Extraordinary Attorney Woo: Episodes 9-10
Romance is in the air and confessions abound everywhere. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for some of our characters who live in a world outside of that which society deems as normal. With only a handful of people who truly understand them, how do these characters walk the fine line of staying true to themselves without upsetting the societal expectations we are all governed by?
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP
We get a Pied Piper-like case this week, and our defendant is BANG GU-PPONG a.k.a. Mr. Fart (guest appearance by Gu Kyo-hwan). As the self-proclaimed Commander-in-Chief of the Children’s Liberation Army, Gu-ppong diverts an after-school academy bound bus to the mountains for a fun day out, and he gets arrested for kidnapping the minors. Young-woo and Min-woo (ugh!) are put in charge of the case, but they soon realize that they’re going to have a hard time because Gu-ppong is quite set in his ways.
Although the children enjoyed their day out with Gu-ppong as it was a much needed break from the rigors of studying in the prison-like academy, their parents don’t share the same opinion. Instead, the parents are slighted by Gu-ppong’s insinuation that they’re disregarding their children’s happiness by putting too much academic pressure on them. His mother – who happens to be the director of the academy – apologizes on her son’s behalf and says that Gu-ppong is mentally unwell. But Young-woo disagrees and tells her that the children understand Gu-ppong and his idea of liberation, it’s only the adults who don’t understand him.
Min-woo also tries to use Gu-ppong’s megalomaniac diagnosis in their defense, but Young-woo, who fits right into Gu-ppong and the children’s world, gives a contrary argument and says that Gu-ppong just wants to change the system in his own way. Unfortunately, this is not enough to sway the judge, especially since Gu-ppong doesn’t show remorse for his actions. It also annoys Min-woo who complains to Myeong-seok, wanting a penalty for Young-woo. But Myeong-seok tells him off and says differences in opinions should be discussed with his co-attorney rather than arguments about penalties and whatnot.
Gu-ppong pleads with the lawyers to get the children to attend his final trial, and their parents are only too eager to release them on hearing that it’ll be an educational experience for the children. Pfft. The children then have a fun ride to court with the lawyers who now go by nicknames just like Mr. Fart. Young-woo christens Jun-ho as Lee Butthole and herself as Woo Woodpecker’s Booger. Min-woo surprisingly joins the fun as Kwon Poop, and Myeong-seok becomes Jung Fart-Fart. At this point I’m in tears, because what in the toilet humor is going on here?
Gu-ppong solemnly tells the court that children have to play now because it’ll be too late to do that when they become adults, and his words have an effect on the judge and jury. As Gu-ppong and the children shout out their liberation mantra, the entire courtroom is taken by their energy, while his mother is moved to tears. And though we don’t get to see Gu-ppong’s sentencing, from all indications, the case ends on a happy note.
But I have to admit that this is a very idealistic case, because while I get the idea behind “rescuing” children from the demands of school and parental expectations, Gu-ppong’s method was still wrong. And I don’t think the presence of excited children in court will make any difference to a judge in reality. But hey, we all need happy endings in fiction, and I can get behind this one.
Speaking of happy endings, since Young-woo didn’t get Jun-ho’s response to her confession last week, she spends the entire case being very nice to Jun-ho and confusing him at the same time. She helps to pull out his chair, makes him walk on the inside of the sidewalk, opens car doors for him, and even tries to help him carry heavy stuff. Lol. But as it turns out, Jun-ho’s non-response is because he’s worried about the aftermath of getting into a relationship with her, because he doesn’t want to start something that won’t last. A very valid concern, if I may add.
An oblivious Min-woo encourages his roommate to just go for it if he likes the girl, and off Jun-ho goes to confess his feelings to Young-woo. He even confesses right in front of the revolving door where they first met at work! Squee!!! Geu-ra-mi and her boss, KIM MIN-SHIK (Im Sung-jae) join in the squeeing party when Young-woo tells them the good news, and the romance in the air also makes them want to date. Young-woo promises to set Min-shik up with Su-yeon, and Geu-ra-mi is left to find her own date. Heh. Anyway, now that the feelings are clear on both sides, it’s time for our whale couple to move forward.
