Things are rarely what they seem, especially in the case of law and politics. Everything comes crashing down for Hye Kyung, but she’s got a spine of steel and the will to survive and she’s on her way to the top, gaining every worthy inch one successful case at a time.
The Episode in 10 Moments:
- Introducing the Good Wife
Camera opens with Hye Kyung holding hands with her prosecutor husband: Tae Joon who’s called a press conference to deny the charges of bribery and receiving sexual favors. Hye Kyung stands strong and silent beside her husband without saying a word although as he denies his charges, what flashes through her head are images of Tae Joon with another woman caught in flagrante. None of these thoughts make it to her face however and Tae Joon is able to grab onto her hands to show the reporters that they’re a united front. Except, away from the cameras, Hye Kyung pulls away and Tae Joon apologizes as he states that he had done it for the cameras. As he walks away whilst being briefed by Do Sub, Hye Kyung flashes back to three days prior when everything had come crashing down with a phone call from Tae Joon telling her not to let anyone into the house or to answer any phone calls. She’d seen a message from her friend asking her to check the TV just before she’d turned off her phone and as prosecutors banged on the door with a search warrant in hand, she’d turned on the news where she’d seen news report showing a video of Tae Joon having sex with another woman (damn. And on national TV too. Talk about not allowing her lick her wounds in private). Tae Joon had rushed in to switch off the TV but the damage’s been done and even as he’d begged her to give him one more chance, then, he repeats the words in the present and Hye Kyung pulls away from him to ask him why she should give him another chance. She walks away but is met with the flashing of cameras as reporters seek to capture the moment.
2. Hye Kyung comes back to the field after fifteen years off of it
Eight months later and Hye Kyung has a job at a law firm. Except, she’s late for her very first meeting because she’s gotten the boardroom wrong and by the time she comes running in, she runs into Joong Won who’s just spent the last minute talking about people who come to meetings late not belonging in the firm. He obviously has a soft spot for her as he whispers to her to go in without looking at anyone else. After the meeting and getting her first case assigned to her, Hye Kyung meets with Joong Won and they have a moment of having run-on sentences with both of them apologizing and Hye Kyung thanking Joong Won for offering her the job because people are not so willing to hire someone who took a break off of work for fifteen years whilst Joong Won’s just happy to have a talented lawyer in his firm. Turns out Joong Won has quite the eclectic bunch working with him from David Lee, a lawyer whose first meeting with Hye Kyung sees him dressed up with demon horns on his forehead, makeup on his face and no understanding of proper decorum as he talks casually about her divorce and custody battle even as he cheerfully offers her his legal aid (he’s a divorce lawyer and quite good at his job) and some ginseng candy. Next up is Myung Hee, Joong Won’s sister and the other head of the firm who’d assigned Hye Kyung her very first case. She’s brusque and cuts straight to the point, informing Hye Kyung that she’d been against Hye Kyung’s employment but Hye kyung had come highly recommended from Joong Won. She also adds that Hye Kyung’s coming in older than the other lawyers, plus her marital troubles aren’t doing her any favors and so Hye Kyung has to work harder than everybody else to prove herself. She moves onto the case, one where a woman Kim In Young is accused of having murdered her husband. Myung Hee suggests that Hye Kyung get In Young to agree to a manslaughter charge due to domestic violence, because although In Young’s denying that she killed her husband, the evidence against her’s just too much. Hye Kyung also has to work fast because In Young stands to lose custody of her child as well.
