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Why Her?: Episodes 3-4

Our hero still remembers our leading lady as the kind lawyer who held his hand and told him that she believed he was innocent. How will our hero react when a new case has them working closely, and allows him to get a more accurate glimpse of the woman she has become?

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

Last week’s introduction to our leading lady left me feeling a bit conflicted — but in a good way. I admired Soo-jae’s ability to break through the glass ceiling and thrive in a hostile, male-dominated world, but I also didn’t approve of her methods and techniques. Personally, I find her flawed characterization appealing because I suspect her murky motives will keep us guessing and (hopefully) create some suspenseful storytelling. Plus, if this week’s episodes are any indication, I think it’s safe to say that we can’t believe everything the drama reveals or implies about Soo-jae’s character either.

Case in point: the conversation we saw last week between Soo-jae and So-young in the hallway of TK Law Firm. Soo-jae’s words were harsh and completely unnecessary, and it seemed entirely probable that the exchange provoked So-young into committing suicide. But — unlike what we were initially led to believe — that was not the last time the two women spoke to each other.

So-young’s younger sister PARK JI-YOUNG (Park Ji-won) releases a video proving that Soo-jae met with So-young on the rooftop garden at TK Law Firm shortly before her death. The video angle is misleading and people believe Soo-jae pushed So-young off the building, but — as we already know — Soo-jae was on the first floor at the time of So-young’s death. But maybe she said something else that prompted So-young to commit suicide?

A flashback to the night in question reveals that Soo-jae followed So-young up to the roof after finding a piece of So-young’s shoe in the elevator. So-young claimed that she was on the roof to commit suicide, and she chose the roof of TK Law Firm because she wanted the whole world to know that Soo-jae was the one who shamed her into doing it.

Soo-jae was doubtful, though. Instead, she suspected that someone called So-young up to the roof for a private meeting. Soo-jae offered to help So-young, knowing that the someone likely had So-young backed into a corner. So-young was understandably distrustful of Soo-jae, and — as far as we know — So-young never divulged who she was there to meet.

In the present, Soo-jae uses the allegations brought against her as a teachable moment and has her class discuss whether she could be charged with aiding and abetting suicide. The lesson culminates with Chan gallantly standing and insisting that Soo-jae is innocent. It doesn’t matter what conversation she had with So-young before she died because Soo-jae was on the ground floor at the time of So-young’s death.

At this point, Chan is still a bit naïve about who Soo-jae has become in the years since they last met, but he’s one of the few who can see past her mask of indifference. He suspects she’s feeling guilty and worn down by the public’s abuse, and he’s determined to comfort her and assure her she’s not responsible. After class, he loans her an umbrella, and when she follows him home — either out of curiosity or to give him a ride in return for the borrowed umbrella — he and his prison hyungs, Jo-gab and Hyung-chil, treat her to comfort food.

The controversy over So-young’s death does not die down with time, so Soo-jae has the Group 8 students look into the case. Their investigation yields proof that Ji-young installed a tracking app on So-young’s phone and was at TK Law Firm at the time of her sister’s death. Despite her presence at the murder scene, Ji-young lacks the motive to kill So-young. All evidence points to the sisters having a loving relationship, and instead of wanting the case quickly ruled a suicide and buried — like a true killer — Ji-young called more attention to her sister’s death when she released the video and accused Soo-jae of murder.

Even though Group 8 dismisses Ji-young as a potential suspect, she’s arrested shortly thereafter without a warrant, and the Group 8 students conclude that Soo-jae turned the evidence from their team investigation over to the police in order to protect her own image. Chan confronts Soo-jae, expressing his disappointment over her possible betrayal, and the conversation shifts to his recent love confession. Soo-jae puts up boundaries, but Chan assures her that he’s fine with his crush being one-sided.

