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 RECAP

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

MY TWO CENTS

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.

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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…

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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.

(CC BY-NC-ND) DRAMAFEED 2016.

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?

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.

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.

THE RECAP

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

MY TWO CENTS

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…

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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.

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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.

 

(CC BY-NC-ND) DRAMAFEED 2016.

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.

THE RECAP

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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…
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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…
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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.

 

MY TWO CENTS

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!

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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…

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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.

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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.

 

(CC BY-NC-ND) DRAMAFEED 2016.

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

The Virtual Bride – E12 (Finale)

The competition continues and Inyoung runs back to help Choonja.  Things fall apart just as they do before you can put everything back into place.  In the end, the family comes together stronger than ever.

THE RECAP

Dongsuk considers telling the judges but Choonja hushes him. As the competition starts, Inyoung runs back out into Sanshik’s car and they head toward the competition.

Inyoung gets stuck in traffic so she gets out and runs. Meanwhile, Choonja and Dongsuk decide to focus on their bean paste since they don’t have their family soy sauce.

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With fifteen minutes left, Choonja tastes their food and sighs that the meal doesn’t taste right because they don’t have soy sauce. Just then, Inyoung runs in carrying the jar of pickles which was pickled in sauce that she made to mimic Choonja’s cooking. Choonja approves of the sauce and they use it.

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The judges come around and note that Haji’s team’s soy sauce taste is amazing. They also note that Choonja’s cooking and sauce is good as well. But since the main sauce was soy sauce, they note that the barbecue meat seems lacking due to the lack of soy sauce marinating.

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Surprisingly, Haji’s team wins. Inyoung tells the family that she pushed off the trip but the CEO calls because Inyoung just bailed on the US gig.

Back at home, Myungsuk tells his mother that he doesn’t think he should go to the United Kingdom when the family is having such a hard time. However, Choonja tells him to go.

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In the morning, Junsu runs into Young-Ah in the hallway. He asks her to talk but Young-Ah answers that she doesn’t have the confidence to continue to live with him when he always supports his parents. Junsu sighs that he will always choose his mother and agrees to divorce.

Junsu walks out and sees his father. His father tells him not to divorce because Junsu will then end up living like his father.

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Things don’t go well for Inyoung. The famous US celebrity that Inyoung was supposed to meet posted a nasty message about Inyoung. As a result, the Internet turns against Inyoung and all of the projects lined up Inyoung begin to get cancelled.

The only good thing is Choonja hears about Inyoung from Dongsuk…who also tells Myungsuk.

Inyoung also ends up offering to leave the agency so that her group members do not get dragged down with her.

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Meanwhile, Mi-Hee snaps at Young-Ah for making her son a divorcee. Young-Ah doesn’t take the abuse silently. She answers that she also feels bad for Junsu since he will grow old as a mommy’s boy.

Young-Ah gets her stuff and says goodbye to Junsu who gives her divorce papers. She tells him to choose a woman who will be good to Mi-Hee next time instead of a woman whom he falls for. She walks out with dry eyes but falls to the ground right outside the door.

Junsu goes into his room to find something and sees that Young-Ah has cleaned everything up. She’s even labeled everything for him.

At the same time, Junsu and Sanshik freak out about Inyoung disappearing. Just as the Chancellor tells Myungsuk that he will support Myungsuk if Myungsuk goes abroad to the teaching position, Sanshik calls Myungsuk.

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Myungsuk apologizes and runs to Inyoung at her elementary school since she had told him it was the only time she played with her friends. He apologizes for coming late and promises to never let her go.

Inyoung sighs and whines to him that she just wants to return to being a normal and anonymous person. Myungsuk tells her to not to worry as this too will blow off. He takes Inyoung home with him and tells his family that he wants to stay with Inyoung.

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Choonja doesn’t seem pleased but the father and grandfather take Myungsuk’s side, so Choonja backs down. Afterwards, Dongsuk offers to be Inyoung’s manager and she agrees. ^^

The next day, Junsu walks in on Young-Ah’s friend yelling at Mi-Hee for being the reason that Young-Ah had to go to the countryside. He asks his mother if she really did this and Mi-Hee replies that she never asked Young-Ah to resign.