3. Hye Kyung’s first case cuts close to home
Unaware that Joong Won is meeting with Myung Hee to tell her to give Hye Kyung the chance she needs to prove herself as the genius lawyer he remembers from their training school days (huh huh. I see your face there Joong Won. You don’t just think of her as some old friend from long ago do you? You like her), Hye Kyung meets with the investigator assigned to her: Kim Dan, and they get along based on the fact neither of them have fond thoughts of Tae Joon. Kim Dan also briefs Hye Kyung on what she doesn’t know about her client in that In Jong claims a thief had killed her husband even though prosecution had found only her fingerprints on the murder weapon, plus, her husband had cheated on her and as soon as the ban on adultery was lifted, had moved in with his mistress. He and In Jong had then gotten into frequent arguments about custody and the division of his wealth and on the day he’d died, they’d had yet another argument in In Jong’s parking lot. She’d also been covered in his blood when the ambulance had arrived and had claimed that she’d been trying to stop the bleeding, hence the reason why her fingerprints were on the knife (hmmm. Even I will be hard-pressed to take her story with a pinch of salt). On getting to the courtroom, Hye Kyung stops, suddenly nervous to be back in the field after fifteen years until Kim Dan cracks a joke and she works up the courage to enter. Except, when she gets to the courtroom, Do Sub’s the prosecutor in charge of the case and after bringing up Tae Joon and his disgrace, he makes a crack at him already having the case in the bag and is condescending as he tells her that she should still do her best (asswipe). To make matters worse, the judge in charge of the case is the same one who’d passed Tae Joon’s sentence and then Hye Kyung’s client shows up and makes a fuss about the change in lawyers, leaving Hye Kyung flustered and unable to give a credible reason for why they need In Jong’s bail extended. This has Do Sub smirking (what a jackass) and the judge wondering why she’s acting so inexperienced only for Do Sub to smirk as he informs the judge and the rest of the courtroom that it is her first day in court because she’s been a housewife whilst married to Tae Joon (I repeat, what an asshole!). Hye Kyung is able to regain some of her footing though by basing her plea for bail around the fact that no one’s available to take care of In Jong’s child to which Do Sub claims that In Jong would just destroy evidence. The judge calls both of them to the bench to tell Hye Kyung that his judgement in Tae Joon’s case was fair even though he didn’t like the man, and to warn Do Sub not to pull off tricks like mentioning Tae Joon’s name in the hope it would get a rise out of the judge. He then approves of Hye Kyung’s client’s bail, which has both Hye Kyung and In Jong sighing in relief whilst Joong Won who’d snuck in to watch the proceedings and Kim Dan are both impressed.
4. Hye Kyung’s children don’t have it any better and Hye Kyung’s visits Tae Joon
Hye Kyung gets home to find her son, Ji Hoon watching yet another news report decrying his father’s offenses. She suggests he just stick to dramas or studying and heads in to meet her daughter, who’s been crying and who asks to move to a new school because her classmates in her present one have been spreading tales that Tae Joon was having an affair with a teenager. Hye Kyung suggests that she not react to the malicious rumors but her daughter’s hurt because it’s her father being gossiped about and when she asks Hye Kyung if Hye Kyung doesn’t feel ashamed, Hye Kyung replies that the person who should feel ashamed is Tae Joon. She is shocked that Hye Kyung thinks that way (uh, girl, your mother is right). The next morning, Hye Kyung visits Tae Joon in prison and has him sign documents for the shares she wants to sell. As he signs, he asks her about the home life and she lies that their new apartment is very big and the kids are enjoying their new school. But when Tae Joon flips the page and sees the divorce papers he realizes where her thoughts are headed and tries once more to apologize, but Hye Kyung cuts him off done with all his lies. She makes to leave but he congratulates her on winning her first bail hearing, stating that he has friends on the outside. He also brings up information his sources had shared with him, claiming that the police had deleted some files they didn’t want making its way into the investigation. Hye Jung though isn’t willing to listen to him and informs him that the only reason why she’s there is so he can sign the documents for the shares because even after fifteen years, nothing they own is in her name except her mobile phone (damn). She makes to leave but Tae Joon stops her yet again to promise that he will make it up to her and do better by her next time, but Hye Jung’s done with him and says as much.
