Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deulho Episode 4 RECAP

Wednesday surprise! More recaps!  Join us as Deulho sticks it to Big Bad with the help of just your neighborhood grandma and then gets caught up in the case of a long-term friend.



The grandmother freaks out and slams open the umbrella. Deulho’s eyes focus on the tire track that has been engraved into the yellow umbrella. It states “Center of Benevolence.”


The grandmother wildly swings the umbrella around to keep Deulho and Eunjo at bay as they brought on the nightmares from the night of the crash. Deulho tries to ask her if she got the umbrella after the accident but she only cries that it’s her umbrella. She’s inconsolable until her daughter-in-law comes out and helps her back in. Suddenly, the grandmother is back to normal and asking about what would be for dinner.


Meanwhile, CEO Jung gloats about winning the case. But he’s not satisfied with just winning the case. He has to ask whether they shouldn’t do something about Deulho. The Chief Prosecutor laughs that Deulho is just but a street cat. CEO Jung’s response? Sometimes dangerous street cats need to be out done.

Attorney Jang and Chief Prosecutor Shin both stay quiet and Jung Junior saves them from answering. CEO Jung’s secretary has reported about the viral video of Jung Junior, naked and sleeping in the street with the declaration that Geum San stole the USB written on his back in lipstick! CEO Jung goes home to beat up his son and then orders that Geum San clean up the mess.


Meanwhile, Deulho broods over the pictures of tire tracks from the accident before making the connection with the tracks on the yellow umbrella. Ae Ra breathlessly rushes in with news, too. She has pictures from the Center of Benevolence. One of the workers had gifted the yellow umbrella to the deceased victim, Noh Kangsoo. He had been so grateful that he took it around everywhere.


Good news comes in pairs! Daesoo and his minions have even found one of the car tires to use as a sample! Deulho and Ae Ra pull it off and begin painting it to get samples.

They have a clear match with the umbrella!

At the same time, Eunjo thinks about Deulho and how Deulho is planning to use the grandmother as a witness. Her senior associate comes in with a small divorce case for her to handle since she has tons of time according to the firm. But Eunjo? She declines! A first year newbie less than a month in basically just tells her senior that she’s planning to take the rest of the day off and runs off.


Eunjo joins Deulho and Ae Ra playing go stop with the grandmother. As she has tons of fun, Deulho invites the grandmother to a game room to play more go stop. He also tells her to bring the umbrella since it will be raining.

And… The grandmother accepts!

As the grandmother arrives, Eunjo is with her mom at her mom’s work. Omg! Hello Malsook from Heaven’s Promise. Eunjo’s mom encourages her to wear eye cream and they end up talking about Eunjo’s grandmother who also had dementia. Eunjo asks her mother about when her grandmother was more clear minded. Her mom answers that it was when Eunjo was around because the grandmother loved her so much!


At the trial, Deulho gets the grandmother to discuss the car accident that she saw. What Kangsoo was wearing and the car. Then Deulho pulls up Jishik’s own testimony to show how similar they are.


Then Prosecutor Shin gets up and aggravates the grandmother by bringing up her own son’s car accident. As Deulho tries to stop it, Prosecutor Shin explains that he just wants to make a point that the witness’ dementia colors her testimony and continues describing the horrible scene of the grandmother’s own son’s car accident which she witnessed.

The grandmother quickly gets agitated and ends up hugging herself on the court room floor. Deulho rushes over to help her but it’s the entrance of her daughter-in-law that calms the grandmother down.


Prosecutor Shin makes a move that the witness is uncredible but the grandmother cuts in. She yells at Prosecutor Shin that her son had broad shoulders because he did judo. Even if she has dementia, she wouldn’t confuse her son with the victim.


Prosecutor Shin then asks the grandmother to pick out Kangsoo from a bunch if pictures. The grandmother gets up and correctly picks out the two pictures.

Prosecutor Shin accuses Deulho of planning this with the grandmother. So, she snaps back that Kangsoo would often buy soju at her marker but not pay the full price and run off. Prosecutor Shin then announces that the grandmother is just assuming that the car accident victim is the same man.

Deulho gets up and agrees that mistakes can happen. But, he pulls up the pictures of Kangsoo. You see, Kangsoo always carried a yellow umbrella.


