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Why Her?: Episodes 5-6

This week our drama finally provides some insight into our lady lawyer’s past and the events that hardened her heart, thickened her skin, and seemingly caused her to lose sight of her integrity along the way.

 
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP

Before we delve into Soo-jae’s backstory, there’s the pesky matter of the masked man in black who broke into her office, looking for the flash drive. Chan arrives just in time to scuffle with the intruder and — unbeknownst to Soo-jae — steals back the flash drive the thief drops during their fight. Soo-jae is injured, and Chan accompanies her to the hospital, where he’s mistaken for her younger brother. (Oof! If they want me to jump on board this romantic ship, they’re going to have to stop blatantly reminding me that he’s significantly younger than her.)

Soo-jae refuses to open a police investigation into the break-in, which tips Chan off to the fact that the contents of the flash drive are extremely important, and even though it’s none of his business, he wants to know exactly what kind of trouble she’s gotten into. So, without telling her, he enlists Group 8’s help in trying to unlock the encryption on the flash drive and identify Soo-jae’s attacker. He doesn’t tell them that the investigation is for their professor, so they — half correctly — assume that they are assisting him on a case involving the woman he has a one-sided crush on.

Yoon-sang, however, correctly suspects Chan is assisting Soo-jae, and in trying to convince Chan to let him be more involved in the investigation, Yoon-sang accidentally refers to Soo-jae as “noona.” Yoon-sang admits that Soo-jae used to be his tutor and tries to convince Chan to give the flash drive back to Soo-jae, but Chan thinks it’s safer for her if she doesn’t know that they have the flash drive for now. Their whispered conversation interrupts Soo-jae’s class, and she pauses her lesson — on how to get rich clients out of jail for embezzlement by putting some other poor schmuck’s name on the documents and have him be the fall guy — to kick them out of the classroom.

Out in the hallway, Chan proceeds to beat himself up in embarrassment, and Yoon-sang continues their earlier conversation. Chan doesn’t want to reveal too much to Yoon-sang, though, because he knows Yoon-sang’s father is Tae-kook. Since Soo-jae’s attacker is most likely someone who knows the contents of the Hansu Bio files, that puts Yoon-sang’s father and brother at the top of the suspect list, but Yoon-sang insists that’s why Chan needs him on the case. He has connections and can snoop around the TK Law Firm undetected. Chan reluctantly agrees, and tells him to put together a list of people close to Soo-jae who know about the flash drive.

Group 8 does their own sleuthing and eventually figures out that the flash drive belonged to Soo-jae, and that the man who attacked her and tried to steal it was HONG SUK-PAL (Lee Cheol-min), a gangster and owner of the bar where So-young worked. Joo-wan hired him to steal the flash drive so he could give it to his father, and when Joo-wan found out Suk-pal lost the flash drive, he pulled his car over and the two men were caught on CCTV arguing.

The students obtained the CCTV footage, and the other students are oblivious to Yoon-sang’s discomfort as he confirms his brother was involved with the attack on Soo-jae. The CCTV footage also leads to another revelation: Suk-pal’s gait matches the unidentified man suspected of stealing So-young’s cell phone.

Chan finally hands over the unlocked flash drive and CCTV footage to Soo-jae, and in a private conversation with her friend CHAE JOON-HEE (Cha Chung-hwa), Soo-jae admits how much her young pupil unnerves her. She’s tried so hard to develop a poker face and not show her inner fragility, so she’s embarrassed that he can clearly see her softer, vulnerable side.

Unfortunately this particular emotional monologue with her bestie felt like another forced attempt to shove the romantic plot down our throats. Please don’t tell me that Soo-jae is undergoing some sort of emotional renaissance when I’ve yet to see any evidence of their relationship evolving into something more than his one-sided crush. Chan is a lovesick puppy hung up on the past, and despite what Soo-jae might say to Joon-hee, her interactions with Chan — kiss aside — don’t feel much deeper than those she has with Yoon-sang.

That said, I liked how her exposed vulnerability paired well with the following scene of her putting on her makeup in preparation for a dinner meeting with Tae-kook. As she applied her lipstick, I felt like she was putting on war paint and metaphorically rebuilding her defenses after opening up to Joon-hee. It was a nice visual representation of Soo-jae’s characterization, and as she put on her symbolic cosmetics, both Soo-jae and the audience prepared for the unexpected blow that was about to come.