But the wall that Soo-jae was so quick to put up crumbles almost instantly when she accidentally breaks a glass in her office, and Chan comes rushing back into the room to investigate the noise. The tension in the room builds when he gently places her on her desk so she doesn’t step on the glass with her bare feet, and she stares at him intently as he cleans up the broken pieces. When he finishes, she initiates a kiss. (Woah, that was fast!)

Although they both have lingering thoughts about the kiss, they continue on — business as usual. Soo-jae and Group 8 are now in charge of the law school’s legal clinic, and they take on Ji-young as their first client. The students question Soo-jae’s motives. Why would she turn over the evidence that implicated Ji-young and then take her on as a client? Most importantly, Chan wants to know if Soo-jae believes Ji-young is innocent. She replies that believing in their client’s innocence is not what’s most important. Instead, a good lawyer must believe in their ability to defend their client.

Chan is visibly disappointed in her teaching, as her response further highlights that she is no longer the lawyer who sat beside him in court all those years ago and promised that she believed he was innocent. His disenchantment — combined with the rumor that Soo-jae is dating the CEO of SP Partners — has Chan wallowing in self pity. He gets drunk and regales the restaurant ajumma with stories of his unrequited crush, and unbeknownst to him, Soo-jae is a few tables away listening to every word.

He ponders Soo-jae’s circumstances and admits to understanding that her climb to the top was long and hard. Even if he doesn’t approve, he acknowledges that she likely had to behave badly in order to fight and get to her current position. He then concludes his sad conversation with the ajumma by woefully revealing she’s already in a relationship with a man worth 70 trillion won. Chan insists that his heart is worth 70 trillion won — even if his bank account isn’t.

While the students continue to track down more leads in Ji-young’s case, Soo-jae digs through the Hansu Bio files and discovers a flash drive that’s so password protected and encrypted that her personal IT guy is only able to open one file. That one file, however, is enough for her to understand its importance. The flash drive is Gi-tak’s insurance policy for the inevitable day his uncle turned against him.

Soo-jae meets with Gi-tak and offers to hand over the flash drive in exchange for his answer to three questions. First, how was So-young connected to Sung-beom, In-woo, and Tae-kook? Second, what’s the identity of the person who helped Gi-tak squirrel away 27 billion won? And third, who halted the Hansu Bio sale and can push Gi-tak for the sale to be resumed?

At the same time, the members of Group 8 discover CCTV footage of a suspicious man with a unique gait breaking into Ji-young’s house and stealing So-young’s backup phone. They also learn that So-young was pregnant at the time of her death and sought an overseas paternity test. If So-young was murdered, as they’re all starting to believe, then the unidentified father is now a potential suspect. The last bit of evidence they find is video footage recorded by a vlogger with a view of TK Law Firm. The night of So-young’s death, the vlogger unintentionally filmed a man pushing her off the roof.

It is this video that Soo-young shows to the police, and they promptly release Ji-young, who — it turns out — was willingly arrested as part of Soo-jae’s plan. In order to reopen So-young’s case, Soo-jae needed to give the police a plausible murder suspect to trigger a reinvestigation. Then, once she found enough evidence, she promised to get Ji-young released and point the police in the direction of the real killer. So, it turns out Soo-jae wasn’t as heartless as her students suspected, and unknown to them, she also paid for Ji-young’s mother’s medical bills.

Chan calls Soo-jae to apologize for misunderstanding, and in return she tells him he did a good job on the case. As a parting gift before she hangs up, Soo-jae also explains that she isn’t dating the 7 Trillion Won Man. Chan is, of course, (adorably) embarrassed to realize that she overheard his drunken, lovesick ramblings, and Jo-gab and Hyung-chil, who are watching him nearby, assume his animated reaction means he was rejected by a woman.

After hanging up with Chan, Soo-jae arrives at her secret office, where she’s been storing the Hansu Bio case files. The lock on the door is broken, and — like every woman who dies first in a horror movie — she enters the building anyway. She at least has the forethought to call Chan, but as she gives him the address to the building, she’s attacked by the intruder. Chan runs to her rescue, and we end on a suspenseful cliffhanger.