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Junsu blows it and yells at his mother for never caring about anyone but herself. He adds that she thinks it’s expected that everyone suffers for her benefit and leaves.

Meanwhile, Inyoung sees Myungsuk’s cell phone when he gets a text from his friend about how the Chancellor is angry about Myungsuk not going abroad. She doesn’t say anything to Myungsuk but it’s clear she’s affected.

Dongsuk finds her and drags her out for lunch. As they walk, they see Haji working in a nearby restaurant. Inyoung calls Choonja and drags a reluctant Haji home. To Haji’s surprise, the family welcomes her home only berating her for coming home so late.

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Haji falls apart and apologizes for betraying the family. Choonja smiles and pulls her into a hug and tells her that they can always remake soy sauce but Haji is one of a kind…

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At the same time, Junsu goes to apologize to Young-Ah and asks her to come home. Young-Ah looks at Junsu without backing down and tells him that nothing will change even if he knows the truth… He will be pulled apart between Young-Ah and his mother. She tells him that she doesn’t have the confidence to do that and leaves him.

Junsu goes home drunk and Mi-Hee steps out to get him medicine. Outside her apartment, she bumps into her ex husband who tells her to help Junsu. Mi-Hee shows us her soft side when she starts to cry and confesses that she obsessed over Junsu because she was afraid he would leave her, too… Her ex pulls her into a hug and apologizes.

Back at home, Choonja gives Se-Mi an account book and tells her to open a small academy as she’s more suited to outside life than housework. Then Inyoung comes in and asks Choonja if she plans to approve of Inyoung.

Choonja sighs but tells Inyoung that she still doesn’t approve. Inyoung smiles in return and answers that she understands. She tells Choonja that she plans to break up with Myungsuk for his benefit as well but she needs Choonja’s help.

Things start to get resolved. Dongsuk leaves a comment on the U.S. celebrity’s site about Inyoung’s real reason for missing the meeting and the star officially apologizes. As a result, the Internet turns back to supporting Inyoung.

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Mi-Hee also goes to apologize to Young-Ah, asking her to return. Young-Ah agrees and goes home with Mi-Hee. But on their way, they stop by the office where Mi-Hee tells everyone the truth about the bribery scandal and resigns.

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Young-Ah happily goes to Junsu’s office where she finds him eating instant noodles. She tells him that she’s returned on one condition, that he forgives his father. Junsu agrees.

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As for Inyoung, she tells Junsu that she wants to go to London with him. They get Choonja’s approval and Myungsuk prepares happily to move. But on the day of, Inyoung tells Myungsuk to leave alone as she’s not joining. She promises to meet him again after she gets to a point where she feels like she’s a good match for him…

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A time jump occurs and Young-Ah and Junsu has a baby! Junsu is starting to forgive his father and Inyoung is a famous celebrity represented by Dongsuk and her old manager Sanshik. The managers drop Inyoung off at school since she’s attending college.

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Then a visiting professor shows up! It’s Myungsuk. He puts the equation on the board and explains how it describes finding your perfect person. When a student asks if Myungsuk has found his perfect person, he answers that he did… And she’s standing right in front of him – Inyoung.

MY TWO CENTS

Now, it’s already time to say goodbye to another series! I don’t know what I’ll do since I don’t have a new drama lined up to take the place of Make a Woman Cry or this drama…  Off to the final review.

This was one episode where the use of a time jump in the last episode was well warranted.  It was clear that the main characters were in a place where they needed time.  The family basically approved of Inyoung but she needed to show Choonja that she would be a suitable wife for Myungsuk who does not hold him back.  My first guess was that Inyoung was going to accompany Myungsuk to London and then leave him.  However, the writer wrote it off beautifully where Inyoung tells Myungsuk the truth and they decide to take time away from each other with the clear understanding that there is no one else for either person…By being honest and upfront about the situation, we avoid another round of useless angst and miscommunication.  It shows improvement from the prior episodes where the break-up was forced due to said misunderstandings.