He then asks the grandmother when she got her umbrella. She remembers the scene and stutters that she picked it up on the night of the accident. To make his point, Deulho opens the umbrella and everyone sees how there’s tire tracks and the umbrella is stamped with the mark of the homeless shelter.

Deulho smiles and the grandmother laughs that it’s pretty.


The trial ends and Deulho giddily jokes with the grandmother and that he loves her. The grandmother puts the two lawyers’ hands together and blesses them to live long together and have tons of kids together. The daughter in law knows that this is not true and quickly pulls the grandmother away with the excuse that she needs to take medicine.


Then it’s sentencing! The judge announces that there was enough doubt to find Jishik innocent.


Prosecutor Shin throws a tantrum in his office that he can win after appealing the decision. His father answers that this why Shin Junior lost. He assumed that he would win while Deulho ran around looking for evidence to win. He tells Shin Junior to let the case alone.

Chief Prosecutor calls CEO Jung and explains the situation. He notes that it will be difficult to win on appeal and promises to take care of Deulho so he doesn’t go around trying to put Jung Junior in jail.

His plan? To go meet with Deulho. On the way there, we see how the Chief Prosecutor had seen the potential in Deulho and offered his support. When the other waste-of-air / clearly cannot spot talent if it hit them on the head/ insecure peers of Deulho made him a loner (how dare you make PSY a loner?!) because Deulho was poor, had no backing supporters and due to his background took a exam instead of going through college… The Chief sat with Deulho and openly promised to back him.

So set Deulho on his path. He would go out and go after the criminals together. He would even crack the hardest criminals creatively by starving them and eating in front of them… Psychological attacks! The Chief had watched Deulho grow like a proud daddy.

The Chief visits Deulho in his office and asks if this was what Deulho wanted when Deulho betrayed him. Interesting choice of words. Deulho replies that he wanted to do what is right.

Prosecutor Shin sighs and warns Deulho that he cannot protect Deulho any longer. He tells Deulho to be careful if he wants to see Soobin grow old.


Next thing we know, Deulho brings a bottle of soju back to the tunnel where he lived as a beggar. He broods about how it was his fault for covering up the crime in the first place that his friend died and Jishik was accused of murder. He reminds himself that the real culprit is living happily and leaves the soju and walks off.

The next day, Deulho goes back to the office where Daesoo had put the title “Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deulho” on the windows. Daesoo repeatedly calls Deulho “Attorney” in a respective tone oozing with ulterior motive and happily hand over a bill for using the office and staff as support. Deulho barely gets out of signing when Jishik shows up with his son. He and his son even bow down to the ground in gratitude and Deulho & crew fall to the floor in a responsive answer.

Jishik also presents a new suit for Deulho as he assumed Deulho wouldn’t accept monetary payment…and, Deulho seemed to only wear one suit. Daesoo pipes up that Deulho is broke and would accept money, too, but Deulho overrides him. He accepts the suit and Jishik promises to live his life fully!


The crew goes to a gamjatang soup place that Deulho loves. Except, it’s empty. Within minutes of sitting down, the landlord strides in kicking boxes and announcing that Goh (the owner) needs to leave since they are redeveloping the neighborhood. Goh yells back that the landlord is not welcome since they have five years left on the lease. The landlord repeats that there is a redevelopment planned, so the lease doesn’t govern anymore.

Finally, Deulho gets up and asks if Goh received any compensation for the updates that he made to the restaurant. He didn’t. The landlord isn’t offering any compensation for breaking the lease early either. Deulho muses that there should be compensation and the landlord leaves.

But then the landlord goes outside to call someone. Suddenly, a bunch of thugs arrive and start dusting off their gloved on the dishes which Deulho and crew were eating from. Deulho sighs that the landlord is cheating and gets up to ask the thugs to leave. They refuse so Deulho sicks Daesoo and the rest on them…

The thugs get beaten up and everyone gets arrested! Ae Ra tries to get Officer Choi to let them go but he sighs that even though she is his sunbae, he can’t let them go…

The crew yells that the thugs came in looking for a fight first! But, the officer remains stubborn that it’s an issue between the landlord and tenant. Finally, Deulho announces that he was there as Goh’s (first name Byunsoo) lawyer. They get set free.