5. Hye Kyung is an idealistic lawyer willing to go the extra mile for her client
Hye Kyung meets with In Jong who explains how the murder incident with her husband had occurred: he’d been asking for forgiveness and begging to be reunited with her and on that day he’d wanted to meet their daughter. They were headed to her house when her husband had been attacked by a man who’d stabbed him multiple times and then ran off. Hye Kyung doesn’t show her emotions as she instead points out a map and marks the exits in the area, pointing out that there was a CCTV camera in the exit In Jong had claimed the thief took. Except, the camera hadn’t shown anybody passing the area at that particular time. In Jong though insists that she hadn’t killed her husband and Hye Jung’s stumped as she looks through the investigation report. But then, she remembers Tae Joon telling her about rumors that the Police had deleted their investigation files and sets out to investigate. When she brings up the possibility to Kim Dan, that the investigators might have omitted major evidence because they already pegged In Jong as guilty, Kim Dan warns her that getting sentimental won’t let her last long in the business, especially considering the fact that In Jong’s trial is very close. But Hye Kyung believes that lawyers should stand up for their client and should therefore put in their best till the very end. The words have Kim Dan convinced and they head out to the security guard’s office where Kim Dan uses her aegyo and country accent to try and get the tapes they need to examine whilst Hye Kyung steals one of the drinks she’d brought along to bribe the security guard so she can offer it to the old cleaning woman who’s grateful and chatty. The old woman then tells Hye Kyung that the security guard doesn’t leave his desk until she calls for him. Back in their car, Hye Kyung thanks Kim Dan for helping her get the security tapes, calling it fortuitous that Kim Dan comes from the security guard’s home town. Except, Kim Dan’s from Seoul and had been faking the accent (hahaha. Hye Kyung’s gullibility is so cute).
6. May the better attorney win
Back at the office, Hye Kyung goes through the security tapes several times but can’t catch a break. She heads home and runs into Joon Ho, the other new hire at the law firm who claims to know her from the news and compliments her on looking young. Hye Kyung replies that she is young and had only married early (hahahaha). Joon Ho compliments her on getting the pro-bono cases as they’re ‘easier’ and then encourages her that they should both try hard so the most competent one between them wins. Hye Kyung has no idea that they’re competing and Joon Ho doesn’t fill her in. At the car park, she runs into Joong Won who she fills in on the complications in her case. Joong Won is of the opinion that Hye Kyung should just accept that In Jong’s guilty and claim extenuating circumstances as the reason for the murder. He stresses that Myung Hee wants the case settled with no troubles and warns Hye Kyung that should she persists and things go wrong, then she would have to take responsibility for it. Hye Kyung then asks if Joong Won’s words have anything to do with the competition that Joon Ho was talking about and Joong Won admits that there’s actually only one space available in the law firm and Hye Kyung and Joon Ho are both going to be accessed within a six months period from their employment date to decide who’s the better fit to stay and who would be leaving. Joong Won though is convinced that Hye Kyung will emerge the winner and advices her to go with the guilty verdict as it’s the safer route for both her and her client. Hye Kyung replies that she would think about it, but informs Joong Won that she’d spent all her life living within the boundaries of safety and she’s not living like that anymore.
7. Hye Kyung bonds with her client
Hye Kyung pays In Jong a visit and finds that In Jong’s been searching for her online to know more about the woman who’s representing her. When she asks Hye Kyung if she would be divorcing Tae Joon, Hye Kyung admits to having visited Tae Joon with the divorce papers but the minute she saw him in the prison jumpsuit, she just couldn’t follow through. She is quick to point out though that it wasn’t pity that had stayed her hand and In Jong admits that she understands. It’s then Hye Kyung’s turn to ask why In Jong hadn’t gotten a divorce and In Jong replies that she keeps asking herself why she can’t follow through. When she turns the conversation to thinking about who would take care of her daughter when she’s in jail, Hye Kyung stops the thought and tells her to think of herself and put her best self forward for the court hearing, starting with wearing her best clothes, putting on make up and eating a great meal, because people rarely care about others. Rather, they’re simply interested in them and so In Jong should put on a strong mask and remember that she’s still got her child and her pride. And right at that moment, her daughter comes running out to hug her and as In Jong holds her daughter in her arms, she brings up Hye Kyung’s words that she’d come to see In Jong so they can reach a decision about her defense. She then tells Hye Kyung that she would leave that decision to Hye Kyung because she trusts her. And so, the next morning at court, when the judge asks if the defendant accepts the charges, Hye Kyung declares that they do not (oh, this is getting good), stating that the prosecution had kept vital evidence that could exonerate her client. Do Sub blusters but the judge notices that there’s a page missing in the investigation report filed. Do Sub tries to bring Tae Joon into the conversation by claiming that Tae Joon’s speciality might be to get rid of evidence but not all prosecutors are like Tae Joon but the judge isn’t having it and demands that the page be provided in forty-eight hours as he will decide if truly it’s evidence worth submitting. Outside the courtroom, Do Sub once again brings up Tae Joon, claiming that like her husband, Hye Kyung doesn’t know how to pick her fights and wonders if as a newbie, Hye Kyung should be acting so brave. Hye Kyung merely replies that she will work on winning then as her client is her first priority and when she finds out that Do Sub was the thirty-ninth graduate from Judicial Training School, she disses him that he started late and should therefore focus on working hard and becoming someone good (hahahaha). She walks away with her head held high but has her head down when she has to face Myung Hee’s wrath for not only failing to go with the agreed plea but not informing her when the decision was made to change the plea. Joong Won who’s in the room when the conversation occurs says nothing but when Hye Kyung leaves, he points out that Myung Hee should be praising Hye Kyung for having found out that the prosecution had left off a piece of evidence. Myung Hee is impressed, especially because it means they might be able to win the case. But she insists that she will be changing the lawyer to someone who wouldn’t go against her word (good luck with that Myung Hee. When you dropped In Jong, Hye Kyung had promised the judge that she will be sticking to her client till the very end. Good luck trying to get her to leave the case).