Another great week for this drama, and I’ve got to commend the writers for bringing our story back around to So-young. The conversation between So-young and Soo-jae in the first episode was uncomfortable to watch, but it was pivotal in establishing Soo-jae’s characterization and revealing that she’s not, by any means, a saintly character. Given the weight of that conversation, it would have been a pity if So-young’s death had been a mere plot device used to kick off Soo-jae’s adventures in teaching. So I’m glad the writers chose to have her murder tie to the larger story.

I still can’t say I’m fully on board for the romance, though. I mean, that scene in her office where Chan put her on the desk so she wouldn’t step on the glass? Totally hawt. But they still don’t feel like they’re quite on the same page in terms of maturity. They might be getting there, though, because the rose-colored glasses Chan’s been using to view Soo-jae are slipping, and once he stops putting her up on a pedestal, I might be able to see them as a real couple. Until then, that scene in her office does nothing to dispel my current belief that someone involved in the production of this drama has been reading too many X-rated hot-for-teacher webtoons.

 
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Oh, I totally agree about the hawt scene where Chan picked up Soo Jae and placed her on the desk. I didn’t expect Soo Jae to actually shut up about it, but I guess, she’s feeling the attraction. Plus that was such a manly move, and it was gentle. The way he brushed off a shard of glass from her feet was the moment I jumped completely onto the ship. The handhold (despite being brave and bold, and hot) was a bit inappropriate because of the whole sexual harassment issues that was going on at that time: males touching females without their consent. But I guess, that was romantic for her. Also, girl power for leading ladies initiating kisses. Knowing Seo Hyun Jin’s kissing ability though, I expect Hwang In Yeop to deliver just as well. But so far as surprise first kisses go, it was cute. And the whole atmosphere was dreamy. Both are my favorites so I’ll be watching this completely.

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I am also not fully on board for the romance yet. My problem is that I'm not sure if Chan really knows and likes the current Soo-jae or if he still sees the Soo-jae from his teenage years in front of him. How sure is he that he is not confusing gratitude with love? I would be more convinced if a little more time had passed since they met again.

I found episode 3 a little weaker than the previous two episodes.

Overall, I feel a bit reminded of HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER.

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The 7 billion man - 70 billion heart thing was cute and I have started to dig the romance a little.

But the show shines strongest when the focus is on Soo-jae alone. I like that she's badass but in a quiet way. There aren't a lot of dramatic entries and denouements - it's more just getting shit done competently and efficiently.

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I LOL at the kissing scene because it reversed the wide-eye shocked expression of FLs when suddenly kissed by MLs, but apart from that I am not digging their romance because it feels like voilation of Soo Jae's consent, especially when he knows it is one-sided love.

Also, Hwang In Yeop's acting looks very average here and I am not sure if it's his hairstyle that covers most of his eyebrows and eyes, making his expressions bland or if his character isn't written with as much punch as the FL, but he was adorable during the drunk conversation with the ahjumma.

Seo Hyun Jin is definitely the one that is making the drama work, but the actor playing Choi Tae Kook (director of the law firm) isn't bad either. I want to see him up his game plans and go head to head against SJ to retain TK law firm.

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I didn't want to be the first one to say it because he is so beloved. He has a similar fan base to Kim Seon-Ho, in that they have been wanting him to have a lead role where he "gets" the girl. But so far... this isn't it. I dont know if it's the character or that when across from an excellent actress his acting doesn't come up to standard. The one scene you mentioned he was not acting across from her. Seo Hyun Jin is a formidable actress and she is very much carrying this show.

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I’m withholding judgement a bit, but mostly because his character seems crazy-underwritten. He lost his sister, went to prison, lost his family and now is a law student… but appears to have no real damage or fallout? I get that he’s been looking for her ever since, but there seems to be no characterization tie between the deeply traumatized teen and the current law student.

