Extraordinary Attorney Woo: Episodes 3-4
There are ups and downs this week, and faced with the reality of her situation, our heroine stumbles. But she’s not one to stay on the ground for long, especially with the support system around her who are always there to help her find her footing.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
As Young-woo settles into things at work, more cases are assigned to her. And the first case of the week is a tragic one where a set of parents witness their younger son allegedly beating his older brother to death. The defendant, who is charged with bodily harm, is also on the spectrum – although he’s on the more severe end of it – and that’s one of the reasons Myeong-seok wants Young-woo on the case.
On questioning the defendant about the incident, he gets riled up and they can’t get through to him, so Young-woo borrows a page from her dad’s playbook. As a child, the only way her dad could effectively communicate with her was by using legal terms since she was very interested in the law. And since the defendant is the biggest Pengsoo fanboy, Young-woo figures that’s the best way to reach him.
Along with Myeong-seok and Su-yeon, Young-woo gives a hilariously committed performance of the Pengsoo soundtrack at their next meeting with the defendant. And while he loved the performance, he gets riled up again when asked about the incident. But Young-woo suspects that the victim might have actually attempted suicide and what the parents witnessed was the defendant trying to save his brother and not assault him.
When Young-woo and Jun-ho set off to find evidence to support her claim, they run into an old classmate of Jun-ho’s, and we learn he volunteers at an organization for people with special needs. It’s probably why he’s so natural in his interactions with Young-woo; it’s almost as smooth as the unintentional waltz they dance, first exiting the revolving doors last week, and now searching for evidence in the victim’s bedroom.
Young-woo and Jun-ho find evidence to prove the victim’s death was a suicide, but the parents vehemently refuse to acknowledge it. Apparently, they’d rather throw their innocent younger son under the bus than acknowledge that their older son killed himself because he was stressed out from the pressures of medical school. And since the parents have effectively placed their younger son in the crosshairs, netizens have a field day firing off at him, and other autistic people by extension. Sigh!
Even at court, the prosecutor brings up Young-woo’s autism in an attempt to discredit her as having a form of bias to the defendant since they’re both on the spectrum. Thanks to that, even when Young-woo figures out how they can get the defendant off the hook, his father still wants her off the case. And Young-woo sadly agrees that it’s for the best if she steps down from the case.
But while she feels bad about it, Myeong-seok feels even worse and steps away from the case in solidarity. Another lawyer at the firm carries on with the proceedings, and the defendant gets off with a probation. But the feeling of inadequacy washes over Young-woo, and she decides to resign.
While I didn’t expect Young-woo to quit this early, I can understand why she did. She is pretty much adjusted to her life as someone with autism, but this case reemphasizes to her the weight of the disability she and other people on the spectrum bear. The weight, at this point, is almost too crushing considering how much she loves the law, and how the prejudice against her prevented her from serving as an attorney on this case.
So far, apart from the initial eyebrows raised by some of our major characters, they haven’t treated Young-woo any differently, and it’s easy to assume that everyone on the spectrum is in a similar situation. But I like that with this case, the drama showed us a different shade of the spectrum to remind us that not everyone gets as much consideration as Young-woo does, and neither are they all geniuses and as independent as she is.
Although Young-woo has now resigned, she’s still not free from legal issues, as the father of her best friend, DONG GEU-RA-MI (Joo Hyun-young), is about to go into debt thanks to his conniving elder brothers. After getting compensation on land left to him by their father, his brothers deceived him into signing away the lion’s share of the money to them and left him to pay the inheritance tax all by himself – which is even more than the amount of money he got.
Young-woo offers to introduce her to another lawyer since she’s currently not practicing. But first, they need to get the gift contract Geu-ra-mi’s father signed for reference, so Young-woo, her dad, and Geu-ra-mi take a road trip to the countryside where Geu-ra-mi’s parents reside. On the trip, we learn that Young-woo and Geu-ra-mi became friends in high school after Geu-ra-mi stood up for Young-woo who was being bullied.
To handle the case, Young-woo sends her friend to Myeong-seok, and then to Jun-ho when Geu-ra-mi doesn’t see Myeong-seok in the office. Young-woo describes Jun-ho as tall and good-looking, but Geu-ra-mi briefly mistakes him for Min-woo who she thinks is the good-looking one. Heh.
When Myeong-seok returns, he refuses to take the case because the chance of winning is low, but it’s really just a ploy to get Young-woo back in the office. And it works because Young-woo temporarily returns to take up the case! And while Jun-ho is so very happy about her return, Min-woo is not pleased and he takes it up with Myeong-seok, because he feels she’s being given special treatment. But Myeong-seok defends Young-woo and tells Min-woo to learn from her tenaciousness.
The elder brothers deny deceiving Geu-ra-mi’s father in court, and the judge needs evidence to prove the contract was signed based on their deceit. Her mother remembers that a neighbor was around when the brothers brought the contract to Geu-ra-mi’s father, and they drive back to the countryside to ask if he overheard the conversation between the brothers. Luckily, the neighbor just so happened to be “retying his shoelaces” on the terrace and managed to listen in on the conversation. Lol.
Geu-ra-mi chooses to spend the night with her parents instead of returning to Seoul with Young-woo and Jun-ho in order to give them some “privacy.” And as they take in the sunset on a nearby beach, Jun-ho (who has been feeling bad about his old classmate mistaking Young-woo as one of the people he volunteers for) asks why Young-woo resigned.
She replies that while she’s working as attorney Woo Young-woo, it feels as if she’s just autistic Woo Young-woo in people’s eyes, and they’ll lose if she’s on their side. But Jun-ho tells her that he wants a lawyer like her on his side, and she’s touched.
Unfortunately, the conniving elder brothers buy off the neighbor and at the next court appearance, he denies hearing the conversation. With no other evidence, Young-woo comes up with the very bright idea of Geu-ra-mi and her father provoking the elder brothers to the point of getting assaulted. As a result, they’re able to cancel the gift contract under a provision of the civil law that states that when the recipient commits a crime against the giver or his immediate family, the giver can cancel the gift contract.
And since there’s no evidence that the fight was incited, the judge approves the request and the contract is cancelled. Ha! The conniving elder brothers are not the only ones who can do away with evidence. Myeong-seok compliments Young-woo on her resourcefulness, and Min-woo (who is also present in court) seems to finally understand why Myeong-seok told him he could learn from Young-woo.
After the contract is cancelled, the brothers come to apologize to Geu-ra-mi’s father who proves that he’s a better person than I am by forgiving them and agreeing to equally share the money with them. And with a successful resolution to the case, a happy Young-woo officially returns to Hanbada. Yaaay!
Young-woo must have been feeling pretty bummed out about her resignation, and I’m so glad she’s back. Jun-ho’s words on the beach must have reassured her that despite her autism, she’s a helpful lawyer to her clients, and combined with her subsequent win in Geu-ra-mi’s father’s case, I think she needed that validation.
Jun-ho has been pretty intentional towards Young-woo, from little things like holding the elevator door for her, to being her whale discussion buddy, and the best part about it is that his actions are sincere and not out of pity. It’s the same for other characters like Myeong-seok, who respects and stands up for Young-woo’s professional abilities, and CEO Han who saw her potential and insisted she reapply to Hanbada after HR rejected her first application.
And I think that while Young-woo’s character is really lovable on her own, it’s also the patience and thoughtfulness of the other characters towards her that blends well with her charm to give us this warm-hearted and enjoyable drama.