Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deulho Episode 3 RECAP

Deulho suffers the handicaps of representing a powerless man as the baddies have the law and more on their side. But, wait, is there another way?

THE RECAP

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Jishik’s outburst really hits home for Eunjo. She stumbles around in a daze when she runs into the Prosecutor (Jiwook). He asks her what is wrong and she laments that she should have believed in her client but she didn’t. She declares that she believes him now.

At the same time, Deulho plays with a cup of water and a cup of soju. He gulps down the shot of soju each time until Daesoo comes in and intervenes. Daesoo tells Deulho to drink water instead. Yet, Deulho is too far gone. He mumbles repeatedly that Jishik thanked him for believing but it’s not fair that Jishik has to sleep in jail when he’s innocent. Daesoo sighs that it seems Deulho needs alcohol and joins instead.

Deulho suddenly wakes up and he’s back in Daesoo’s office. He gazes on a photograph of Soobin and remembers how Soobin had been reading about daddy penguins taking care of their babies… Deulho promised to take her to see penguins and the next thing we see is Deulho racing to the airport in a penguin costume. He dances around in the background as Soobin gets ready to go through security. Soobin sees him and smiles dancing back. The two dance together as Soobin realizes with a sad smile that it’s her father.

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Meanwhile, Eunjo just realizes that Jishik’s son must have set fire to the first restaurant. She goes to ask him to testify but the son is adamant. He doesn’t care about his father who left the family with debt.

Deulho swoops in and drags Eunjo off. As they go up the stairs, he pauses and notes that the only reason Jishik is maintaining his innocence is to keep his son from being the child of a felon. So, the son can do whatever he wants.

Then Deulho gets a text from ex-officer Kim. As directed, Deulho goes to wait in a cafe but no one approaches. Finally, Deulho decides that he has waited enough and leaves. But, just as he gets up Kim calls and walks by… Slipping Deulho the USB in a folded paper.

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Deulho goes home and views the security camera footage in the dark of Daesoo’s office. It clearly shows Jung’s son dragging a corpse into the empty building. As Deulho broods, Daesoo comes in and Deulho hides the USB and takes Daesoo off for dinner.

Gasp! They are all related! The next day, Jiwook comes to pick up Deulho’s ex-wife and she excitedly calls him uncle! That usually means brother of one’s mother – in this case, we will go with that he’s Soobin’s mom’s friend.

Time for the next trial. Deulho confidently requests that the judge allow him to submit the USB as evidence. The judge cautiously accepts over Jiwook’s protest. But, everyone is surprised when the file is just pictures and videos of Deulho going into the seedy motel to stake out Kim.

Deulho runs over to stop the projection. He also looks up and sees Taejung smirking as he saunters out. Deulho shouts at Taejung and runs after him. But, Taejung leaves and Deulho runs into Jishik’s son.

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Deulho gets Jishik’s son admitted as a new witness. Eunjo gets up to question him but he keeps his mouth shut.

So, Deulho gets up. He announces that he was sent to the orphanage when he was five. He used to hate his father but now he just wants to see his father. He notes that Jishik might be imprisoned for years and asks if the son doesn’t have anything to say to his father.

The son frowns and lifts up his hand. He declares that the burn scar is from five years ago when he set his father’s restaurant on fire. He had been furious that his father wasn’t even fighting the landlord who was kicking them out.

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Then the prosecutor gets up. He tells the son that the son should be very careful. If he lied, it’s perjury. If it’s the truth, he’s guilty of arson.

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Eunjo protests on the grounds that the prosecutor is threatening the witness. But, the damage is done. Jishik jumps up and repeats that his son is lying… He set the restaurant aflame and his son is completely innocent.  You can literally hear hearts breaking as Jishik repeatedly bows…It’s almost as if it’s a kindness to pretend to believe his lie so that he can save his son from jail-time.

The trial closes a mess. The son stalks out with Eunjo on his heels. She asks him to see his father before he goes but he doesn’t want to…

Meanwhile, Deulho promises to appeal the case. But, Jishik asks Deulho to stop. Grasping Deulho’s hands, Jishik cries that the thing he wants to avoid most in the world is his son becoming a criminal…

Deulho leaves with Eunjo running after him. He finally turns around and accuses her of either being a sly accomplice of the thief who stole the USB or stupid. Eunjo responds by looking at him in confusion and insists that she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This is not good enough for Deulho who snaps that she can just stay out of his sight then.

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Deulho strikes back. He watches the security camera footage in the loan shark office with Daesoo and Ae-Ra. They see the sneak waiting as Deulho watched the video and then break inside to steal the USB.

Deulho takes a maximized screen capture of the thief, borrows Daesoo’s sunglasses and goes to battle. His first battle is with Eunjo’s senior attorney who denies knowing the person in the picture. Deulho’s response? A punch in the face! Yesssss.

Then Deulho goes up to the floor where daddy-in-law Jang is. He gets through useless security guards falling them one by one. Oh my! A lawyer that can fight? Totally hot!!

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Deulho storms into Attorney Jang’s office and demands his USB back. Attorney Jang responds by accusing Deulho of being stubbornly stupid. But, Deulho answers that they have to correct the wrongs….