As Deulho leaves with his group, Byunsoo runs over and falls to his feet in gratitude. Officer Choi had called him to let him know that Deulho was taking on his case. Deulho and the group cannot tell Byunsoo the truth…

Meanwhile, Shin Junior receives a new report and supporting documents. Jung Junior is involved in some money laundering through a charity front and it needs to be investigated. He goes to his father for a warrant but his father reminds him to stay out unless he wants to end up like Deulho.


The landlord also reports in to Jung Junior that the tenant doesn’t want to leave. Jung Junior snaps that he will let the law firm handle it and yells at the landlord to fix it immediately!


Next thing we know, people from a construction company arrive at the gamjatang place to start breaking down the place at night. But, before they can smash a thing, Deulho waltzes by with chains. He chains himself to the doors and laughs that the workers cannot break any of the restaurant property while he’s camping there.


Jishik won! Wow. I usually don’t like episodic dramas because the episode I too short for me to really get to know a character. But, taking around 3.5 episodes really hit the spot.


Additionally, I loved the fact that Deulho used the testimony of two people who are usually dismissed by society to win the case against the large law firm defending CEO Jang. It’s true that separately, the beggar’s testimony as an eye witness and a woman with dementia would be dismissed. But when you put it together and add the evidence like the umbrella, there is enough doubt. And, in a way, Deulho empowered both Jishik and the grandmother. Because, they had the high and mighty judges of the appeals court as well as everyone else watching the trial listen. That. Is. Amazing.

The other thing that felt true to the story was how Deulho kind of fell into his next case. He goes to a restaurant that he loves and finds it fighting another lopsided battle. He doesn’t want get involved and doesn’t offer to represent Byunsoo or anything. He just eats his potato stew with the others…

But, when the thugs come in to literally throw dirt on their food. It becomes personal. Now, it’s not just about helping someone, it’s about teaching some arsehats that sometimes victims fight back. Then, it was even more unbelievably believeable that Deulho would squeak out that he represents Byunsoo so that his group can get out of jail instead of dealing with the hassles of an investigation of an incident of joint battery and dealing with the resulting settlement issues. Rather, as the lawyer, suddenly Deulho has a reason to be there and to be protecting Byunsoo’s restaurant…


But, all of these out of his control circumstances just tells us that Deulho is not a young sapling with a messiah complex. In fact, the scene where he goes back to the tunnel with a drink was quite poignant. Everyone has moments of self doubt. It doesn’t even have to be when things are going wrong but when there’s an onslaught of the imposter syndrome.  He won but if he really thinks about it… He caused it.  So, does he have the right to receive Jishik’s gratitude? Deulho manifested that self doubt and imposter syndrome amazingly. And, it makes me invested in the story even more.


MY LAWYER MR. JO RECAP by DRAMAFEED | Copy & Paste Guidelines – Always put a link back to the source.

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?



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!!


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.


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…


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


MY LAWYER MR. JO RECAP by DRAMAFEED | Copy & Paste Guidelines – Always put a link back to the source.

Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deulho Episode 2 RECAP

Attorney Jo wins his first battle for the underdog!  The baddies learn that Deulho is back and with a vengeance.  What is the scariest thing in the world for the corrupt bid baddies? Someone who is intelligent and has nothing to lose.



Deulho’s entrance ratters all of them but the defendant (Jishik) has given consent and Deulho had filed his appearance. They can’t do anything but let Deulho in. The prosecutor accuses Jishik of setting fire to the construction site drunkenly. Deulho and Eunjo both respond that they deny the charge.


First attack. The prosecutor brings up an expert to opine on Jishik’s burn wound after the accident. It was on his back and Jishik had said he was asleep upstairs… Then, he couldn’t have gotten hit from the top.


Deulho gets up and decides to go with the strategy of banging on the table! He asks if the expert woke up in a burning building, he would immediately jump out of the second story window… The expert stutters that he doesn’t know so Deulho continues. If it were Deulho, he would try to find another way and walk around in shock before turning to jump out. He asks the expert what ten people would do in the situation… Would they all jump?

The expert answers that unless it was clearly an emergency with no other way out, most people would try to find an alternative to jumping from the second floor. So, Deulho continues that it could be possible that Jishik woke up and went downstairs to check on the situation before running back upstairs… During which he got the wound on his back. The expert concedes. Yay for the pound the desk strategy!


