Extraordinary Attorney Woo: Episodes 15-16 (Final)
It’s time to bid farewell to our extraordinary attorney and reminisce on the journey we have gone through with her. It hasn’t been completely smooth sailing, but she has come a long way from when we first met her, and it has been really meaningful to watch her growth. It’s our heroine’s world – unusual, peculiar, valuable, and beautiful – and we’re all just living in it.
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP
When a hacker gains access to the personal data of the customers of an online shopping mall, the mall gets hit with a fine from the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) for not properly protecting the data. The KCC pushes the case using a recent adjustment to the law – which unfortunately, was revised on the same day as the hacking. And with Myeong-seok recovering from surgery, (thank goodness!) the case is taken up by his work nemesis ATTORNEY JANG (Choi Dae-hoon).
Attorney Jang is a suck up and a show off, but he’s very strict with the junior lawyers – especially Young-woo, whom he shuts down on many occasions for, well, just saying Young-woo-like things. But it’s really vindicating for Young-woo when the judge says the exact same things in court to Attorney Jang. Lol. His approach to the case does nothing but draw ire from the general public, and things get worse when the customers approach Taesan to file a separate class-action suit against the shopping mall.
After some back and forth in court, the desperate founder of the mall swallows a cyanide pill and has to be rushed to the hospital. The incident takes a strain on Young-woo and she goes into another sensory overload, but Jun-ho stops himself from reaching out to her. Hmmm. And when the lawyers are accosted by the press as they leave the hospital, Attorney Jang abandons his juniors, and instructs Jun-ho to drive off. Wow!
Young-woo realizes that the phishing email was sent just a few minutes before midnight of the adjustment date, and she tells Attorney Jang, but he orders her off the case instead. Su-yeon tries to defend Young-woo, but she’s dragged out by Min-woo who is wary of offending the higher ups. Su-yeon then tells him that she likes men who are willing to play the fool for their colleagues, and stand up for what is right.
Young-woo and Jun-ho finally have the “why we broke up” talk, and she tells him although she likes him, she doesn’t think she can make him happy. Jun-ho says that just being with her makes him happy, but when Young-woo asks if he has never felt lonely at least once while with her, he doesn’t have an answer.
Young-woo not telling Jun-ho the reason, and not the breakup itself, was what annoyed me the most last week, because he’s not a mind-reader and there’s no way he would have known. But now that everything is in the open, the ball is in his court. He can either step aside, or push forward with the relationship knowing that there will be (a lot of) moments where Young-woo will inevitably make him feel lonely in the relationship. And it’s not for a lack of trying on her part, it is just what it is.
At the final hearing, Attorney Jang gets stuck with his closing argument, and Su-yeon jumps in to use Young-woo’s adjustment date point. Attorney Jang instructs her to stand down, but Min-woo also gets onboard with Su-yeon, causing the judge to take their point into consideration. With the tides now in their favor, a smug Attorney Jang basks in the glory of his juniors. But all I want to do is rest my knuckle on his head. Tsk.
News of the founder’s attempted suicide spreads online, and for the first time, we see the surprisingly young hacker behind the personal data breach. As he tries in vain to reach someone on the phone, his door is pushed open to reveal his mother who is none other than CEO Tae! What?! We’ve been hearing about her son who loves to stay indoors with his computer all day, but he’s no gamer as I thought — he’s a hacker? Good luck to CEO Tae getting that minister of justice position now.
CEO Tae’s son is high school freshman CHOI SANG-HYEON (Choi Hyun-jin). He’s a kimbap loving and organized boy much like his older half-sister, with a thing for Rubik’s cubes just like Young-woo and the whales. He confesses to the hacking, and CEO Tae scolds him for messing around, especially with her minister hearing right around the corner. Sang-hyeon asks if she has never made a mistake, and mentions that he knows about Young-woo. Whoa! He really hacked into his mum’s phone to confirm the illegitimate daughter rumors.
The hacking weighs on Sang-hyeon’s conscience, and since his mother won’t let him come clean, he visits the one person he thinks can help him – his big sister. It’s cute how he’s very matter-of-fact about their sibling relationship, and takes to calling Young-woo noona right off the bat. Sang-hyeon says that unlike some rich families who get their kids out of trouble, his mother scolds him whenever he does something wrong. But with her trying to get him out of trouble now, he doesn’t want them to end up like those rich families.
Sang-hyeon then reveals that he was instructed by the co-founder of the shopping mall to steal the customers’ data. Again, what?! Sang-hyeon and the co-founder met at a cybersecurity competition as contestant and judge, and have kept in touch since then. Upset that the founder favored making money over improving the cybersecurity of the mall, the co-founder wanted to use the hacking to teach him a lesson.