Both just need time to get situated before they can move on to the next step.  I don’t see anything wrong with this kind of set-up.  In an increasingly globalized world, many couples are finding a need to address the fact that prior to being able to settle down together, their individual dreams are taking them to different physical locales.  I thought it was an interesting touch that this drama weaved that kind of scenario in to resolve the latest issue – Choonja’s acceptance of Inyoung.  Since Choonja already likes Inyoung as a person, I can see how she would warm up to Inyoung once she’s obtained her education and made it as a celebrity.

The resolution of the Mi-Hee/Junsu/Young-Ah arc was well executed as well.  Even until the end, I don’t like Mi-Hee.  However, I think that she kept true to her character.  She was scarred by her husband’s betrayal and, as a result, she obsessed over her son to protect herself…Now that Junsu saw just how far his mother would go to protect herself, even at his expense, it was time for him to choose his own wife.  His decision to go after Young-Ah and leave Mi-Hee was symbolic of his finally growing up and leaving his mother’s skirts…Though, he did come back drunk and crying.  ^^;;;;  This in turn forces Mi-Hee’s motherly instincts to kick in and she ends up going to beg Young-Ah to come back.  The drama was clear that this was not a miraculous solution to the tense relationship, but we are all walking toward a final permanent solution where everyone will try to work things out.  To reemphasize Mi-Hee’s change, she goes off and clears Young-Ah’s name so that Young-Ah may return to the office if she wishes.  The time jump also helps because we can see that Young-Ah is now a happy mother since she was able to actually spend some time with her husband.

Before I end my random thoughts, Haji!  That was a beautiful conclusion to the Haji plot.  She stayed a pretty 2D character which I understand considering how strong the other sub-characters.  However, I totally teared up when Inyoung and Dongsuk bring Haji home and everyone literally addresses her as if she’s late from going to the store.  It really showcased the strength and characteristic of this family…Though it’s not the main point of this drama, the importance of family has been a major theme in the background.  Choonja accepted Se-Mi back after she left to pursue her own goals and even gave Se-Mi money to start her own academy.  Inyoung was accepted into the family when everyone saw how she treated all of the members with respect…With this backdrop, it does not seem weird at all that the family would welcome Haji back.  She’s a member of the family who messed up, but who hasn’t? ^^

In the end, I kind of wish that they had included one more episode.  I feel like the stuff after the time jump could have been a full episode in itself.  I would love to see how Dongsuk’s management company has expanded or grown…whether Se-Mi’s small academy was successful…What ended up happening to Inyoung’s career, etc.  None of these are major issues left un-answered.  However, in the continued tone of feel good happy-drama-esq that this drama flirted with, I would have been happy just to see another fully sit-comy episode end.  Final grade – A!

 

The Virtual Bride – E11

The drama tees up to close its doors as loose ends tie up pretty naturally like they do in real life.  There is a conspicuous lack of fireworks and big bangs, which is replaced by a subtle play of mature people addressing issues in a reasonable way.

THE RECAP

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Inyoung asks Myungsuk not to leave her. Myungsuk pulls away and tells her that the decision is already made.

Inyoung cries that Myungsuk loves her and stayed around her vicinity… She needs him. Myungsuk answers her harshly that they both know that they live in two different worlds. He isn’t confident that he can live in her world and Inyoung already said that she’s not confident about living in his world.

Myungsuk adds that he is confident that Inyoung can live well. He tells her to go back and leaves.

That night, Junsu meets up with Myungsuk and thanks him for staying firm with Inyoung. Myungsuk sighs that he wasn’t sure before but now he knows… Inyoung shines best when she’s in the public eye.

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The next day, Inyoung goes into Junsu’s office and asks for more work. When Junsu offers sending her to America, she agrees.