Next the prosecutor brings up another homeless guy. He testifies that Jishik had been bullied by the deceased several times. He also overhead Jishik drunkenly declare that he would kill the deceased…

The prosecutor then announces that this has happened in the past. Jishik had started a profitable restaurant but the landlord had kicked him out after a couple of months. Then Jishik had set the whole restaurant on fire.

The flow is disadvantageous for Jishik… Ae-Ra signals for Deulho to cut it off. Deulho quickly asks for a time out to use the restroom as it’s an emergency. He explains the same to Eunjo before meeting the prosecutor in the bathroom. They have a who’s manlihood is bigger type of fight and Deulho leaves after wiping his hands dry on the prosecutor’s robes.


Then it’s Eunjo’s turn to cross the witness. She starts to focus the witness on Jishik’s usually calm temperament and turns to Jishik’s drinking. Deulho interrupts to stop Eunjo. He yells at her for trying to go with the strategy of it was manslaughter due to alcohol and… The judge basically adjourns for the day as the two defending lawyers have not even settled on their strategy.


Deulho and Eunjo fight in front of Jishik. Deulho asks Jishik if he got drunk and accidentally set the fire in his drunken state. Jishik denies it. So Deulho harrumph and walks out after warning Jishik not to trust Eunjo.


They walk out to a bunch of reporters… It looks like Deulho planned it. Ae-Ra comes out to ask in broken Korean if Deulho is confident about the case since he was in charge of the case originally. Deulho agrees loudly that he’s confident and also introduces Eunjo as a lawyer from the top law firm.


CEO Jung and the Chief Prosecutor watch it together. The CEO is pissed that Deulho is basically sending a warning to him and the Chief Prosecutor promises to take care of it…He calls his son in and warns him not to take Deulho lightly. Deulho had a perfect record. The Chief Prosecutor offers to help but his son refuses it.


CEO Jung then calls Attorney Jang into his office. He asks Attorney Jang to lose the case in exchange for representing the company in an upcoming sale.

We then turn to Deulho who is meeting with Jishik. He asks about the past fire. Jishik stutters at first… But, then he confidently announces that he was pissed and drunk when he set fire to the restaurant before. Deulho muses that they need to differentiate this case from the restaurant case and wonders if they should contact Jishik’s family. Jishik reacts strongly against it.


Meanwhile, Eunjo gets called in by her superior who was ordered by Attorney Jang to take care of the case. He tells Eunjo to report on all of Deulho’s activities.


Deulho? He’s busy! Busy moving his office into Daesoo’s office. Ae-Ra helps by womanhandling Daesoo over his protests over his office getting taken over.

Night falls. Deulho finds no silver bullet in the case files and his mind wanders back to Ilkook. In the ambulance, Ilkook had handed over a key on a chain before passing on…


Deulho decides that when the papers don’t help even though he knows the true story, he has to go back to the scene of the crime. He walks through the warehouse, narrating how the real killer brought the corpse in his sports car and then set the fire… He walks around thinking about what Jishik could have done. He also remembers that there were supposedly six security cameras around the spot but only five tapes were produced.

Then Ae-Ra calls to tell him that the police officer in charge of the case, Officer Kim suspiciously retired and started a restaurant in Kangnam.

The next day, Eunjo visits the new office to tail Deulho. She offers to drive him and he sees the sticker on the back window that announces to the world that a beginner driver is at the wheel. Eunjo drives slowly and gets into several near accidents… By the time that they pause to the side, Deulho jumps out.


Their first stop? To see Jishik’s son. Byun Junior is a prickly brat. He yells at them both about his father being too weak and causing him and his mother trouble. He reaches up to wipe his forehead and we see a burn scar on his hand… Hmmm… Maybe the first fire was Byun Junior’s act and not Jishik’s.

Deulho then lies that hr has to go to a funeral and goes to a hotel instead. Eunjo follows and sees him go into a room with Ae-Ra. They watch from the top window for Officer Kim to arrive. Office Kim finally does, but he just grabs money from the register and leaves to go gambling again. Turns out that Officer Kim got addicted to gambling and lost all his money.


That night CEO Jung meets with the Prosecutor Chief and his son. The CEO asks prosecutor junior what he thinks about the case. Prosecutor junior answers confidently that the defendant is guilty.