8. Hye Kyung makes her case
Hye Kyung spends the night looking through the CCTV footage and gets a call from Kim Dan stating that it was dog hair that was the piece of evidence left out. She leaves the room and we get a glimpse of the lover she’d finagled the information from (well would you look at that! Kim Dan’s either gay or bi or pan and I’m totally onboard with all three). Next thing we see, she’s informing Hye Kyung that the dog hair which the prosecution initially thought had belonged to the dog In Jong’s husband owned, was found to belong to a separate breed of dog: a Greyhound which isn’t common in Korea. And to make it even more interesting, the fur tested for Carprofen meaning the dog had joint problems. Kim Dan also drops the news that Hye Kyung has just one more trial with her client as Myung Hee has ensured that In Jong will be passed on to Joon Ho in the next week. The words depress Hye Kyung who goes back into her house after seeing Kim Dan off and instead finds her kids going through her case files. Ji Hoon assumes that In Jong had killed her husband and states that she should have just gotten a divorce instead. The words have her daughter panicking that Hye Kyung’s getting a divorce. When Hye Kyung replies that she’s not planning on getting one yet, her daughter panics some more stating that that means Hye Kyung’s planning on getting a divorce eventually. But Hye Kyung’s not focused on that as she’s spotted what she’s been looking for in the surveillance video. In the courtroom the next morning, she brings out multiple screens and plays tapes of different days, giving everyone in the courtroom the chance to see that a particular plastic bag had come flying into the screen at the same time on multiple days, meaning the security guard had doctored the tapes and hadn’t been on patrol on the night of the murder like he’d claimed. Which also means that he couldn’t say categorically that there hadn’t been someone suspicious in the neighborhood who might have stabbed In Jong’s husband and gotten away. So Dub’s frustrated at this new development and Joong Won who had watched the whole thing go down, offers Hye Kyung a smile when she turns to look at him.