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Back at home, Se-Mi happily volunteers to help with making kimchi. Even Choonja looks surprised at Se-Mi’s enthusiasm. Myungsuk’s father catches Choonja in the courtyard and asks her if she doesn’t pity Se-Mi who was so excited to be working at the academy but is now stuck at home. Choonja pretends not to care but it’s clear she does.

At the same time, news spreads about Young-Ah’s “bribery” scandal and her resignation. Even as Young-Ah walks along for work, people throw water on her.

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Young-Ah gets called home by her worried parents. When she arrives, they ask about the truth and Young-Ah neither confirms that she is guilty of the bribery or denies it. Instead, she just keeps apologizing. The family members tell her to stay strong and ask her about whether Mi-Hee will continue with her plan to redevelop the land that their house is on.

So, Young-Ah goes to ask Mi-Hee. However, surprising everyone, Mi-Hee answers that Young-Ah resigned out of her own volition. This situation has nothing to do with the current election or her proposals. Mi-Hee even adds that if she changes her plans after getting elected, the electorate would be disappointed in her. She finishes by telling Young-Ah to tell everyone the truth and break Junsu’s heart if she doesn’t like it.

Young-Ah walks out of Mi-Hee’s house in a daze and runs into Junsu. He breathlessly asks her if the scandal is true because he cannot believe it. Young-Ah just smiles and apologizes.

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Later, we see that Inyoung’s English lessons are going well and she’s still pretty popular. As they exit the academy, Inyoung stops to take pictures with some fans and she runs into Myungsuk. They share an awkward moment in the elevator with the manager where Inyoung and Myungsuk engage in small talk… And then walk off into the garage together… Finally, the manager has to stop both of them and point Myungsuk towards his own car and Inyoung towards their car.

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The scene changes toward the community center. Young-Ah pulls her friend aside in the hallway and asks her to look into positions in the countryside. Mi-Hee overhears this but doesn’t say anything.

We turn to the house where an invitation has arrived for this year’s cooking event. It’s going to be a traditional food competition and the winning team will become the official cultural spokesman for traditional food.

Within minutes, Soonhee calls Choonja over and gives her back the account books. She tells Choonja that Choonja van take the accounting duties back… It’s too much for her. Soonhee also confesses that she never really wanted to be treated like Choonja’s mother-in-law… She just didn’t like Choonja looking down on her for being a neighborhood restaurant owner. She asks if they can be friends again.

Choonja laughs that Soonhee is pretty greedy if she wants to be both her mother-in-law and her friend. But it looks like they are back to being friends.

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Young-Ah’s friend then stops by. She tells the family about the truth in the scandal. The family angrily buzzes about what they can do to save the house which was the reason Young-Ah jumped into the race in the first place. Se-Mi suggests that they focus on the competition because if they win, even the city cannot take away the house since they will be nationally certified and the cultural representative.

Soonhee and Dongsuk both volunteer to help. Since only two people can compete, the two agree to have an internal cooking competition to see who cooks better.

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Meanwhile, U.S. representatives come to interview Inyoung.

The interviewer asks Inyoung why she decided to be a celebrity. Inyoung answers that she used to sing and dance to make a leaving. But now she sings and dances because someone gave her strength and told her she has a right to be loved.

The interviewer asks if Inyoung has a boyfriend and she denies it. She tells him that he left so she could pursue her career. The interviewer looks satisfied with the answer but comments that the man is cowardly if he is using the excuse of love to leave… Inyoung agrees.

Meanwhile Myungsuk watches all of Inyoung’s interviews and looks surprised to find out that Inyoung is leaving.

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Later that night, Mi-Hee’s husband asks her to be with her again. When they arrive at home, Junsu sees them together and yells at her. Mi-Hee yells back that she wants her husband back and wants to be loved by her husband.

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Junsu turns to drinking with Inyoung. Inyoung tells him that she doesn’t know if Junsu is a bad son but he is a bad husband; she would have left Junsu long before now. She also adds that he should be nice to Young-Ah while she is still around.