Because before meeting with Tae-kook, she has a private moment with Gi-tak, who wants to talk about a “rumor” he overheard. That rumor is about Soo-jae, and it’s through this conversation that we flashback and learn that Soo-jae not only dated Joo-wan — as previously hinted — but she became pregnant with his baby.

Tae-kook sent her to the United States with the promise that Joo-wan would follow, but he never did. Instead, Joo-wan married someone else, and Soo-jae gave birth to a stillborn baby. Soo-jae attempted suicide, but she lived and returned to TK Law Firm to enact her revenge.

When she finally does join Tae-kook for dinner, her earlier conversation with Gi-tak builds with Tae-kook explaining that he knew all along that she returned with revenge on her mind, and knowing her intentions means she was never much of a threat to him. Soo-jae’s armor is still intact after, though, and she coolly reveals that she knows he put her name on Gi-tak’s embezzlement documents, meaning — if you remember back to her previous class lesson — that he intended to have her take the fall for his crimes.

She uses this knowledge to leverage a deal to make a large sum of money from the Hansu Bio sale. Tae-kook agrees, but on one condition: she handles Joo-wan’s divorce. This also turns out to be the first step of Tae-kook’s plan to have Joo-wan marry Soo-jae and have her become part of the family. You know, gotta keep your enemies close and in the family.

While Tae-kook tries to regain control over Soo-jae, she continues her investigation into So-young’s death in order to uncover more evidence that she can use against Tae-kook and his accomplices. Since the members of Group 8 already know too much and have proven themselves extremely useful, she enlists their help. In exchange for their assistance — and their agreement to sign a non-disclosure agreement — she offers to do them one favor (of their choice) in return.

Se-ryun wants to work at TK Law Firm after graduation, and Soo-jae agrees under the added stipulation that Se-ryun must score 1200 on her exam. NAM CHUN-POONG (Lee Jin-hyuk), the computer guru who unlocked the flash drive, wants Soo-jae to agree to be his lawyer should he ever happen to need her services — not that he plans on needing them, of course. JO GANG-JA (Kim Jae-hwa), a former cop who still has a lot of connections in law enforcement, requests that Soo-jae assist her on a case that will be going to trial soon.

When it’s Yoon-sang’s turn, Soo-jae tells him to stay out of the case, but he insists on aiding her even though he’s disappointed that she’s seemingly investigating So-young’s murder for selfish reasons (i.e. entrapping his father as part of her revenge). She was much nicer when she was his tutor, and Yoon-sang wonders if his family evoked the change. Much like Chan, though, Yoon-sang believes he can still see the old Soo-jae beneath her cold exterior, and so he signs Soo-jae’s contract.

In exchange for his assistance, he requests that Soo-jae not fall for Chan. He saw Soo-jae with Chan together the night she struck her deal with Tae-kook, and he got jealous because — according to him — he’s never seen her laugh like that before.

Not only is this annoying because — once again — we’re being verbally told Soo-jae’s feelings for Chan rather than witnessing them naturally evolve, but it also kind of makes me dislike Yoon-sang. One minute he’s feeling sad that she’s become cold-hearted, and the next moment he’s trying to take away the one individual capable of bringing out her good side. If he actually cared for her, he would want her to be happy.

And finally, it’s Chan’s turn to sign the NDA, and he does so without asking any demands of her — a move so smooth that it has Mi-rim gushing. Chan amps up the charm even more and knocks the socks off of Soo-jae’s mother YANG HWA-JA ( Lee Jong-nam) when she shows up at the school and causes a ruckus. Too bad Chan isn’t ten years older, Hwa-ja laments, because he would make a good son-in-law. (Okay, drama, make up your mind. Do you want me to approve of this noona romance, or are you going to keep throwing their age gap in my face?)

Soo-jae meets with Joo-wan’s wife LIM SEUNG-YEON (Kim Yoon-seo), and is surprised to learn that Seung-yeon is not fighting Joo-wan for custody of their daughter, as Tae-kook said. No, she doesn’t want the child because she isn’t her daughter. Even though she raised CHOI JAE-YI (Han Joo-hyun) as her own, she still harbors some resentment towards Jae-yi because the discovery of Joo-wan’s illegitimate child caused her to miscarry her unborn son.