I don’t need him to be all angsty and emo, but some subtle nods to the fact that this guy probably moves through the world with different instincts and reactions than your usual student would be nice. He’s too… clean.

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I think Chan is kinda the only person who know how she was in the past. She's still there under her coldness and professionalism. But he was hurt when she said she didn't need to believe her client's innocence. His complete trust in her attracts her when she is surrounded by villains.

I liked how Soo-Jae was one step ahead everytime. She's very smart and Seo Hyun-Jin is great in this role.

I'm not convinced by Hwang In-Yub in this role yet.

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I enjoyed these episodes much more than the first two, and I'm liking the development of SJs character. Lots of layers to this gal! Not sold on the romance yet- I cringed at the kiss, so not sure on that point yet...
And still waiting for BIHs character to be developed. I foresee serious conflict for him between doing the right thing and blowing his cover or covering for his families dirty dealings. Should be interesting. Possible jealous 2nd ML also?

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I am so into this drama, much more than I expected. But the romance part is a pass for me. I missed the kiss part because I ff.

Cant we just have her being a bad a** boss b****?

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Soo-jae by herself is interesting but the drama suffers when it switches to Gong Chan and the romance. The romance is icky to me and so rushed. When Gong Chan was talking about Soo-jae in the restaurant it was like “Everything he’s saying is true because the writer knows Soo-jae, but Going Chan does not.” It just doesn’t feel organic.

Is the young woman in the nursing home Gong Chan’s stepsister? The girl Chairman Choi’s son and friends hurt was wearing a pink hoodie like the stepsister. It would explain why everyone was so surprised Chairman Choi hired Soo-jae after the trial.

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This is exactly it. That monologue disguised as a conversation was such heavy handed exposition. It's like rather than flesh out her anti-hero character and gradually make viewers sympathize with her the writers took an out by using Chan to explain her behaviour to us. The romance here almost makes me feel like I'm watching a different show. Her behavior with Chan vs her behavior everywhere else causes a cognitive dissonance. At this point she's carrying the drama.
I had the same thought about the step sister, because I noticed the hoodie.

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I don't agree with this take, think the writer needs to explain soo jae complex character to the viewers.
The writer is good in fleshing out her anti-hero character by the actions of soo jae, how she helped pay for that girl mother bills and we also understand her a more when we see how toxic her family is.
I simply think that chan sees her in another way because he knows her from before so he can analyze things differently

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I've just binge-watched all 4 episodes.

I'm kinda getting Melancholia feels when it comes to the male lead, if any of you Beanies know what I mean. But I'm not feeling the romance in here. Well, maybe not yet.

The scene where Chan lifted her so she wouldn’t step on the glass reminds me of a similar scene in 25 21 ☺

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I'm suprised with myself that i'll be saying this but for me the weakeast link in this story is the romance part,that i still feel very iffy about and somehow out of place...What i do enjoy is all the other stuff going on and i'd have no problem if i'd only see Soo Jae journey among this wolves...

Gong Chan is still likable but not remarkable,maybe because based on the very first promos i expected a bigger or more complex history on his life/character that would mix perfectly in the big picture and players...Even his adoration for Soo Jae makes me doubt it's love but rather admiration,gratitude and memory impacting him at that time,he still doesn't know her yet he talks and acts like he does...Also Soo Jae is behaving unlike her and not asking questions when a new university student acts like that,showing such loyalty when he knew her for like 3 days...And a woman as her being swayed so fast by a student when she is in a position of teaching sounds unlike her...
Gotta love how in dramas there is just that one restaurant/bar in all the city were the main always meet by chance…

This might be among my favorite roles of Seo Hyun Jin,she really rocks it...

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I very much understand the reservation with the romance, but I wonder if she already knows who is is after the hand holding since he did the same as she did in the past, as an act of comfort. Also what she did for him in the past being the only one on his side, now she is alone and nobody on her side. To me he just want to give back the trust she gave to him when he needed it. But still I think the romance gonna be build slowly as they getting to know each other and learn more about each other. It is not love at this time to me.