Then junior walks out to take a call. The CEO sighs that it’s a shame that Deulho didn’t join them when Deulho was so good at his job. He also asks if Prosecutor Shin will be able to win. The Chiefs Prosecutor answers that he also agrees that Deulho was different; he was a natural. But, he will help his son win… All of which junior overhears.

At the same time Deulho asks Officer Kim for a copy of the security tape. Officer Kim denies knowing it. So, Deulho reminds him that CEO Jung knows he has the tape… It’s better to help Deulho win or risk disappearing when the CEO decides he’s too much of a risk.

Eunjo goes to her mom’s home for dinner where she eats with her mom. Mom asks Eunjo to move in but Eunjo doesn’t want to since Mom is living with her step dad.

Meanwhile, Deulho gets a breakthrough! They do have pictures from the scene showing the tire tracks and Jung Junior had driven a rare imported sports car. The tire tracks would be unique.


The next day, Deulho tells Jishik to remember carefully. Jishik has to turn into a witness to stop being an defendant. Jishik stutters that he doesn’t remember.

Deulho tells him to focus and begins…Jishik was sleeping when he smelled something weird and woke up. He went to the window to get fresh air and saw a sports car driving away. There was a young twenties-something driving away.

At that moment, Eunjo arrives and accuses Deulho of making Jishik lie on the stand. Deulho replies back that no one knows it’s a lie and he knows for a fact that Jishik didn’t do the crime.


The trial begins and Jishik awkwardly repeats the story. He doesn’t seem confident and no one looks convinced. But, Deulho continues. He shows the pictures of the tire tracks and announces that they can find the real perpetrator if they listen to Jishik’s witness testimony and investigate carefully.


The Prosecutor then gets up. He slinks up to Jishik and wonders why Jishik suddenly remembered everything. Cue creepy smile. Jishik stutters because the poor guy is too honest. Deulho tries to come to his rescue by objecting to the Prosecutor’s leading question.

Then the Prosecutor announces that Deulho probably instructed Jishik to lie. He turns to Deulho and asks if he thinks he’s a lawyer.

Suddenly, Jishik stands up and announces in a convicted voice. He shouts that he is telling the truth. He told everyone the truth about what he saw from the beginning. But no one listened and started to intimidate him… Then everyone accused him of being the murderer and only Attorney Jo listened to him…. Only Attorney Jo believed in him. He thanks Deulho in front of everyone.


Do you feel that? That warmth spreading inside of you and the tears that threaten to leak out because finally! Good won over evil even if it was just one battle among the many in the war. Yes, Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deulho did it. It just emotionally moved me and made me feel vicarious catharsis. Because who doesn’t enjoy seeing the underdog good win over corrupt big bad?

First off, the cons. Because no drama is perfect even though I love this drama. This episode focused on establishing Deulho as the quirky dork but brilliant lawyer who does anything to save his client. The problem? Some of the amazing discoveries were really just meh and the critical side of me wondered why the investigators didn’t pick up on the obvious evidence during the first round of investigation… I mean tire tracks? Completely circumstantial and useless unless you can prove that the car was at the scene on or around the time of the accident. Of course, all Deulho is trying to do is provide enough doubt that his client isn’t adjudicated as guilty, but still…


This is called a failed stakeout…yo.

Now on to what the drama does well. It toes the line of humor right on the edge of the ice. It’s like just an inch more and I’d be rolling my eyes. But, Park Shin Yang does an amazing job of becoming Deulho that I’m not second guessing every gag. Deulho is so cheap he washes up in Daesoo’s bathroom. Hmmm Shin Yang seems so serious, I guess it can happen. Deulho’s shakeout location is a seedy motel during the day. Well Shin Yang looked so naturally awkward when he was being pulled in, I couldn’t help but laugh. In conclusion, Park Shin Yang carried another episode and I ate it all up.


I put on lens-less glasses and look tired and voila! Empathy!

Finally, our Eunjo. She was a little more likeable in this episode as we could see that she really cares about the case and doing well. Sure, she has no idea what she’s doing and she has no experience. But, she’s trying her darnest! Also, she’s true to her naive character that I can’t blame her for not realizing that the firm is setting her up to take a fall. Instead, I feel little seeds of empathy growing inside me.



MY LAWYER MR. JO RECAP by DRAMAFEED | Copy & Paste Guidelines – Always put a link back to the source.

Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deulho Episode 1 RECAP

The Spring of dramas is here! SEE THE POURING RAIN OF ENGROSSING DRAMAS and sigh with pleasant relief and contentment.  Then, come watch Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deulho for a quick hour of laughing and getting your heart squeezed.  The first episode follows a naive but quick and quirky up and coming prosecutor who falls hard when he goes after a chaebol.  However, his sense of justice doesn’t stay away forever and he returns when one of his own decisions may lead to an innocent man getting prosecuted for murder.


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Meet our zany and definitely quirky prosecutor Jo Deul-Ho.  He sits in the prosecutor’s seat and takes the first attack on CEO Jung the defendant and CEO of Daewa Group who gets wheeled in. He notes that he knows Jung is going to ask for an extension  due to his health condition.  So, he promises to ask a few questions and let Jung go. After quietly whispering to Jung that he knows that Jung  is lying, he pretends to drop a tarantula on Jung. Jung falls for it and jumps up shouting like crazy, effectively killing his argument for an extension.  Deulho smiles victoriously and announces impishly that Jung has been miraculously cured.

The defending lawyer gets up and asks Jung if he wants to say anything. Jung breaks down in fake sobs and confesses that if he has done anything wrong in his life, it is giving a bribe to a prosecutor. He then points to Jung as the prosecutor whom he bribed. Next, the defending lawyer brings up pictures of Jung looking chummy with Deulho as well as screencaps of the alleged account in which Jung transferred money to Deulho.


Deulho gets up slowly and processes the situation. He walks out of the court room in a daze and runs past all of his fellow prosecutors out to arrest him on the Chief Prosecutor’s order.

Meanwhile, plot twist. The defending lawyer? It was Deulho’s ex-wife (Jang Hye Kyung).


Deulho manages to catch his father-in-law in his car as it leaves… He’s the head of the best law firm in Korea – Geum San.  But daddy-in-law’s response? That he was wrong to let Deulho into the  family who ended up being a liability.

Hye Kyung goes to visit Deulho in prison. She offers a deal. He gives up all custody rights over their daughter Soobin and she will let him off with one year of probation. She notes that they didn’t marry for love and didn’t match each other… He should go back to his rightful place… Deulho refuses and ends up with six months of prison, one year of probation and a financial fine.


Fast forward three years. We meet our female protagonist (Eunjo). She’s a first year associate at the law firm Geum San.  She’s adorably and almost sickenly sweetly naive and bubbly – running to her first day of work in heels instead of just switching to heels in the office? Ah, must not nitpick…


Eunjo gets her first assignment from who seems like a partner. She’s supposed to find the homeless man who sold his Korean social security number for their case. Instead of giving the task to the firm’s prosecutor, she goes off to look herself.


Eunjo ends up looking among the homeless people as they are the usual folks who sell their social security numbers for richer corrupt people to create false accounts. She also runs into Deulho under a tunnel… First meeting! It ends quickly when Deulho growls at her and Eunjo runs away after putting the cardboard box back on Deulho so that he can sleep in peace.

Deulho wakes up and goes for his free meal. But then there are two other homeless guys that overheard that  Deulho used to be a prosecutor. One of them (Hwang) has a case where his wife used his social security number to get a loan from a loan shark (Bae Daesoo) who is demanding an usurious amount in repayment. Deulho tries to run away from the two but they stick to him like glue.


So, Deulho goes to Daesoo. Turns out Daesoo remembers Deulho. Deulho even forces his way to a cafe with Daesoo where he asks Daesoo if it’s true that he leant $3000 and asked for $6000. Daesoo denies it so Deulho brings Hwang in.

Daesoo begins to yell at Hwang so Deulho cuts in. Deulho reminds Daesoo that he was caught for importing counterfeit products… The statute of limitations isn’t over yet… Cue Daesoo handing over the money over the legal interest rate cap.  Deulho and his two beggar friends leave and Daesoo sighs to his minions that he only gave the money as allowance because he felt bad.