This scene caused me to put on my tin-foil hat. What are the chances that Joo-wan had two illegitimate children around the same time? I mean, he’s certainly enough of a scumbag that it could happen, but what if Jae-yi is Soo-jae’s child (who wasn’t stillborn after all)? It’s a very makjang kind of plot twist, but I can 100% see this drama going there.

After hearing Seung-yeon’s miscarriage story, Soo-jae has the cathartic urge to share her personal history with someone who cares about her. The only other people who know about her miscarriage are the men who have used and abused her, and to combat that power they have over her, she needs to open up to someone in her corner. And that person is… Chan.

While I understand that it is sometimes easier to share secrets with strangers because their potential judgment matters less than a close friend or loved one, it feels out of character for her to want to share this particular story with Chan.

First, he’s a student, and even if I buy into the idea that she’s in the process of falling for him, the professional boundary between them has not crumbled (yet). Second, the pregnancy and miscarriage are directly tied to workplace misogyny, so it seems odd that she would feel comfortable sharing something so intimate and personal with a man — one she’s not in an official romantic relationship with (yet) — instead of her long-time female friend. Third, using something as personal and traumatizing as a miscarriage as a means to initiate intimacy and close the emotional gap between Soo-jae and Chan seems in poor taste.

My concerns about the timing of Soo-jae’s confession turns out to be a non-issue, though, because Soo-jae receives a phone call from Suk-pal before she has the chance to open up to Chan. Suk-pal confesses that he killed So-young and asks to meet Soo-jae in a secluded location, but when she arrives, he doesn’t pick up his phone. She spots him in a car, but as she walks closer he lists sideways into the passenger seat — either unconscious or dead — just before his car explodes.

Soo-jae is thrown to the ground from the blast, and it’s at that moment Chan calls her. She answers her phone, but she struggles to talk and hold a coherent conversation, alerting Chan to the fact that something is very, very wrong. As his panic starts to rise and he begs her to tell him where she’s located, the flaming car explodes again, and Chan hears the boom through the phone. Annnnnnd once again, we end this week’s episodes with Soo-jae in danger and Chan rushing frantically to save her.

 
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Soo Jae is a lawyer, but how dumb can she be to visit a place at night alone. She did the same when someone broke into her home office. The stupidity is hard to ignore when it becomes one too many times. However, I like that the writer gave her a solid backstory which makes her previous remark of, her and TK firm being one and the same, all the more sensible.

If I am not wrong the little girl is starting school so should be 4/5 years, but Soo Jae helped Chan 10 years ago and assuming she got pregnant after the case since she immediately joined TK firm, the years doesn't fit right. Whatever be it, if the little girl is Soo Jae's kid, I do not see how they will work out the romance with Chan because Soo Jae will be busy getting custody for the girl and convincing the little girl that she is her mum.

Too bad Yoon Sang is going down the route of jealous SL🙄🙄🙄 and I do not care one bit about the entire legal clinic group because they have no interactions with each other to believe they are a team. The only strong writing is Soo Jae's character and her dealing with those shitty bosses, everything else is a miss.

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Soo-jae had her affair and still birth about 7 years ago, according to her conversation Gi-tak. Depending on the girl's age, it could still be a stretch, but it's close enough that the writers/director could go there if they wanted to. And I don't trust them not to go there. As for Chan, he has been such a push-over so far, that I can totally see him jumping in to be her white knight and raising the kid as his own. They've already established that the mother who raised her doesn't want the little girl, and once her dad and grandfather (likely) go to jail, that leaves Soo-jae.

Not saying I like it, but giving Soo-jae a long-lost daughter seems entirely in their wheelhouse. I mean, they used a completely different actor for teenage Chan, and we're supposed to buy that. Hahaha.

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The teenage Chan looked older than the current Chan...they could have just aged him and made it realistic. Instead, they have an actor who looks like a little pixie making the age difference between OTP glaring.

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My interest in a romance between So-jae and Chan is still at a minimum. I even find Chan with his puppy love quite exhausting in parts.
Looking back at Chan's release from prison, I almost expected him to say that his next step would be to have a facial surgory. I'm still irritated by how different the actors look.