With Hanbada representing the mall and the hacking being an instruction from its co-founder, it’s social justice versus client’s interest all over again for Young-woo. As always, she goes to Myeong-seok for advice, and he says that while he usually puts the client’s interest first, she’s a different person than he is. Young-woo returns to Hanbada and plays a video confession recorded by Sang-hyeon to the team. Attorney Jang is the first to oppose the idea, but CEO Han is more than willing to use the video.
CEO Han calls the reporter to hold off on the CEO Tae/Young-woo story in the light of this juicer development. She had previously informed Young-woo’s dad of her plan to leak the news, and told him to go on a paid vacation with Young-woo. And lest we forget, there’s also CEO Tae’s U.S. offer. Tsk. What’s with these rival CEOs and trying to send Young-woo away?
Hanbada free themselves of attorney-client privilege since their client is the mall, not its co-founder. Also, since Sang-hyeon encrypted the data for fear that the co-founder might sell it, technically, a data breach hasn’t occurred yet. But the judge in the class-action suit doesn’t accept the video testimony and CEO Tae prepares to ship Sang-hyeon abroad to prevent him from testifying in person. CEO Han then decides to leak the video, but Young-woo pleads for some time to convince CEO Tae first.
On his way to drop Young-woo off at CEO Tae’s, Jun-ho tells Young-woo that he doesn’t want to break up, and likens his love for her to the unrequited love towards a cat. Sir? Cats sometimes make their owners lonely, but they make them just as happy. Young-woo then tells Jun-ho that his analogy is inappropriate because cats love their owners too. I can’t even deal with this cat thingy, but it gets our whale couple back together, so, yaay!! (By the way, when Young-woo was crossing the road, was anyone else silently urging her to run a little faster? The Truck of Doom PTSD is real, y’all.)
On meeting CEO Tae, Young-woo says that Sang-hyeon looks up to his mother because she doesn’t hesitate to correct him when he is wrong and that sending him away now will make him lose faith in her. It’s an emotional moment when Young-woo tells CEO Tae that although she wasn’t a good mum to her, CEO Tae can be a better mum to Sang-hyeon. Okay, who is cutting onions?
CEO Tae eventually relents, and allows Sang-hyeon’s testimony on the condition that Young-woo be the one to question him. Attorney Jang doesn’t think Hanbada will accept such conditions, but CEO Han agrees to it. Heh. In your face, Doubting Thomas! Sang-hyeon finally gives his testimony in court, and formally apologizes to the founder and the customers of the mall.
The case gets dismissed and CEO Tae steps down as a candidate for minister of justice. With this, CEO Han decides to let CEO Tae off for now, and Young-woo’s birth secret stays safe. Phew! The Hanbada squad go for a celebratory dinner, and they’re joined by Myeong-seok and his ex-wife who are on the way to patching things up. Nice! But I still haven’t completely patched things up with Min-woo — although he has now decided to be a team player rather than the competition.
Still undecided about the exact emotion she feels after getting her contract renewed and becoming a permanent lawyer at Hanbada, Young-woo skips to work like she did on her first day, and even successfully goes through the revolving door by herself! She has really come full circle, hasn’t she? As Young-woo smiles at Jun-ho, it finally hits her that the emotion she has been feeling is a sense of fulfillment, and her smile deepens. And on this note, we come to the end of our extraordinary drama! *bursts out the firecrackers*
One major thing I love about this drama is Myeong-seok’s mentor relationship with his rookies. He’s patient, gives good advice, leads them without forcing his opinions on them, AND he will never throw them under the bus to save himself. And if we don’t appreciate him enough, spending this week with Attorney Jang just re-emphasizes how much of a good boss Myeong-seok is. It’s great that he’s considering quitting Hanbada, and I know that his juniors will be fine if he leaves.
I was really worried that we were going to end with a cliffhanger, but we got a happy ending after all. A mini sore thumb for me, though, is that we still don’t know the origin of the rivalry between CEO Han and CEO Tae. And no, as far as I’m concerned, those deleted scenes floating on the internet don’t count because they were excluded from the drama. But hey, maybe they’ll let us in on its origin in the rumored season two that nobody asked for. Heh.
Park Eun-bin was really phenomenal in her role as Young-woo, and the rest of the cast were equally amazing. It would have been nicer to explore Jun-ho beyond being just a love interest, but I didn’t really mind it because I don’t think I can like him anymore than I already do. Besides, they might have gone off the rails if we really dipped into his backstory. Lol.
Overall, the drama isn’t without its flaws, but I appreciate the story it tried to tell, and it definitely has a high rewatch value for me. Every once in a while, we get gems like this, and I’m glad to have been a part of the Extraordinary Attorney Woo experience.