9. The prosecution’s shady and Hye Kyung finds a valuable witness
Joong Won meets with Hye Kyung in her office later that night and gives her the good news: she will be staying on In Jong’s case. The bad news though is that In Jong is still the likeliest suspect unless they have the culprit. The words have Joong Won smiling as he remembers when they’d been practicing for mock defense back in school. The casual banter is noticed by Joon Ho who congratulates Hye Kyung on getting to stay with the case till the end, although he’s disappointed that all his hard work studying for it has gone to naught. He leaves after telling her to make sure to win for him and Joong Won’s impressed. He’s just about to leave when Hye Kyung remembers In Jong telling her of her late husband’s plan to get back together with In Jong and Hye Kyung wonders how the mistress would have felt. Joong Won’s answer? Not very happy. At the courthouse the next morning the head prosecutor: Choi Sang Il meets with Hye Kyung and asks her to accept that In Jong’s guilty, claiming that he’s doing it for her because too many eyes are on her, especially because people suspect that it was Tae Joon who’d fed her the information about the missing investigation page. Hye Kyung isn’t buying the story though and Sang Il tries to feed her a line about her being young and how he doesn’t want her spiraling down a downwards path just like Tae Joon. Hye Kyung wouldn’t buy that either and when Sang Il tries to spin the line about how hard Tae Joon must have made things for her, Hye Kyung points him out as the one responsible for the hardest day in her life: the day he’s leaked the video of Tae Joon having sex with the other woman and her children had seen it on the news. When Sang Il continues to bring up Tae Joon, stating that he should be the one she should be cursing at, Hye Kyung walks away, stating that bringing up her cheating husband isn’t enough to upset her (score one for Hye Kyung). She heads into the courtroom and cross-examines In Jong’s husband’s mistress pointing out the fact that the woman got his life insurance of three hundred thousand dollars, her brother has a old Greyhound and although she has a strong alibi with regards to where she’d been on the night of the murder, her brother doesn’t have an alibi. After the drama of the courtroom, Hye Kyung has drinks with Kim Dan whom she asks if she thinks Hye Kyung will win the case. Kim Dan answers that only lawyers would know the answer to that and asks Hye Kyung if she’d thought that she would win Tae Joon’s case (so she defended her husband huh) and Hye Kyung admits that she knew she’d lose. When Kim Dan asks her why she still hasn’t divorced Tae Joon, Hye Kyung explains that she’s just taking things one step at a time and trying to figure out being a lawyer yet. Kim Dan then asks if Hye Kyung will forgive Tae Joon. Hue Kyung denies forgiving him yet, but states that she would keep visiting him and studying him and figuring out the kind of life she should live.
10. Hye Kyung wins her case and Tae Joon has his eyes out for her
After receiving a phone call the previous night, Hye Kyung shows up at the judge’s office where Do Sub has his eyes averted and leaves the judge to explain to Hye Kyung that the prosecution has decided to drop the charges against In Jong, seeing that they would have to investigate the case further because In Jong’s husband’s mistress’ brother’s van was found parked close to the scene of the crime. That combined with the fact that he had recently filled out a prescription for his aging dog means that In Jong is free to go and Hye Kyung reins in her delight to extend her hand for a handshake with Do Sub. Do Sub’s a sore loser and barely touches her hands and even the judge snorts at the pettiness. Outside the judge’s chambers, Hye Kyung hugs In Jong as she tells her the good news and catches a glimpse of Sang Il glaring at her before he pulls away his just as furious wife. Over at the prison, Tae Joon receives a visitor in Joo Hwan who fills him in on Hye Kyung winning her first case and Sang Il’s insistence on locating the mole in the prosecution office. Next Tae Joon asks about the law firm Hye Kyung now works at and when Sang Il mentions Joong Won, he tells Joo Hwan that he’s seen him around a couple of times and wants Joo Hwan to find out about Joong Won as he wants to know more about the man Hye Kyung’s working for. The same man is at the moment though, bringing Hye Kyung champagne so they can drink and celebrate her winning her first case. Except, she gets a call and she sends him off, stating that it’s probably her kids to whom she’d promised that she would be leaving early. The caller though, turns out to be Tae Joon calling to inform her that his appeal date’s been set and to apologize once again. He also offers her congratulations on winning her first case.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
First he shows up, all smirky and smarmy, bringing up her cheating husband so as to throw her off her game and then he has the audacity to say that she wouldn’t be winning the case? What an asshole. A complete and utter jerkface deserving of the first bitchslap of this drama. Dude, sit your fucking ass down.
Headache inducing moment:
None in this episode.
This episode’s a French 21. Elegant, smooth, celebratory and delicious. I haven’t watched the American version so I’m not prejudiced towards the story or the actors and so I found Jeon Do Yeon a delightful Hye Kyung. She’s smart and funny and loyal and strong and confident and just a bit broken but determined to rise above. I loved Tae Joon and the depth he has, his concern for his wife even as I try to deal with the betrayal. And Joong Won is amazing, what with him being Hye Kyung’s number one cheerleader. Plus, he’s really hot. Like really hot. What am I saying, they’re both hot (hahaha). But they’re not the center of the drama: Hye Kyung is and she is graceful and poised and childlike and we’re all happy and delighted at her winning her very first case. Great job Hye Kyung. Here’s a glass to you.