The search for the real murderer of Chan's sister opens up a plot line that I find very promising.

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I don’t think they are going to mention plastic surgery because if he is so different the step mum isn’t going to recognise him anyway so there would be no need to hide he could blatantly walk behind her or talk to her. He could hand over the box saying someone told him to deliver them or just walk away when he delivers it.

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On what planet when your stepson is exhonerated and another person arrested for the murder of your daughter, do you still hate on your stepson who you previously loved? What a psycho...

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@daebakgrits Thank you for a great recap. I couldn’t watch the end due to the heightened tension so was trying to hide the screen and still read the subtitles so your description of the unconscious state prior to the explosion helped fill in a gap!

These two episodes were quite something in terms of everyone’s random behaviour.

So in order to keep Soojae ‘safe’ the team use public computers to access the USB like they are professional hackers and then they openly discuss the contents in the same venue with random people walking around. They make a copy, how secure is that copy?

For a person who wants to keep his identity secret why has Gong Chan got all the info on a wall in a place that could easily be broken into?

Why do all the men think they can order Soojae about? e.g. Yoonsang telling her not to date Gong Chan, like he has a right to exert control over her love life.

Soojae knows that she is public enemy number one to someone who sees her as a serious threat so how come she is wandering aimlessly without telling anyone who she is going to meet or where in the middle of the night after he has told her that he killed someone and she knows he had no issues attacking her to get that USB? It’s so ridiculous now that someone so able to be two steps ahead of everyone else makes these kinds of rookie moves. A lot of writers say the characters have their own voice and the writers just write what they tell them and I am telling you now Soojae was asleep every time the write added in these stupid elements and then woke up and gave the bits that are really calculated and make sense.

I wish I was binge watching this as I want to move on from the rookie errors to get answers to these questions:

Did Sukpal commit suicide and want her to witness it or was he killed before he could disclose all he knows to her? Was he already dead when she was ringing him and they hoped she would walk to the car and get blown up alongside him?

Was she told she had a still birth but actually her ex fiance has been raising her child with his wife as if it was theirs? Or was he a player who got multiple women pregnant in a short time frame and the real mother of the girl was paid off to give him the baby?

Will Yoonsang go rouge when he knows Gong Chan is going out with Soojae?

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I have as many questions as you and I'm finding it hard to suspend disbelief over these "rookie" mistakes. Soo-jae was definitely sleeping when those lines were added except it is revealed to us later on that she had something planned.

I'm puzzled at the fact that she made a deal with Tae-kook saying she won't make copies of the USB while knowing that Chan already has copies?

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I wish I was binge watching this as I want to move on from the rookie errors to get answers to these questions

Considering that this writer wrote two other dramas which were successfull, these mistakes are preposterous.

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@reply1988 I'm hoping most of these questions will get answered with time, which is enough to keep me interested in the plot for now. But I think I'm equally curious to see if the writer will address them or just let the plot holes get bigger. haha. They did address why Soo-jae called Chan instead of the police, so there is some history of retroactively undoing and explaining away Soo-jae's lapses in judgement.

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Since this show began, I've thought more and more about what happens when we think we can will things to be how we want. Thinking about how the writer/director/whoever took a look at Seo Hyun Jin with her 16 years of acting in 20 dramas and 8 movies and thought Hwang In Yeop--with his 3 years of experience--could match her gravitas and acting chops here. It would be fine if he was a lovesick puppy of a student and this was going nowhere, but I'm getting really frustrated with the insistence that he is a serious match for Soo Jae. Every time they have a scene together that tilts toward the (forced) romance, I feel like Seo Hyun Jin is diminished and Hwang In Yeop's weakness as an actor is on blast. All to say, experience matters. I was quite surprised to read that Seo Hyun Jin is only 6 years older than him in real life. I'd assumed she was at least 10-12 years older because of the drama. And, don't even get me started with these young guys deciding what information a grown woman can handle and who she can date 😡

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Gosh when you put it like that it’s almost like art imitating life. Her experience is immense I didn’t recognise her from Let’s Eat 2 I literally finished watching that last week! Her character was so different. I started Black dog but it’s been on pause for a couple of months as now is not the time for heavy content.

I am annoyed with the two young males attitude towards her too and wonder if it is to show the naivety she was criticised for is universal amongst all rookies and comes from a good place.