Junsu goes home to find his mother happily chatting with her husband. He closes the door and sighs.

In the morning, Choonja angrily finds Dongsuk washing the urns. She looks pissed but Dongsuk smiles that even Choonja started by washing the urns; he wants to learn correctly.

At the same time, Junsu tells his father that he’s allowed to marry his mother again. However, he adds that his father shouldn’t expect to receive respect as his father. Before his father can thank him, Junsu disappears.

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Now! On to the competition! Soonhee blatantly gives her husband a hint so he picks his wife’s dish. But hilariously San picks his grandmother’s dish making it a tie. Choonja is the last person and she chooses Dongsuk’s dish because Soonhee didn’t cook the beef properly. ^^

The family suggests and Choonja agrees to invite Inyoung over for dinner before she leaves for the United States. Inyoung agrees and wanders into the kitchen craving Choonja’s cooking. She ends up preparing a salad with the pickle sauce that she finds in the fridge.

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Young-Ah tries it when she comes home and comments that it would have been nice for Inyoung to inherit Choonja’s recipes. She also asks Inyoung if she’s stopping by for dinner.

Inyoung answers that she doesn’t want to see Myungsuk as seeing him makes it difficult. Young-Ah reassures Inyoung that Choonja doesn’t want Inyoung to see Myungsuk as well; so, Choonja invited her on a day when Myungsuk won’t be home.

Meanwhile, Myungsuk arrives home drunk. He checks his computer and sees Inyoung’s interview. Feeling like she misunderstood him, Myungsuk calls Inyoung and tells her that she’s perfectly amazing as she is… He left her to help her but he thinks he made a mistake…

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Myungsuk asks why Inyoung is silent and we see that Sanshik had answered the phone. Sanshik hangs up and erases the log of the call before Inyoung comes back.
When Inyoung asks if anyone called, Sanshik lies.

Later, Haji visits Myungsuk to ask him again if he has no interest in her. Myungsuk tells her again that he only sees her as a little sister and tells her to return the soy sauce to his mother.

At the same time, Inyoung stops by to see Myungsuk one more time before leaving. She quietly opens the door and sees Haji hugging Myungsuk from the back and retreats in shock. She goes back to her car and asks to speed up the journey to the United States.

After she leaves, Myungsuk pulls away and tells Haji to stop acting this way. Haji leaves vowing that Myungsuk will regret this.

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Junsu’s father drops by his office and tells him to go stop Young-Ah as she’s requested a transfer to the countryside. Junsu runs off and asks her how she could leave him like this. Young-Ah answers by asking for a divorce as she can no longer stand being in between Junsu and his mother.

Back at home, Inyoung has a final meal at Choonja’s with the family and tells them that she’s leaving the next day. She runs into Myungsuk outside and congratulates him. Then she leaves.

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The next day, the competition begins and Inyoung gets ready to leave. But then Haji shows up with the rival team. The moderator also announces that the first dish is traditional soy sauce and everyone realizes that this is why Haji took the family’s sauce.

Meanwhile, Inyoung arrives at the airport mulling over Dongsuk’s remark that Haji left with the soy sauce and wondering about how Haji could then be together with Myungsuk.

MY TWO CENTS

So, even though there seemed to be a slight vibe of in-authenticity in the ease with which how everything got tied up, over-all the episode was a great penultimate episode.  For example, it was nice to see how Choonja and Soonhee patched things up.  As a quick refresher, Soonhee became a bitter mother-in-law because there was some major miscommunication and misunderstanding over expectations.  Soonhee was the owner of a small neighborhood restaurant, with whom Choonja was friends.  However, Choonja also had a sense of superiority towards Soonhee since Choonja was the respected and happily married daughter-in-law of the traditional house…When Soonhee married Choonja’s father-in-law, all of a sudden Soonhee was higher up in the family hierarchy.  (Not to mention that her friend was marrying someone who is old enough to be her father…)  This created an understandable rift between the friends with Choonja angrily giving Soonhee free reign over Choonja’s main duties of taking care of the house financials and the family meals.

