor begin to show, our devilish judge takes advantage and works his manipulative magic.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
While Sun-ah has a breakdown, Ga-on worries Yo-han’s move against Sun-ah is too risky. Yo-han argues they can’t take on Minister Cha directly since she has control of the media. Getting caught in the crossfire is a risk he’s willing to take.
Minister Cha arrives home where a traumatized Young-min begs her to move to America with him. She screams at him for being weak and trying to run rather than get revenge for his humiliation. Young-min’s father comforts him once Minister Cha walks away.
Although Jae-hee couldn’t find a direct link between Yo-han and Minister Cha, Sun-ah has no doubt Yo-han was the one who leaked her info. They’re interrupted by a call from Minister Cha who wants to meet.
In her office, Minister Cha confronts Sun-ah with the report on her mother’s suspicious death. The fact that Sun-ah was the only witness is enough for Minister Cha to investigate. All she needs is a doctor who will claim her mother wasn’t drunk and that she could only have sustained the injuries from being pushed.
In exchange for dropping the matter, Minister Cha wants Sun-ah to take down Yo-han and restore her son’s reputation. She gives Sun-ah a week to make it happen.
Elsewhere, Yo-han goes to his barber for a shave and falls asleep in the chair. He wakes to Sun-ah shaving him while the barber lies unconscious on the floor. As she drags the razor across Yo-han’s face, Sun-ah asks why he leaked her story. “Because I need you,” Yo-han responds. He gently touches her arm as he says he wants her help taking Minister Cha down.
He closes his eyes and tells her to make her choice. She puts the razor down and goes to walk out. “Do you want to come to my place?” That stops her short. Oh, he knows how to hook her because of course she wants to revisit the home that enticed her.
Sun-ah is flooded with memories the moment she steps foot inside the mansion. When she says everything is the same, Yo-han counters that she’s changed. She excitedly asks how, but Ga-on pops around the corner before Yo-han can answer.
He welcomes Sun-ah – Yo-han told him she’d be coming – and invites her to stay for dinner. She marvels at all the food Ga-on cooked and compliments his many talents. Ga-on says he only recently learned of her many talents. Ha. That wipes the smile off her face.
Elijah assumes Sun-ah and Yo-han are dating since she’s the first woman he’s had over. Yo-han corrects her, to Sun-ha’s disappointment. But Sun-ah is thrilled when Ga-on says Yo-han told him he absolutely needs her help. Yo-han chides him for talking too much.
Sun-ah watches Ga-on put food on Elijah’s plate and observes he fits right into the family. “I guess you don’t feel lonely anymore,” she says to Yo-han. She’s envious.
When Elijah asks if they’ve known each other long, Sun-ah replies she and Yo-han have been supporting each other for a while. They prepare for a toast, but Yo-han wants to wait for the final guest. Sun-ah’s eyes widen when the housekeeper walks in. Yo-han gleefully introduces the now grown Sun-ah who the housekeeper is stunned to see again.
Later, Sun-ah pulls Yo-han aside and accuses him of playing with her. He readily admits it, arguing she’s fun to play with. Rarely is there someone as clever, ruthless, and broken as him.
He takes her hand and reminds her of her wish to help him reach the top. He even puts his cross necklace around her neck and tells her she suits this mansion now.
Yo-han tells Ga-on that Sun-ah is unpredictable, so she might still side with Minister Cha. But his manipulation had a strong effect. Jae-hee is angry at how he’s playing her, but Sun-ah says she wants to fall for it even though she knows she shouldn’t.
The next day, Jin-joo is surprised to get a call from Chairman Park asking to meet with her on behalf of the SRF. When she arrives at the meeting place, Chairman Park and Chairman Min are waiting. She’s instructed to sit in a chair in the middle of the room.
They want her to be a face for the SRF but question some of her past rulings against businessmen. Jin-joo asks what they’re interviewing her for – the presiding judge spot? Chairman Min compliments her for catching on so quickly.
They laugh when she asks if Yo-han went through this and say even Chief Justice Ji went through this vetting process. Jin-joo stands as if she’s going to leave but instead drags her chair to sit right in front of them. What do they want to know?
At the mansion, Yo-han watches Ga-on, Elijah, and the housekeeper play Jenga, but he runs away when Ga-on asks him to join. Ga-on chases after him, thinking about how the priest told him Yo-han used to watch the other kids play from the sidelines. The priest found it creepy, but Ga-on assumed Yo-han must’ve been lonely and wanted to be included.
Now Yo-han does a poor job at hiding his eagerness while pretending he’s not interested in their stupid game. Ga-on grins and drags him out to play Jenga. Immediately, Yo-han and Elijah start bickering, and the housekeeper thinks having them compete is a bad idea.