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- Meeting when they were young : Check
- Young FL standing up for young ML when no one else believed him : Check
- FL being first love of ML whom he is meeting after ages : Check
- Jaded FL who is different from the image of her in ML's mind : Check
- FL not recognizing ML after time gap : Check
- ML's realization that current FL is not the same person whom he put on pedestal : Check
- ML putting FL above his own safety etc. : Check

A lot of things are similar to "I can hear your voice". I am just hoping it has same amount of heart in it as the ICHYV. (And I do not necessarily mean the romance part)

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The romance in this show reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a friend. I'd mentioned then that there were few dramas with a single female protagonist that I'd watched that did not include a romance plot line (even if it's not fully fleshed out). I could name a long list of male centered dramas where romance was never included or even hinted at. This drama could have been done without the romantic plot, in fact if the lead was male I think it would have been. The romance here seems almost like it's pandering to the viewer (and based on the comments on other discussion sites it's working). Maybe we aren't ready for a female anti-hero who isn't softened by romance, but rather her other relationships and experiences? Maybe the writers know that female centered stories don't do well without a bit of hinting at a romance if not a full blown romantic plot line? I don't know.

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I'm actually confused that almost everyone was saying that they don't like the romance part of the drama (just yet) because after 2521 I tried watching the recent dramas but I always stop at episode 1 or ep 2 because I don't feel any chemistry on the main leads (*coughs*shooting stars). But I finally found it in this drama. Maybe we just have different opinions and I'm just happy that my opinion is different from the others because I've been itching to watch a new drama and finally found one in "why her". Been loving them since episode 2 and I am just smiling at every scenes they were together. Like even when they were just in the same room omg. Hoping for more development tho in their relationship and I hope this one will not have a sad ending :(

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It's been made clear that Soo Jae and Chairman Choi are not on the same side. I think in the end everything would come down to that girl who was lying on the floor at the Chairman's son's party. I think that the girl would be directly related to Soo Jae and not Gong Chan(as someone said), because of the few interactions we got to witness between Soo Jae and the Chairman's son (like how she scoffed when he offered her help, and how she asked him not to stoop so low when he wanted her to help her win the custody in his divorce case), and also because of how Soo Jae treats assault victims??

I just thought while writing this, what if.. Soo Jae was actually competent since the beginning and she could've made Gong Chan win the case, so TK hired her when the case was still ongoing and made her lose it deliberately (the only explanation to why she was hired in the first place).. but that would then mean that the girl lying there was actually Chan's sister. Ah I'm a bit confused.

I just mean it would be interesting to see how Chan, who is all i-don't-mind-my-crush-being-one-sided right now, will react if this turns out to be true.

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I think your second theory might be right. At least I hope it is, because it would add some much needed complexity to Chan's character.

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The chemistry between leads are little scary :) He might have been her teenager son :)

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I'm liking Seo Hyun Jin in this. The gradual revealing of her moves was cool. Bummed that the romance part is not meshing well with the rest of the drama. I was hoping Hwang In Yub would have a strong, interesting role, but currently it is not.

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Soo Jae is suspicious about Director Baek. I thought he was the one decent guy in the school staff. Well, he seemed caring, but now it looks like he was influenced by Chairman Choi Tae Gook.

There's a ton of shady and absolutely awful side characters. I'm hoping Se Pil will be different.

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It looks like no one is feeling the romance "yet".

What I don't like about the romance is that it feels like he's being pushy and not necessarily respecting boundaries (ugh, this reminds me of Melancholia).
I hope the writers flesh Gong Chan's character more because he's too one dimensional right now. We need to know how he arrived to where he is now with his feelings.

The girl in the nursing home can't be Gong Chan's sister since she died. She may be tied to Soo-jae though

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