Soonhee’s quick capitulation of the financial accounting responsibilities seems pretty understandable.  She realized how hard it was to cook while Choonja was away and who seriously wants added work like dealing with the finances of a large household?  It’s not clear but for all we know, Soonhee is still managing her restaurant.  It was mature of Soonhee to apologize when she handed the accounting duties back to Choonja and for Choonja not to gloat when Soonhee did. I feel like Choonja’s insistence to continue to call Soonhee by the title of “어머님” or in English “Mother” reassured Soonhee that Choonja was not looking down on her and helped Soonhee add the confession that she wants to be friends again. 🙂  Over all, a cute segway in a side plot-line.

Young-Ah’s decision is still amazing and I don’t think I can rave about it enough.  She’s clear that she’s not a martyr or a modern Mother Theresa.  She’s pretty much set on leaving Junsu and finding a life away from the city which includes memories of her current life and marriage.  In her last act, she decides to cover for the mother of the man whom she loves because even though she has decided that she cannot live with him, she still loves him.  The fact that Young-Ah does not lie about the main reason that she cannot live with Junsu anymore was pretty amazing as well.  She makes it clear that she just does not have what it takes to continue to live as the second-most-important person in Junsu’s life when he has become her most important person.  Therefore, what appears to be a dramaland noble-idiocy step is mitigated because Young-Ah is really not hiding anything.  I feel like if Junsu had asked her if she was covering for his mother, she would have answered honestly…it’s almost as if Young-Ah is waiting for Junsu to come to realize that the only thing that keeps hurting their relationship is his mother.

Finally, the Inyoung and Myungsuk post-second-breakup relationship was depicted pretty well.  They both have mainly moved on in the sense that neither is unfunctional.  Both are still healing in his or her own way, missing each other or drinking…but, it’s no longer the overly dramatic, I can’t live my life.  It’s more like both are maintaining their lives while trying to erase the memories when they aren’t busy.  That seems like pretty normal behavior and something that a lot of people can relate to.

The Virtual Bride – E10

Sigh, I was avoiding this episode because of the inevitable angst in a comedy drama but here we go! Inyoung and Myungsuk wander around dejectedly like the lovesick teenagers that they are. Meanwhile, Se-Mi and Dongsuk bring the academy head to the police and Mi-Hee gets back together with her ex-husband.

THE RECAP

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Inyoung tells Myungsuk that they live in different worlds, she has to focus on her career and they are just too different. She turns to get into her manager’s car without another word. As they drive off, she sees Myungsuk go into the house without looking back.

Myungsuk finds Choonja waiting for him in the courtyard. She asks him worried if he had been with Inyoung this whole time. Myungsuk answers that they broke up so she does not have to worry.

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The next morning is a calm affair. Choonja seems calmer and more peaceful than normal as well. She gives over the responsibility of cooking for the family and taking care of the finances to Soonhee. She even asks Soonhee to take care of preparations for the upcoming memorial dinner. Soonhee happily agrees.

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At the same time, Inyoung asks Junsu to fill her schedule up. She lies that she’s completely fine but then uses her hairspray as a face mist…and walks off to show that she’s wearing two different shoes.

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Back at home, Soonhee and Choonja seem to bond a bit. Soonhee asks Choonja about whether or not she would consider Haji a good mate for Myungsuk and Choonja angrily snaps her head off. Choonja even adds that they can’t house Haji forever and will need to send her out. Haji sees this exchange and runs off. She runs off before the conversation is over so she doesn’t hear Choonja explain to Soonhee that Haji is particularly talented and will benefit by going to a renowned Korean food preparation place in the countryside.

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Dongsuk gets worried about Se-Mi and goes to the academy to check on her because she’s not answering her phone. As he walks in, he hears the other teachers gossip about how Se-Mi got defrauded. His expression freezes and he barges into Se-Mi’s office demanding to know what happened. He tells Se-Mi that he can help her out since he’s been defrauded so many times that he knows how to deal with this kind of situation…

Se-Mi tells Dongsuk to leave her alone since she doesn’t need his help. In response, Dongsuk angrily tells her that she’s San’s mother and his wife. He asks her how does she think he can leave her alone when she’s in a situation like this? Oh! Points scored!