Yo-han gets up to leave but comes back when Ga-on asks if he’s ever spent five minutes with Elijah without arguing. Yo-han takes forever to make a move, looking to Ga-on for guidance as Elijah frustratedly tells him to just pick one.
Two hours later and they’re still playing. Elijah wins a round and greatly enjoys giving Yo-han a hard flick on the arm as his penalty. As Elijah excitedly sets the tower up again, Yo-han glances over at Ga-on who gives him a smile. Yo-han grins at how happy Elijah is.
Later, Ga-on goes out for a meal with Soo-hyun who wonders what’s got him in such a good mood. When he says spending time with her counts as a good thing, she jokingly asks if he has some terminal disease. Ga-on assures her he’s fine and thinks to himself, “Once this is over, I’ll definitely…”
Sun-ah meets with Minister Cha and outlines a way forward. They need to cast doubt on the way Yo-han conducted Young-min’s trial. She invites the actress in Yo-han’s little revenge club into the room. In exchange for Sun-ah letting her mom go, the actress has agreed to testify that Yo-han paid her to make a false statement.
To ensure Yo-han doesn’t get the upper hand, Sun-ah argues they need to strike fast. Minister Cha immediately gives a press conference, stating that she received a tip calling into question the impartiality of The People’s Live Court. She requests Yo-han attend a public hearing where she’ll reveal everything.
Yo-han attends the hearing, letting Minister Cha question him publicly in the live courtroom. She accuses him of being so rich he believes everyone can be bought. Not only did he buy off the witness in the JU Chemicals case, but he did it again in his next trial, this time buying false testimony.
Minister Cha calls in the actress. Yo-han look surprised as the woman testifies that she was forced to give a false statement. Sun-ah enters in time to witness Minister Cha’s shock when the actress continues, “Minister Cha threatened me.”
She says Minister Cha threatened to put her in prison on false drug charges if she didn’t lie that Yo-han paid her off. Through tears, she claims the visitor’s log for Minister Cha’s office will show she was there last week. Sun-ah smiles, giving Minister Cha a little shoulder shrug. Minister Cha seethes, realizing she was set up.
The PD panics in the hall, but Ga-on reassures him everything is fine. Inside the courtroom, Yo-han turns this into a hearing for Minister Cha instead. He puts up a picture of Do Young-choon, asking if Minister Cha remembers this man who’s supposed to be serving 17 years in prison.
Minister Cha braces herself as Young-choon walks into the courtroom. He reveals that Minister Cha put someone in prison in his place in exchange for a large sum. Soo-hyun watches the broadcast, stunned.
Minister Cha accuses Yo-han of framing her with a con man’s words. After vowing the prosecution will investigate and reveal the truth, she storms out. The second she reaches her car, she instructs her assistant to set up a meeting with Yo-han. “And get me a pistol.” Damn.
Minister Cha then places an angry call to Sun-ah and threatens to pay her back in kind for her betrayal. Seeing as Minister Cha’s reputation has just been destroyed, Sun-ah isn’t bothered by her threats. “You should’ve treated this ‘stupid secretary’ better.”
After sending off the actress, Ga-on takes a call from Soo-hyun. She’s ecstatic Young-choon was caught and wonders how Yo-han did it. Ga-on listens uncomfortably as she promises to catch Minister Cha for him.
Meanwhile, Minister Cha loads her new gun and goes to meet Yo-han. The spot is so secluded that Yo-han remarks no one would even know if there were a murder. Minister Cha ignores that and wants to know what grudge he has against her.
Is it the fire? The politician she set up who committed suicide? Minister Cha has excuses for everything. “All I’ve done is fight to survive.”
Yo-han calls the self-pity of the powerful sickening. He notices when Minister Cha starts to pull the gun out of her pocket but says nothing. She tells him to do as he likes – it’ll take more than that to bring her down.
He knows she’s skilled at scapegoating but warns he’s just getting started. She may be able to block one arrow but not several flying all at once. Yo-han promises to at least let her survive if she hands over the intel she has on the SRF and associates.
Minister Cha’s husband and son are anxiously waiting for her at home. Young-min apologizes for putting her in this position. Minister Cha vows to make her enemies kneel and warns her family not to show weakness. Young-min cries and apologizes again, knowing how hard she worked to get where she is.
At the mansion, Yo-han meets with Ga-on and the lackey – who are getting along much better now – over their next steps. Ga-on has been going through Minister Cha’s old prosecution records while the lackey has been working on her assistant and threatening a warden into cooperating. Yo-han plans to push Minister Cha to the brink so that she’ll grab hold of anything to survive.
After being bombarded by reporters, Minister Cha lashes out at Chairman Park for failing to control the media. Things get worse when her assistant turns on the news. The prison warden publicly states that Minister Cha threatened him into switching out Young-choon.
Minister Cha is ready to lose it by the time she gets a call from the chief prosecutor summoning her. They received a dozen complaints from previous defendants accusing her of threats and coercion. Desperate, Minister Cha goes to see President Heo.
