Extraordinary Attorney Woo: Episodes 1-2
What’s better than an ordinary attorney? An extraordinary one! And that’s the perfect descriptor for our heroine, who sets out on this extraordinary journey to overcome prejudices and break stereotypes. So buckle up for the ride, people, we are going along with her.
EPISODES 1-2 WEECAP
Welcome to the world of our heroine WOO YOUNG-WOO (Park Eun-bin), and in this world, she’s the first-ever autistic attorney in Korea! Young-woo is a huge lover of whales, has a closet more organized than my life, and I love her already.
We meet her on her first day at the law firm Hanbada, and from the looks of it, no one was expecting the new hire to be on the spectrum. Except, of course, CEO HAN SEON-YOUNG (Baek Ji-won) – who was a college junior to Young-woo’s dad WOO KWANG-HO (Jeon Bae-Soo) – and fellow attorney CHOI SU-YEON (Ha Yoo-kyung) who was Young-woo’s law school classmate.
Young-woo’s first hurdle at work is the skepticism of her immediate boss, JUNG MYEONG-SEOK (Kang Ki-young), who immediately assigns her on a case to test out her skills. And Young-woo doesn’t exactly win herself brownie points with him when she pictures the evidence in the case (an iron) as a sperm whale, and launches into an impromptu seminar on sperm whales. Lol. I suspect this whale gag is going to be a running one, and I look forward to more.
Anyway, back to our first case, the client is a woman in her seventies who is charged with attempted murder after hitting her irrationally jealous husband on the head with an iron. Young-woo recognizes the client as the wife of the landlord of her childhood home, who was always nice to her despite her husband’s semi-violent nature, and his erroneous insinuation of an affair between his wife and Young-woo’s dad.
Young-woo is told to get the client off on probation, but she states that the client should be gotten off for bodily harm rather than attempted murder. Her reason being that in future when the husband dies, the client won’t be able to inherit his pension or their house if she’s convicted of his attempted murder (as opposed to bodily harm).
Myeong-seok is quite impressed with her reasoning, and tells her to proceed with this. He also apologizes for his initial attitude towards her, and that’s just great because I don’t have it in me to dislike a Kang Ki-young character.
Still on the case, Young-woo is accompanied by attorney LEE JUN-HO (Kang Tae-oh) to visit the client at the hospital, and her husband explodes after learning that Young-woo is the daughter of their former tenant. Sigh. Am I a bad person if I wish the iron had hit him a little harder? The client also says she wishes she had killed her husband instead, but Young-woo is able to see past the client’s frustration to know that she actually cares about the husband.
Myeong-seok decides to proceed on the case with a jury trial, and attorney KWON MIN-WOO (Joo Jong-hyuk) volunteers to give the arguments at the trial since Young-woo might have difficulties speaking to the jury because of her disability. But Young-woo is quick to shut down his “help” and would rather use the disability as a leverage to evoke the emotions of the potential jury. Atta girl!
The trial kicks off, and just as the jury is buying into Young-woo’s argument of the husband being a verbally abusive man – thanks to him lashing out at her again from the witness stand in court — he unfortunately dies on the way back to the hospital, and her client’s charge is changed from attempted murder to murder. Yikes!
But this doesn’t throw Young-woo off course. Instead, she fits all the pieces of the case together to prove that the husband died from a pre-existing condition rather than the hit from the iron. Hence, the grateful client is found not guilty of murder and is let off with a probation for bodily harm. Yaay!
After successfully wrapping up her first case, it’s on to the next for Young-woo, and this time, it’s the case of a wedding dress that slipped off. Yep, you read that right. A couple marches down the aisle at their dream hotel wedding, the bride gets distracted, trips, and her strapless dress slips down to expose her goodies to the guests. And though the groom does his best to cover the front, he can’t hide the tattoo of a Bodhisattva on her back – which isn’t so bad, except she’s supposed to be a Christian. Heh.