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Meanwhile, Inyoung goes off on a emotional episode while hearing about a new commercial because each scene reminds her about her own dating history with Myungsuk. Junsu eventually kicks her out and she goes off to a photoshoot.

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Young-Ah is working diligently when her coworker slips her a piece of paper. It’s a citizen complaint accusing Mi-Hee off breaking the law…playing favorites and the like. Young-Ah asks Mi-Hee about it and Mi-Hee vehemently denies it.

Dongsuk brings Se-Mi home and gets caught by Choonja. Choonja first yells at Se-Mi for coming home but San comes running out crying. So, Choonja relents and let’s Young-Ah go into her room.

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Then Choonja goes into the room and kicks Dongsuk out to speak with Se-Mi privately. She asks Se-Mi if something did not work out the way Se-Mi planned. Se-Mi’s eyes brim with tears and she answers haltingly that she tried her best to succeed but it did not work out…

Choonja answers that it’s expected that transitioning from just taking care of the household to working professionally would be difficult. She also adds that even though she knows her son can be frustrating, she hated to see Se-Mi look down on Dongsuk. She explains that she wanted to teach Se-Mi a lesson but realized when Se-Mi was gone that Dongsuk and San just need Se-Mi to be with them… She tells Se-Mi that everything is fine now that Se-Mi is back, effectively forgiving her for leaving the house.

Choonja then goes to check on Myungsuk who is studying. He tells his mother that he’s fine and he does not blame his mother.

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At the same time, Inyoung downs shots of soju. Sanshik sits next to Inyoung to tell her to stop drinking. But when Inyoung turns to him, she sees Myungsuk and grabs his face. Sanshik runs away when Young-Ah comes home letting her take care of Inyoung.

Young-Ah asks Inyoung what is going on. Inyoung cries to Young-Ah that she feels like hundreds of needles are constantly stabbing her heart…and she sees Myungsuk everywhere… Especially when she closes her eyes, she sees Myungsuk so clearly…

The scene returns to Choonja’s place. Haji asks Choonja whether it’s true that Choonja is going to send Haji away. Choonja smiles that Haji needs to find her own path and a nice man to marry. Haji takes thus ad wanting to send her away because she’s a burden and runs into her room. After throwing a small tantrum, she calls someone to let them know that she’s changed her mind and wants to take them up on their offer.

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The next day, Inyoung walks along the campus and hides behind a tree to spy on Myungsuk. She sees him teaching an outside class and sighs that Myungsuk looks completely fine. She puts her sunglasses back on decides to leave.

Myungsuk sees Inyoung’s retreating back and runs after her. However he loses her among all of the students and tells himself that he must have been mistaken.

Another professor runs over and tells Myungsuk good news! An university in England has an opening and they asked for Myungsuk specifically because of one of his papers. The other professor reminds Myungsuk that if he goes for a temporary position abroad, he will automatically be guaranteed a tenure position at the university when he returns. Myungsuk answers less enthusiastically that he will think about it.

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Meanwhile, Young-Ah goes to speak With Mi-Hee separately. She hands over a piece of paper and explains that she invested the bribery allegation to help Mi-Hee but found the opposite. Mi-Hee looks nervous. Instead of confessing, she yells at Young-Ah to stop trying to win the election with lies like this and walks off.

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But, the words weigh on Mi-Hee as she goes off to down a few drinks by herself. Her ex-husband shows up again and they drink to old times. Mi-Hee gets completely wasted and her ex-husband has to carry her home… After which, he gets into bed with her.

Se-Mi comes home to a worried and supportive Dongsuk. He tells her that he found out that the scoundrel academy head has tons of debt from gambling; he’s going to need money again soon. He has a plan and enlists his dad to play the role of a rich country man.