Deulho and his new friends end up getting stiffed at a lounge which refuses to let them in while Eunjo sees a pickpocket take the wallet of a drunkard at the subway station.  They all cross paths when the pickpocket runs through Deulho’s tunnel and knocks over Soobin’s picture which Deulho had been talking to…

Off Deulho goes! He chases down the pickpocket and ends up pinning the ground.  When he takes off the cap, Deulho pauses as he recognizes the pickpocket at Kang Ilkook.  Ilkook sees the police and Eunjo running over and leaves…When the police stop Deulho, they find the stolen wallet in Deulho’s pocket.
They all go to the police station where Deulho refuses to confess to the crime or identify Ilkook.  The officer starts to yell at Deulho to tell the truth.  That’s when Eunjo steps in and tells him that it’s not right to coerce a confession.  She also offers to represent him if he needs representation since everyone has a right to representation.
Deulho looks up in surprise but doesn’t say anything.  Later that night, he remembers his time as a junior prosecutor.  The Chief Prosecutor had taken him to a meeting with CEO Jung.  Deulho had awkwardly stood on the side before he decided to make the party more lively by singing and dancing…  CEO Jung had loved it and approved.  It was pictures from after this meeting that got Deulho in trouble… Yet, after the dinner, the Chief Prosecutor took Deulho to a bar and told him not to do anything in the future that could make the prosecutor’s office lose face…He also handed over a small case for Deulho to handle on behalf of CEO Jung.
The next day, Deulho reviews the case file.  It’s for Kang Ilkook… He had confessed to setting fire to a construction space where someone had died in the resulting fire.  Deulho refuses to believe it and grabs Ilkook’s  collar to force him to tell the truth…
Then Deulho waits for the Chief Prosecutor.  He explains that he found out that CEO Jung’s son had actually set fire to the construction.  Ilkook had only confessed because CEO Jung promised to support the orphanage from now on…The Chief Prosecutor doesn’t seem surprised.  Deulho asks that the Chief Prosecutor allow him to drop the case and he promises to destroy all of the evidence.  The Chief Prosecutor agrees.
Deulho’s ex-chief of staff Ae-Ra comes to the rescue and sets him free.  However, on his way out, he runs into Eunjo.  She apologizes for thinking that he was an accomplice of the pick pocket and offers to buy Deulho lunch instead.  So, Deulho orders five servings of barbecue beef and asks Eunjo why she became a lawyer.  Eunjo replies confidently that she wanted to make sure that innocent people don’t go to jail.  Deulho immediately dismisses her answer and tells her to give him the real answer – not the fairy tale version.  Eunjo frowns that she gave him the true answer and Deulho leaves.
At the same time, the closed case comes back to life… Except, they have a new suspect.  The police have caught a homeless man whom they believe set the fire.  CEO Jung tells the Chief Prosecutor to fix the situation correctly this time.  The Chief Prosecutor promises to fix it and gives it to his son Shin Jiwook….And, to keep everyone connected, Geum San takes on defending the homeless guy.  Eunjo the newbie is assigned to this pro bono case.
Later that evening, Deulho goes to find Ilkook.  He offers some of the barbecue beef.  Ilkook refuses the beef and smirks that Deulho has no right to come to him now…Deulho is the one who had made him into an ex-felon so he couldn’t get a job.  Then the all high and mighty Deulho went off and took a bribe falling so low… Ilkook calls Deulho a piece of trash ever since he became a prosecutor and stopped coming back to the orphanage.
This sets off Deulho who throws the rest of the beef at Ilkook and grabs Ilkook by his collar. Deulho yells that he did nothing wrong and could have avoided this situation if he had just let things go three years ago….But what has Ilkook done during the time?  One of Ilkook’s buddies come to lkook’s rescue and smashes a pipe on Deulho’s back.  Ilkook calls off his boys and they leave.
Deulho lays on the ground remembering where it all went wrong.  He was under the mentorship of the Chief Prosecutor when Ilkook brought some of the younger boys from the orphanage to see him with kimchi from the orphanage… Deulho had tried to give them money to go away and not come back…
However, our little Ilkook is a softie.  He shows up in Deulho’s tunnel and they go to a convenience store for instant ramen and some ice cream.  Like old pals, they decide to let bygones be bygones.  Ilkook walks off promising to give Deulho an allowance if he needs it…And gets hit by the truck of doom…. At the funeral, we find out that Ilkook had been pickpocketing to support the orphanage…. The priest that runs the orphanage tells Deulho that Ilkook already felt grateful to Deulho.
The three day funeral ends and Ilkook is cremated.  Deulho walks out in a daze to see the reopened case in the news.  He realizes that it’s all his fault for closing the case without solving it.  Suddenly, he’s back.  He tosses off all of the rags, gets his hair  cut and some new clothes…
We turn to the courtroom where the case is about to be heard.  Suddenly, Deulho walks in and announces that he’s the defendant’s lawyer.  Turns out that he had gone to see the defendant and asked him to sign an engagement letter convincing the guy that having two lawyers is better than one.