She endures his gloating and then threatens him with her files on his secret campaign funds and how the Gwanghwamun protests grew into a riot. She won’t release them herself – she’ll have Yo-han do it.
President Heo is unconcerned and yells for his wife. She comes in and begins talking about how their daughter Joon-hee has been worried about Young-min. He’s so lonely and sensitive. Does Minister Cha know he’s been on drugs since high school?
President Heo supposes that’s why Young-min has been so out of control. His wife looks at Minister Cha sympathetically while her husband threatens to put Young-min away for a long time. Will that weak child be able to handle it? Minister Cha struggles to maintain her composure.
Minister Cha is so out of it she doesn’t even realize until they’re on the road that Yo-han’s lackey is the one driving. He informs Minister Cha her assistant has quit. He gives her one last chance to accept Yo-han’s proposition.
She recognizes him and sighs in understanding when he mentions the politician she framed. Minister Cha wasn’t even aware the man had a son but now observes how much his son resembles him.
Shortly after she gets back to her office, Yo-han and Ga-on show up. She’s surprised when Ga-on says his parents were victims of Young-choon’s. He’s not expecting an apology but instead asks for her help catching serious offenders.
She laughs wryly upon realizing they want her to become a whistle-blower. Minister Cha asks for time to consider while she smokes a cigar. Yo-han looks skeptical but signals to Ga-on they should give her a moment alone.
As they step into the hall, Soo-hyun arrives at the Ministry of Justice and heads up to Minister Cha’s office. Minister Cha cries as she finishes her cigar and looks at a photo of her family. Uh-oh. She smiles sadly recalling how Young-min had sobbed his apology to her. She’d taken his hand and stroked his hair.
Minister Cha says Young-min’s name aloud. Outside the door, Yo-han and Ga-on hear a gunshot. They stare at each other in shock before running into Minister Cha’s office. They find her lying in a pool of blood. Ga-on goes over to her body – she’s dead.
Ga-on says they need to find the files and begins rifling through her pockets while Yo-han stands nearby. “Put your hands up and back away,” Soo-hyun orders from the doorway with her gun raised. Yo-han turns to face her.
She edges closer to where Ga-on is crouched and orders him up. He immediately recognizes her voice and complies. Soo-hyun stares in shock as he slowly turns to face her and says her name.
What a mess. They obviously underestimated how much Minister Cha could handle. She’s prideful and despises looking weak, so it doesn’t surprise me that she made such a drastic decision when faced with public humiliation. Moreover, all of this likely dashed her dream of becoming president which was the end goal after all the “sacrifices” she’s made. She prioritized power over all else, including her son. Young-min is terrible, obviously, but watching how small he becomes around his mother does make me feel somewhat sorry for him. For an anxious and sensitive child like Young-min, her disgust with any perceived “weakness” was detrimental. He looked so afraid whenever he was in her presence yet also craved her love and approval. His father might treat him better, but he’s so passive and let Minister Cha rule the house however she liked. They both rely on her for everything, so I wonder what they’ll do now that she’s gone. How ironic that after all that preaching about never giving up, she chose to end her life.
Soo-hyun chose quite the moment to show up at Minister Cha’s office. A forensic analysis should make it obvious that Minister Cha committed suicide, but it still looks bad for Yo-han and Ga-on. I’m not sure what Soo-hyun will choose to do now. Even if she gives Ga-on the chance to explain, how much are they willing to tell her? There’s no way she’ll be okay with their tactics, so it might not matter anyway. That said, claiming she’d arrest Ga-on if she ever caught him doing anything illegal is one thing, and going through with it is another. I do believe she’d do it if she were convinced what he’s doing is unequivocally wrong, but it’s hard to say where that line is for her. Now, like Ga-on, she’ll have to make a tough decision regarding what her priorities are and what her principles mean to her.
Everyone has a weakness or two that has the potential to make them bend their own rules and act out of character. Yo-han is particularly good at exploiting those weaknesses to get what he wants as we saw again with Sun-ah this time. Despite her cleverness, Sun-ah is so easy to manipulate when you understand her well enough. All Yo-han had to do was be a little nice to her, and she was in the palm of his hand. Sun-ah seems extremely lonely and longs for connection but doesn’t know how to foster it. She and Yo-han really are similar, but as she noted, Yo-han is no longer as lonely thanks to Ga-on inserting himself into the family. Whereas everyone else finds Yo-han intimidating, Ga-on finds the awkwardness beneath the surface endearing. Yo-han has managed to convince himself his social isolation for being a “monster” is his own choice, but it’s clear he’s always wanted to step out of the shadows at least a little. Now he’s got Ga-on who is determined to make that happen, especially when it comes to connecting with Elijah. Because no matter how grumpy they both are about it, there’s no doubt those two need each other.
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