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Your comment is spot on it doesn't help that each time I think of Hwang In Yeop I keep remembering his character in true beauty.

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I hate how the writer made Soo-jae such a damsel in distress. And dumb. Not only did she enter the building when the lock was broken, but she meets a self-confessed killer by herself. I thought the students already figured out Hong Suk-pal killed Park So-young from his gait. Chun-poong was able to crack the flash drive when even Soo-jae's henchmen Boss Ko couldn't.

This romance never should've existed. Why does she like him? Why did she kiss him? Why does she want to share her secret with him? Chan always oversteps her boundaries, and Yoon-sang is annoying telling her what to do.

Unlike her chemistry with CEO Yoon Se-pil of SP Partners. Their back-and-forth at the toast truck was hot. Soo-jae needs someone on her level who's as competent and smart as she is, so I'm bummed that CEO Yoon is in cahoots with Director Baek. She has no eye for men as all of her boyfriends have been trash: Joo-wan and Assemblyman Ahn.

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"Soo-jae needs someone on her level who's as competent and smart as she is"

Yes, yes! This would have been much more refreshing than whatever Gong Chan is dishing right now

I was shocked to see that CEO Yoon and Director Baek know each other like that. I thought Baek was working with Tae-kook or is this all part of Tae-kook's master plan?

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CEO Yoon’s scenes with SJ have crackled - I’m having the same reaction, bewildered by the student crushes when there is this really attractive and intelligent man meeting you at a toast truck. Sure he’s probably evil but energy-wise he’s the better scene partner.

There are a lot of excuses that can be made for the romance - she’s not a REAL professor, more of a visiting lecturer with one class, so dating a student isn’t a huge transgression. Chan is probably 25 and she’s maybe 33 - an age gap that wouldn’t cause a moment’s pause if the genders flipped. But having to explain away an overall feeling that this match is “off” (and I think the experience gap is glaring here) is not helping the drama.

Toast Truck CEO forever! Or at least until we find out he was the one who stole the baby and lied that SJ’s baby was stillborn. (And quick linguistic note: stillbirth VERY different from miscarriage.)

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@panshel I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt Soo-jae and Se-pil had great chemistry! I'm a bit biased, though, because I adore Choi Young-joon in Hospital Playlist. I just hope he remains a good guy, but I'm worried because his alliances seem a bit murky.

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I'm biased too because I loved Choi Young-joon in Vincenzo in which his character's styling looked exactly like CEO Yoon Se-pil. Their ages are perfect, so Soo-jae won't have to date these young'uns.

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I am glad to see there is more support for Toast Truck CEO of 70 Billion won!

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I actually prefered her to be with Yoon Se-pil,found their interactions excited and fun and among two grown ups...
Curious if Yoon Se pil is the brother or relative of the girl in the hospice(was she the victim kidnapped?) as he sure has a serious grudge against those 3 men he wants to see destroyed so it looks quite personal...

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For all we know the child belongs to that woman. As of now I am ready for all sorts of twists!

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"She has no eye for men as all of her boyfriends have been trash". ROFL!! I love this, and I was just thinking this about myself because I find her boss, that sociopath Tae-kook, attractive. Honestly, I think I'm just impressed that he's in such good shape for a 58-year-old man.

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Arghhhhhh!
I honestly wanted to pull my hair out! This feels like such sloppy writing and I really can't stand sloppy writing in this genre of drama. How does an experienced lawyer like Soo-jae agree to meet up a murder suspect/someone who assaulted her a few days ago in a strange location without a backup ? And she left her damn car when the guy wasn't answering? Come on writers!

Don't even get me started on Gong Chan constantly overstepping his boundaries! There's nothing cute about it. What's the deal with Yoon-sang and that condition? Is this the drama's love triangle? 🥴🥴

When Joo-wan's wife said the baby wasn't her I definitely because suspicious of an incoming makjang plot!

"Oof! If they want me to jump on board this romantic ship, they’re going to have to stop blatantly reminding me that he’s significantly younger than her"

Yess! At this point I have lost all hope and I think that the writers/production are being deliberate and don't really want us to board on the ship

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I think that the writers/production are being deliberate and don't really want us to board on the ship. That’s a good point I think there needs to be a period of separation for him to grow maybe then team will solve his murder case. He will be forgiven by his step mum he continues his studies while she returns to being a lawyer in her own firm and they will meet after he has been qualified and been practising for a while. By then her daughter who was returned to her has grown up and Soojae’s family have been given a restraining order so can no longer try to live off her glory.