First the basics:

Name: Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deulho a/k/a My Lawyer Mr. Jo

Episodes: 20

Airs: Mondays & Tuesdays

Now, on to my ramblings.  As a background I want to first convey the general wisdom of the Korean legal-sphere.  In Korea until the past year (or so), legal jobs were decided by a special governmental exam.  You usually major in law in undergraduate school and then take the exam.   I have been told that only like 15% passed each year.  Then you go study for 2 years at yeonsuwon where your grades determine your job. Depending on your grades, you either became a judge, a prosecutor or a lawyer.  Gross simplification top 5% are offered the option to become judges, the next 5% are offered the option to become prosecutors and the rest become lawyers at a commercial law firm.  [Note, this has changed recently (like last five years) because Korea has decided to get rid of its national exam system and institute graduate law schools.  But that change was literally within the last 3ish? years.]  Originally, it had been more prestigious to become a judge or prosecutor first.  However, in the recent decades, more people even though they scored in the top 5% opted to go to the top law firms for the better pay.  Additionally, there is a revolving door as some judges retire into law firms…So, you get this interesting scenario where the younger judge is presiding over a case being litigated by two of his sunbaes at different law firms.  Anyways, the fight for law firms for retiring judges to join their litigation practices is a topic for another rambling day…Today, we return to Deulho!


So, presumably Deulho is one of the best and brightest of the brightest.  He would have passed an exam that only like 15% pass and then graduated in the top 10% of his class at yeonsuwon. He was also special enough that the Chief Prosecutor decided to take him under his wing… It was interesting to see how the bright eyed and bushy tailed junior prosecutor Deulho try his best to entertain the great and important CEO Jung.  (Not to mention Hye Kyung’s accusation that Deulho didn’t marry her (the daughter of the head of Geum San) out of love….) You see how he feels uncomfortable when he finds out that his friend Ilkook is on the hook for a crime that Jung junior committed. Yet, he doesn’t try to go after Jung junior.  He offers to make it go away, if it means that he can protect his friend…


Somewhere along the way, his conscious came back with a vengeance…which leads us to the first scene where he’s directly attacking CEO Jung and it all backfires on him.  The background that we learned in the rest of the episode really made Deulho human for me.  If he had began guns blazing, I would have been skeptical.  But, you see him try to curry favor and climb the ladder before he turns to be the knight of legal justice… Also, it was horrible to see the whole prosecutorial institution turn on Deulho but it made sense that a young and cocky prosecutor can’t fix everything easily.  Plus, it gives us a reason to watch the rest of the series.


Once, we leave Deulho…The storyline takes a lot more artistic license and is less OMG I LOVE IT RIGHT AWAY. For example, Eunjo is supposed to be Deulho’s future love interest as well as his mirror…She’s still bright eyed and bushy tailed.  She may even be more naive than Deulho because she still believes that she (as a corporate attorney) is there to make a difference for the little guys.  I love the premise of her character but something about her made the character lack the final 2%… Is it the fact that she runs in heels instead of keeping heels at work? Is it the fact that she seems way too dolled up all the time when first years that the number one firm would usually spend their first year working until 2 to 3 AM? Not sure…Something about her character was too storybook Candy for me to fall in love as much as I loved the fallen Deulho.

However, all in all? LOVED the first two episodes. In fact, I can tell you episode 2 cinched it for me and I will be recapping this series.  A lot of veterans appear in this drama… Ryu Soo Young, Kim Gab Soo, Jung Won Joong, Jung Kyu Soo… And, Park Shin Yang. Do I have to say more? Park Shin Yang completely carried the first episode as the dorky overzealous nerd!  Kang Sora’s character might have been slightly annoying but her acting was solid as well.  I look forward to really getting to know these characters more.



MY LAWYER MR. JO RECAP by DRAMAFEED | Copy & Paste Guidelines – Always put a link back to the source.