The Devil Judge: Episode 13
Our devilish judge struggles to pick himself up from his catastrophic loss, knowing the fight isn’t over yet. When the president outlines extreme new emergency measures due to the supposed outbreak, our team works to expose the truth with help from an unexpected source. Determined not to lose what’s precious to him, our youngest judge puts it all on the line in an effort to win back his best friend.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
After vowing to give Sun-ah a lonely death, Yo-han struggles to remain standing due to the freaking hole in his abdomen. Sun-ah shows Yo-han a video of Ga-on fending off attackers and wonders how Yo-han will save him now. She blows Yo-han a kiss and leaves with Jae-hee.
Yo-han staggers over to the railing and sees his lackey’s body below. He lets out a scream. Yo-han stumbles down the stairs and calls Soo-hyun, sending her to save Ga-on.
He kneels beside his lackey’s body and strokes his hair, bemoaning his difficult life. Yo-han finally succumbs to his pain and collapses to the ground. He calls Elijah, but she doesn’t pick up.
Ga-on tears through the streets with Jukchang and his gang on his heels. Soo-hyun arrives in the nick of time, yelling at Ga-on to get in the car. Elsewhere, Attorney Go and Detective Jo are attacked, and the actress is kidnapped and tossed into an SRF Dream Village van. Damn, Sun-ah really is going after everyone.
In the car, Ga-on shares that he got a call telling him Justice Min was in danger, but Soo-hyun says Justice Min is perfectly fine at the hospital. Ga-on realizes he was lured there and wonders how Soo-hyun found him. She lies that she heard about the incident on the police radio.
Meanwhile, Yo-han wakes to find Attorney Go and Detective Jo by his side, along with another follower who appears to be a doctor. They report that So-yoon (the actress) is missing, but everyone else is accounted for.
Yo-han finally gets through to Elijah (while driving, which seems like a bad decision given his condition) and warns her not to let anyone in the house. He rushes home and panics when he hears Elijah talking to someone. He covers his wound with his jacket and goes into the kitchen where Elijah is sitting with Sun-ah and Jae-hee.
Sun-ah supposedly warded off “strange men” outside after Yo-han sent her to check on Elijah. Yo-han goes along with the story, taking care to hide his bloody hand behind his back lest Elijah see. Jae-hee subtly flashes the gun on her hip, reminding Yo-han to play nice.
When Yo-han tries to send Elijah back to her room, Sun-ah grabs Elijah’s hand and says she can’t go yet – they’ve just started getting close. Elijah calls Sun-ah interesting and thinks they’ll get along well since they’re similar.
Yo-han watches Sun-ah like a hawk as she gets up and starts petting Elijah’s hair, agreeing that they’re both smart, ruthless, and a bit broken. Elijah doesn’t appreciate Sun-ah’s invasiveness and slaps her hands away.
After Sun-ah leaves, Elijah asks Yo-han what’s wrong with the woman. Ha. She then notices how unwell Yo-han looks and yanks open his jacket, gasping at all the blood. Yo-han assures her he’s okay and pulls her into a hug.
At home, Soo-hyun bandages Ga-on who sustained minor injuries. He apologizes for all he’s put her through. Ga-on knows Yo-han’s methods can cross the line, but he couldn’t take it anymore. “If I don’t do this, I’ll go crazy.”
Ga-on doesn’t believe he deserves her after being a nuisance all these years, but he can’t live without her. Soo-hyun calls him a fool for saying such things. She doesn’t care about things like deserving or right or wrong – she just can’t stand seeing him in danger.
Soo-hyun grabs his hand. All she wants is for him not to cry or be miserable or ruin his life. “You’re all I need.” After a charged moment, Ga-on gently kisses her. Afterward, Soo-hyun panics and rushes out.
Elsewhere, the SRF crew drinks to celebrate their victory. The men are thoroughly drunk by the time Jin-joo arrives. She’s worried about the virus and wants to go personally to help, but they dissuade her. Before Jin-joo leaves, Sun-ah tells her to prepare to take over as presiding judge.
With the area slated for redevelopment conveniently cleared out due to the “outbreak,” the Dream Village project is picking up speed. At the mansion, Yo-han rests in bed and again assures Elijah he’s fine. He jokingly promises to stay healthy until she can stand on her own two feet and kill him.
Yo-han calls Attorney Go for an update and is angered to learn the SRF likely kidnapped So-yoon. He then watches in horror as President Heo makes an emergency announcement. The Blue House is taking control of the press and instituting a nation-wide curfew. President Heo claims they rounded up a group of “rebels” who were spreading false information.
Yo-han begins having flashbacks of his lackey falling to his death and even the fire. He recalls waking up in the rubble and the way President Heo later told him how sorry he felt for him as a survivor. Yo-han’s having a full-on panic attack now and falls to the ground, struggling for breath.