The next course of action by the bride’s father is to sue the hotel (owned by the groom’s family btw) for the humiliation, and he names his pride as worth over a billion won. Hanbada doesn’t think he can get up to that amount in compensation, but when he mentions that his business is dominant in a competing law firm, CEO Han gets all competitive and vows to get the compensation the other law firm couldn’t get for him.
Myeong-seok and his team are assigned to the case, and to glean information, he dispatches Min-woo and Su-yeon to the hotel to play an undercover couple, and then Young-woo and Jun-ho to the affected couple. But Su-yeon, who has a little crush on Jun-ho, wants to switch places, and Young-woo agrees.
Jun-ho and Su-yeon are on their way to the hotel to play the undercover couple, when Young-woo calls Jun-ho (who is now her whale discussion buddy) with some questions, but Su-yeon doesn’t appreciate the interruption. Jun-ho doesn’t seem to mind much, but Young-woo needs to slow down with the barrage of whale talks at this point.
Unfortunately, Su-yeon comes down with the toilet runs and can’t make it to the dress fitting, so Young-woo takes back her rightful place as Jun-ho’s bride. She looks so breathtaking in the wedding dress, I think Jun-ho already fell in love with her on the spot. Lol.
Thanks to Su-yeon eavesdropping from the toilet, they find out a hotel employee was sacked over the wedding dress issue, and Jun-ho persuades a colleague of hers to testify in court. According to the testimony, the sacked employee mistakenly tore the original wedding dress, but rather than admit the truth, the bride was given another dress in the same design but of a slightly bigger size, hence the reason it came off loose at the ceremony.
But it’s not a win for Hanbada yet, because the hotel’s attorneys dig up an online post made by the bride where she confesses her relief at the outcome of the ceremony, and her eventual hopes for the engagement to be called off. Apparently, she’s not into the groom and only went ahead with the arrangement because her father wanted to be in-laws with a chaebol family.
With this, Hanbada’s argument that the bride suffers PTSD from the ceremony no longer serves as basis for compensation from the hotel. But when the bride mentions that the groom’s grandpa promised to gift her land in a choice location after the wedding, Young-woo flips the compensation argument around. This time, their claim is that since the marriage was hinged on that promise and she couldn’t go through with the wedding due to the hotel’s negligence, the hotel should compensate for the loss of the land.
Of course, the bride’s father is delighted with this new argument, but the bride doesn’t share the same opinion. So she withdraws the lawsuit at the next court appearance. Her reason? She’s done with her father being very oblivious about her life. She reveals she’s Buddhist, not a Christian, neither is she straight. And with her newfound confidence, she marches out of the courtroom with her girlfriend while her father has a mini heart attack. Lol.
The whole wedding saga has Young-woo thinking about her future, and she admits to her dad that she probably won’t be able to get married because of her autism. But, she says if she does get married, she’s definitely giving her bouquet to daddy dearest as she’d like to see her single father get married after she does. Awwww.
As the episode comes to a close, news about Hanbada’s counter argument reaches the ears of the CEO of the competition, TAE SOO-MI (Jin Kyung), and with a seemingly special interest, she takes note of the name of the rookie behind the argument: Woo Young-woo.
I really love the opening week of this drama, and Park Eun-bin is totally endearing as Young-woo. I’m always skeptical about the portrayal of disabilities in dramaland because they can come off as caricature characters, but I’m genuinely impressed with how the show handles Young-woo. I find her surprisingly mature, with social skills that are even better than I expected. Plus she’s really in tune with her emotions, and very capable as a lawyer!
The case of the episode format is just right up my alley, as I prefer legal dramas with quickly resolved cases rather than those unnecessarily dragged out ones. I also appreciate how the team doesn’t treat Young-woo with kid gloves or dismiss her opinions, and it’s nice to see them slowly form a bond. Of course Young-woo’s got more to learn as she grows as a lawyer, and there’ll be times she will stumble, but with her mindset and the support system she has around her, I have almost no doubts that she will be able to handle whatever life throws her way.