Attorney Jang snipes that Deulho should think about his own life… Or how will he face Soobin. The attack hits home and Deulho begins to pant with frustration. He does grit out that wearing sunglasses is blinding him from practicality just as his father-in-law must be blinded to cheat… Deulho throws down the printed screen capture and warns his father-in-law that he’s not going to follow the rules either now. And, adds that his father in law better use less incompetent underlings for his dirty work.

At the same time, Eunjo is act the copy machine when she overhears her senior attorney scream into his cell phone for getting caught… I see her brain working…

Meanwhile, the Jiwook  gloats about Deulho’s mistake at the trial. Then he asks about Deulho’s USB… Deulho isn’t the type to peacock around without real evidence. He asks if Deulho is right and Geum San took the USB. He also offers to look into it. But, the Chief Prosecutor cuts him off and instructs Jiwook to close the case fast.

Later, Eunjo is in the parking lot when she sees her senior associate meet up with the thief. And, a white envelope is handed over. Eunjo runs over to awkwardly ask if they weren’t involved in the pictures in the swapped USB since it was all places Eunjo had reported back to the senior attorney about. The senior attorney snaps back that the law firm isn’t a gang and orders Eunjo back to work.

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We turn to Deulho! He swaps places with a younger guy and pretends to be the called driver for Jung Junior. He then continues to drive recklessly so that Jung Junior gets more nauseous… The next morning, a video goes viral. It’s of Jung Junior in his boxers with his chest colored in with lipstick and an announcement on his back with lipstick that Geum San took the USB.

Meanwhile, Eunjo tries calling Deulho and growls that Deulho is ignoring her calls. Deulho’s ex-wife hears her mention Deulho’s name and frowns…

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Hye Kyung calls Eunjo over to her office and instructs that Eunjo leave the case if they lose the first trial. Eunjo frowns and tries to reason that the defendant is innocent. Hye Kyung firmly repeats thay the firm only pursues cases that they win or make a profit from. The issue is closed.

In the countryside, Deulho and Daesoo look around the scene of where the original car accident supposedly occurred. Deulho lays down on the street from all angles to see what might have seen the accident… He spots an old grandmother sitting in front of a neighborhood market.

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They walk over and hear that she’s always sitting there watching the street. Deulho thinks that she might be a great witness until… The grandmother asks about the news of the world Cup being held in Korea in 2002. She has dementia.

The two decide to go home and Deulho finds Jishik’s son. He invites the son to Jishik’s sentencing trial and reminds him that if he doesn’t do everything he can, he will always live with guilt.

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The next day, the judge finds Jishik guilty and sentences him of eight years in prison. The courtroom is silent except for Jishik’s heaving… Deulho finds Jishik’s son outside in the hall and invites him to see his father. But the son only hands over a box of dumplings for Jishik and walks off.

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Jishik receives the box of dumplings back in prison and tears up again. Even though Deulho encourages Jishik to appeal the case, Jishik refuses. So, Deulho promises to not use Jishik’s son as a witness again and explains that the dumplings are from his son.

Jishik gazes at the dumpling with tears and stuffs one into his mouth before sharing it with Deulho and Eunjo…

Deulho goes back to his office where Ae-Ra has news. There was a witness to the car accident – a woman named Malsook Lee. Except, the police didn’t go to investigate because the grandmother has dementia.

Deulho rushes back to the grandmother. He approaches her by asking the price for a bottle of makgeulli. She remembers Deulho and he sits down to talk with her.

Then after paying for the alcohol, he starts pouring it on the street where the accident was. Malsook runs over and yells at him for wasting good drink. But, Deulho calms her down by explaining that it’s an offering for the deceased.

The conversation goes naturally to the accident. Malsook saw it all right. She saw the sports car hit a man… A young man and a young woman come out to take the corpse into the car… Suddenly, there’s buzzing as Malsook remembers the blood. Her eyes unfocus and she opens her yellow umbrella, swinging it at Deulho as she yells at him not to get close. The music begins as Deulho recognizes the car tracks on the umbrella.

MY TWO CENTS

Ah, Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deulho is settling nicely into its groove with this episode. We can see that it veers slightly off the path of a purely episodic crime drama where a crime is solved in every episode a la Vampire Detective or Pied Piper. Each legal case looks like they will span two or more episodes, which is refreshing.

It’s always easier to frame the drama in each episode. To draw out the storyline for one case over more than one episode means that the writer has to develop subplots while not losing sight of the overall plot. Here, the drama does it well. We see Deulho trying different things. Turning Jishik into a witness wasn’t enough, Jishik’s son as a witness wasn’t enough and the USB ended up being a dud. Suddenly, there’s this hairy possibility of a grandmother with dementia. But, problems still remain. How is he going to make the grandmother care enough to testify? What about making a case that her testimony is worth it when she has dementia? The writer gives us keys that are all short to open the lock, but may when combined with the other keys be enough.

The best part of the journey as we find each key, we learn a little more about the characters such as the defendant Jishik and this new grandmother Malsook. Each character is not merely a side character but has enough screen time and subplot to establish his or her persona and drag you in before you know it. It’s these details which makes Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deulho so enjoyable for me.

(CC BY-NC-ND) DRAMAFEED 2016.

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