The defendant in Young-woo’s next case is charged with quasi-rape of a person with disabilities, but he claims that the sex was consensual because he and the victim are in love. From the victim’s statement, she wasn’t exactly forced, but there are concerns that she might have been incapable of saying no at the time. Myeong-seok and Su-yeon are very hesitant to take on the case, but Young-woo agrees to defend him.
I think that Young-woo is kind of emotionally attached to this case because as a person with autism, she has always thought that it’ll be difficult for someone to like her. But with this case, she sees an average guy who appears to be in love with someone like her, and she wants to believe that their love is true. Because in a way, if theirs is a successful love story, it’s an assurance that the same can also be the case for her and Jun-ho.
But as the case proceeds, we learn that it’s not the defendant’s first rodeo. He volunteers at organizations for people with intellectual disabilities and like the gigolo he is, he fools the women into believing he’s in love with them just so they can spend their money on him. Young-woo initially withdraws from the case in disappointment, but she goes back to defending him after the victim pleads on his behalf. According to the victim, she knows he’s a gigolo, but she loves him all the same, and doesn’t want him to go to prison.
In the end, the defendant is (rightfully) sent to prison, but Young-woo is left to wonder if it’s enough for people with disabilities to be in love because other people may not think their feelings are valid. And over the course of the case, we see this play out – from the reaction of Jun-ho’s friends when they saw him out on a date with Young-woo, to their insinuation later on that Young-woo is a pitiful girl, and it’s just sympathy he feels for her rather than love (earning that friend a deserved punch in the face from Jun-ho).
Young-woo and Jun-ho agree that loving her is going to be hard, but Jun-ho says he’s still going to do it. A nervous Young-woo leans in for a tentative kiss, not completely sure on how to proceed, but teacher Jun-ho gently guides her, and they go for a second round. It’s longer this time, and excuse me while I “whoa, whoa” and shed some happy shipper tears because my heart is about to burst! I had different scenarios in my head for what their first kiss was going to be like, but this, this was perfection! I honestly can’t imagine anything better than this.
I can’t over-emphasize on how much I love Jun-ho’s consistency and patience (and micro-expressions) when it comes to Young-woo. He comes into her world very respectfully, is genuinely interested in learning new things about her, and respects her boundaries. Similarly, Young-woo recognizes that she also needs to come into his world, and I like that she makes an attempt to do it when it comes to skinship. We know she’s not a big fan of physical contact, but she initiated the 57 seconds hand-holding as well as their kiss, and this compromise on both sides is one of the reasons why they’re the greenest flag couple in all of dramaland at this moment.
But while our whale couple basks in the euphoria of their love, the sea that is Young-woo’s birth secret is about to be hit with a storm. CEO Tae visits Young-woo’s dad at his kimbap shop and tells him to go with Young-woo to the Taesan branch in the US. Dad flares up and orders her out, but a reporter who covered the highway case last week (courtesy of Hanbada) has been following CEO Tae around. He recognizes Young-woo’s name – which is also the name of the kimbap shop — and infers that she’s CEO Tae’s rumored illegitimate daughter. To confirm his suspicion, he calls Min-woo, and this makes me uncomfortable because Min-woo is not one to keep his mouth shut when it comes to issues like this.
I wonder if Min-woo doesn’t have anything else to do with his spare time other than poking around in Young-woo’s business. I mean, Su-yeon is busy going on blind dates (including the epic fail with Min-shik who kept making terrible food puns), Myeong-seok is busy being the best boss ever — but Min-woo is just busy trying to one-up Young-woo. Tsk. Anyway, I trust the story not to go overboard with the whole birth secret arc. But more importantly, I trust Young-woo. No matter what life or anyone else throws at her, she is more than capable of overcoming. After all, she is the extraordinary attorney Woo!