He hears Ga-on chiding him for not cutting off the people closest to him and how he’d told Ga-on his method was the only way to fight their adversaries. On TV, President Heo announces that any “interference,” including rescue attempts, will receive a maximum sentence equivalent to murder.
Yo-han’s panic attack continues as he thinks of Ga-on’s warning that the blade he’s wielding could turn on him. President Heo’s screaming voice breaks through, and Yo-han stands. He apologizes to Isaac – he won’t be able to keep his promise not to hurt innocents.
Ga-on goes into the office the next day and sees Jin-joo watching a news report on the virus. He turns the TV off and tells her it’s all lies. He shows her his bandaged shoulder and says he personally saw Jukchang attacking and rounding up citizens.
Jin-joo can’t accept that the SRF could go so far as to make up the outbreak and balks at Ga-on’s suggestion she’s being used. She argues she’s only helping provide a calm, logical response to this crisis. Ga-on sighs and walks out.
He calls Yo-han, wondering why he’s not at the courthouse. Yo-han asks after Ga-on’s injury, not mentioning his own. After hearing Ga-on is okay, he says they’ll talk about what’s going on later and hangs up.
Yo-han steps into President Heo’s office at the Blue House and accuses him of using his private army to cart off the poor in the name of safety. President Heo argues it’s all in the best interests of the city. When Yo-han asks if there’s even an outbreak, President Heo scolds him for making light of their national crisis.
Yo-han threatens to expose all of President Heo’s misdeeds on The People’s Live Court if he doesn’t stop now. President Heo says the frightened citizens are more likely to believe him, the one telling them to stay safe at home rather than Yo-han, the one urging them to save strangers on the street.
“The people who created me are the same ones who created you,” President Heo declares. Despite his assertions that Yo-han’s threats don’t scare him, he looks unsettled when Yo-han leaves.
Elsewhere, Jin-joo visits the quarantine area herself to see what’s true. She stares in horror as she watches citizens being brutalized while her voice announces the outbreak over loudspeakers.
Meanwhile, Soo-hyun gets a call from the elderly woman near the church who shares that someone spotted Joseph in Seoul. When Soo-hyun stops by Ga-on’s that night, she’s still awkward with him. Ga-on doesn’t apologize for the kiss but admits he got “the order” wrong.
Ga-on has been worrying all day about whether he messed things up. That same fear is what’s held him back all these years. If he loses her, he’ll have no one. Staying best friends at least meant he wouldn’t be lonely.
But he’s tired of holding back. Even if they get together and things go south, “I want to like you forever.” Soo-hyun smiles when Ga-on confesses he really likes her. She opens her arms for a hug.
That night, Ga-on lets her sleep in his bed while he takes the floor. He stares at her sleeping face and lightly takes her hand.
President Heo worries to the SRF gang about Yo-han and what he knows. Since they control all media and government agencies, Chairman Min isn’t too concerned. President Heo wishes they could get rid of Yo-han but knows the public would riot. Sun-ah suggests they get rid of his stage instead – without it, Yo-han is just a person.
The next day, Ga-on wakes up to President Heo’s announcement that the government is disbanding The People’s Live Court and installing Jin-joo as the presiding judge over their new emergency court. Associate judges will be selected for their “nationalism.”
Ga-on knows only Yo-han can stop this, but Soo-hyun wants Ga-on to stay away from Yo-han until she finishes digging into his past. Ga-on argues that can wait. Right now, stopping President Heo is the priority. Soo-hyun reluctantly relents.
At the courthouse, Ga-on asks Yo-han about his plans to deal with this latest stunt, but Yo-han stays silent. They both turn as someone knocks on Yo-han’s office door.
While Soo-hyun keeps searching for the priest Joseph, Jin-joo goes to see Chairman Park. She’s worried that she’ll be branded a usurper who took the ever-popular Yo-han’s spot.
Jin-joo suggests she give an inaugural speech, flanked by Yo-han and Ga-on, in the same spot Yo-han did his. She’ll persuade Yo-han to pass the crown to her himself by saying she wants to honor his achievements with this final broadcast.
She and the PD take this proposal to Yo-han in his office. As usual, Ga-on is blunt and asks if Jin-joo wants them as her sidekicks. Despite Ga-on’s protests, Yo-han agrees to do it. Elsewhere, after knocking on probably a dozen doors, Soo-hyun finally stumbles upon Joseph who looks terrified to be found.
It’s a quiet car ride as the judges head to the inaugural speech location. Over at the station, an employee nervously opens the doors to the broadcast room. Attorney Go and two other supporters hold the room hostage at gunpoint and prepare their own broadcast.
The PD is confused when Yo-han’s car pulls off in a secluded spot. They get out of the car and lead the PD over to the ledge where they have a clear view of the “quarantine” zone. Jin-joo tells the PD they need to let the public know what’s really happening.