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Yes, I can do with this plot line if things turn out this way. It would make much more sense

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Thank you for the review that helps me decide, this feels like Again my life type of writing...hummm, had watch junki carry the drama, not going to watch another drama where the main lead carry the drama with bad writing, not enjoyable for me. Had been watching doctor lawyer, to me, it is good drama with good acting n writing even though the ratings is lower than why her.

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Waow, I never felt anything romantic between Soo-Jae and Joo-Wan, I would never thought they were a couple. I understand why she didn't want to divorce him now.

The fact she came back for revenge is pretty understandable but I think she got way too implicated with them. The fact they could use her name for the embezzlement, it made her an easy target too.

She really had to change her personality to reach their level.

For the romance, I understand the fact they chose someone completely different from her actual world. I think it's what she needs now.

My issue is I don't like how Chan acts with her, like he had to procter her, hidding things from her, stolen things from her... I found teen Chan more interesting than adult Chan...

Yoon-Sang is so useless and the fact he thinks he can dictate her love life is worst.

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I'm so sick of Chan overstepping. I already find the romance forced and this just makes me dislike Chan as a character.

Of course the student cracked the USB in like a day even though the professional Soo-jae had working on it wasn't getting anywhere.

You'd think these students would be too busy studying and going to classes to constantly investigate for Soo-jae. They are also supposed to be helping Soo-jae at the legal clinic that conveniently never seems to have any cases.

How dumb is Soo-jae to put herself in danger yet again and of course it is Chan to the rescue.

The more I write this out, the more the drama falls apart. I did think Soo-jae's backstory helped explain her motivations but how many people did that idiot impregnate.

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I agree with you that Chan oversteps, but at the same time, I think Soo-jae is sending him mixed signals. If, as she constantly reminds him, he needs to know his place, then stop calling him, woman! If you're really not interested in someone, you don't call them. You call the police when you're in danger, you tell your bestie about your child, not a student with a crush on you.

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I keep fast forwarding any romantic scenes between Chan and Soo Jae, the story I'm interested in a little bit is Soo Jae's.
I just keep thinking Chan looks so immature next to SooJae and I can't take him seriously.

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Absolutely love this drama. :) I'm hooked!

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It irks me how this drama has a combination of good AND dumb writing yet I'm still hooked!

I was also wary of the fact that Joo Wan had two illegitimate children around the same time. Miscarriage. Stillborn. My first makjang thought was that he drugged Soo Jae and Seung Yeon. Jae Yi being Soo Jae’s child was also another reveal I could see happening. Don't really want the writer to go there though.

Soo Jae had good dialogue and moves when she was up against the guys in her legal world. Crackled when she told the minion guy she wanted the entrée (big boss Choi) after him (the appetizer). XD Her backstory was vital in understanding her extreme motivation to take over TK and rise above them all. Those awful, manipulative men were despicable. Can't wait for their demise.

On the other side, she did foolish things like going to places alone when she should know she is a big target. Writer falling back on old tactics (just used last week!) Ugh. I could sorta explain that Soo Jae is used to doing things alone and having no close partner on her level, but still. Hong Suk Pal was highly likely to be a killer or at least a dangerous, shady man. After his phone call, I instantly thought she was heading towards a trap. (It still could be one, but not in the way I initially imagined.)

Oh, Chan... Hoped his side of the story and the romance would improve. His friend is right that he shouldn't keep withholding his identity from Soo Jae. The longer the delay, the worse the fallout. She thinks that if she told him her personal secret that he would think it's not a big deal, but I think his reaction would be the opposite. His protective actions would be even stronger.

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I know I'm in the minority but I don't like the romance AT ALL. It's seems so forced and why does it seems like Chan is TOO perfect. I don't see any chemistry between the two. Shucks, she has more chemistry with CEO of SP Partners with the few scenes they have had. Everything else is great tho. Just take out the romance and I'll be good with this drama.

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I'd say yours is a majority opinion. Most of us hate the romance.

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