We flash back to when she’d entered Yo-han’s office while he and Ga-on were talking. Jin-joo wouldn’t offer excuses for helping the SRF, no matter how unwittingly. But she was determined to make it right. She wanted in on Yo-han and Ga-on’s plans and would do anything to help.
Now, the PD instructs his crew to start filming from above. He suits up with Yo-han, Ga-on, and Jin-joo and heads into the fray to film up close. The judges, wearing fantastic black ensembles, introduce the real “rescue” site to the public, exposing all the government’s propaganda.
President Heo has a meltdown and demands that Chairman Park shut down the broadcast. He then orders his men to have Jukchang get rid of Yo-han.
At the site, Yo-han tells the people to vote on the app as they would in a trial. Jukchang arrives and his gang begins throwing rocks at the judges. Yo-han hears Jin-joo yell Ga-on’s name and rushes over. He was struck on the head but isn’t severely injured and encourages Yo-han to continue speaking to the public.
Soo-hyun sees Ga-on injured on TV and speeds to the site. The judges remain there filming past nightfall. When one of Jukchang’s rocks hits Yo-han on the head, an elderly man (I think the one Ga-on helped during Young-min’s street menacing phase) feebly attacks Jukchang.
Jukchang pushes the man down and hits him with a pipe. He stares up at Yo-han and screams for him to come down. He continues striking the old man with the pipe until Yo-han yells, “Kim Choong-shik!” He again tells Yo-han to come down.
President Heo shuts off the electricity all throughout the city, but the live feed is still available through the DIKE voting app. Yo-han turns on the flashlight on his phone, as do the other judges, prompting everyone in the crowd to do the same.
“Darkness cannot beat the light!” Yo-han shouts as spotlights dramatically turn on behind him. The crowd takes courage and surrounds the Jukchang gang, fighting back as the world watches.
Soo-hyun arrives as the team gets ready to head out. She hops out of her car and goes running toward Ga-on. A man appears from the shadows behind her and raises a gun. Ga-on and Yo-han spot him but barely have time to step forward before he shoots Soo-hyun in the chest.
Detective Jo runs after the shooter. Ga-on is frozen in shock as Soo-hyun hits the ground. He then rushes forward and holds her, trying the stem the bleeding with his hand. She reaches up with a bloody hand and touches his forehead. “You’re hurt. I told you not to get hurt. Why did you get hurt?”
Soo-hyun tells him not to cry and not to get hurt anymore. “Ga-on, I love you,” she says before taking her last breath. Ga-on hugs her body to him and sobs, begging for someone to save her. Yo-han steps closer, but there’s nothing he can do.
I should’ve seen this tragedy coming from the moment Ga-on and Soo-hyun admitted their feelings for each other. Ga-on has gotten much more proactive about his life and is willing to take risks now, including with Soo-hyun. So of course, right when he actually takes that step toward being happy, Soo-hyun is killed in front of him. That’s the way for all revenge drama heroes, isn’t it? Soo-hyun has been Ga-on’s stability pretty much his whole life, so I’m worried he’ll go off the deep end after this. At first I thought Yo-han or even Ga-on was the target and Soo-hyun was merely in the way, but it looked like it was deliberate. Since she was standing still when she was hit, the man was either aiming for her or just a really bad shot. Is it a coincidence that it happened after all her digging into the fire and finally locating that priest Joseph? I have a feeling she was getting too close to something and was taken out either by Sun-ah or someone else related to the SRF dealings 10 years ago.
Sun-ah’s tactic to wear Yo-han down mentally was cruel yet effective. Yo-han has been so steady until now, but things had been largely working in his favor. He started out operating in the shadows where he had the advantage of surprise. Now that he’s out in the open facing an adversary as ruthless as himself, he’s finding he has more to lose than he thought. Yo-han obviously feels a lot of personal responsibility for his team and losing his lackey as well as possibly So-yoon almost broke him. Of course, he’s not that easy to break – he still has people to protect and his vengeance to enact – and he’s not about to let Sun-ah and President Heo win. President Heo’s “emergency” measures are getting more and more disturbing. With every manufactured crisis, he erodes democracy further. If they don’t oust him soon, he might destroy things beyond repair.
I’m glad Jin-joo went with her conscience and is in on the fight now. Good on her for not ignoring Ga-on’s claims and going to check things out firsthand. Jin-joo might want power and influence, but not at the cost of people’s lives. Sun-ah either misjudged how principled she is or thought her stupid enough not to figure out the SRF’s true goals. The double-agent card won’t work again, but with all three of the judges as a unified force, their influence is greater. I’m guessing Jin-joo will back out of the emergency court, which will look very bad for President Heo and the government. President Heo may have gotten rid of The People’s Live Court, but he can’t squash the judges’ popularity that easily. He might’ve even given them more power by pitting them against the government and turning them into icons of dissent.
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