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Then Mi-Hee wakes up abruptly to Junsu’s voice as he returned home early. Mi-Hee comes out into the living room to find Junsu and Young-Ah waiting for her. Young-Ah explains that Mi-Hee should know what Young-Ah is here about… Mi-Hee shouts that it’s defamation but gets pulled away when her ex-husband drops something.

Mi-Hee goes into her room to find her ex-husband jumping around anxiously because he needs to go to the bathroom. Mi-Hee tells him to hold it and goes back out. But within a few minutes her ex runs out and straight into the bathroom.

Junsu sees his father and declares that he’s incredibly disappointed in his mother. He furiously turns to his wife and demands to know what she had to say but Young-Ah demures that she will tell him next time.

When Inyoung comes home, she just about faints because she hasn’t been eating or sleeping. When she gets back on her feet, she sees some encouraging words from fans and declares that she will do better for her fans. Then she looks down to see a scribble from an anti-fan who wrote that she’s a crazy idiot. Inyoung asks Sanshik to erase all of the graffiti and goes inside.

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However, peace is not waiting for Inyoung in her room. She sees Myungsuk at her desk… And then in the kitchen…she decides against sleeping and asks her manager for her script to memorize.

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Young-Ah finds Inyoung completely dazed from not sleeping the next day. She sits down next to Inyoung to check on her when she gets a call from her mother to tell her about Myungsuk going to a professorship abroad. Inyoung gets to overhear everything.

Back at home, Dongsuk’s dad gets a call from the scoundrel who starts asking him about why he wants to invest in the academy. Dad does a great job and convinces the scoundrel to meet at a cafe.

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The scoundrel sits down and starts to ask Dad about his academy… About the teacher that he knows… Dad falls for it and the scoundrel calls him out.

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All of a sudden, Se-Mi appears to declare that Dad is her father-in-law. The scoundrel runs but Dongsuk grabs his ankle. Not one to let the scoundrel leave quietly, Se-Mi grabs a tray and knocks the scoundrel out by hitting him in the head.

They bring the guy to the police and find good news; since Se-Mi didn’t apply for the loan herself, she will be able to get out of the $100,000 debt. Se-Mi, Dongsuk, Choonja and the dad celebrate the good news when Soonhee runs in anxiously asking everyone to follow.

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They run over to the storage room to see that it’s a mess. And the jerks took the aged house secret soy sauce! Soonhee carefully adds that she went to get Haji but her room was empty, too.

Choonja refuses to believe it. She runs to Haji’s room to check for herself. Except she sees that Soonhee is right… Everything is gone.

The family wonders if it should call the cops since the priceless family sauce was stolen. But, Choonja tells everyone to wait. If it was Haji, she would have a good reason and would bring the sauce back.

Meanwhile, Inyoung is at her breaking point and faints in front of her door. Young-Ah sees this and calls Myungsuk.

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Later, Mi-Hee sees Young-Ah bring something into their boss’ office and grabs the paper. She runs out to read the paper and sees that it’s Young-Ah’s resignation letter, taking responsibility for all of the bribery allegations against Mi-Hee. Young-Ah runs out and grabs the paper back. In answer to Mi-Hee’s questioning look, Young-Ah tells her mother-in-law that she doesn’t want her husband to be more disappointed or hurt… To him, his mother is everything and she has always been a just person.

At the same time, Myungsuk decides not to ring the doorbell and leaves. But minutes later, Inyoung decides that she cannot sleep and walks out. A few steps out the door, she faints.

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Myungsuk comes running back and carries her to the hospital. However, when Inyoung wakes up only Sanshik is by her side. He tries to distract Inyoung by showing her some fan videos.

The first video shows someone filming a group of girls gushing over her and Myungsuk asking those girls to give Inyoung a bottle of water. Then the nurse comes to ask for Inyoung’s guardian. Sanshik says that it’s him but the nurse responds in confusion as there was a different guy there earlier… With glasses…

Sanshik realizes that there’s no way to lie about the situation and tells Inyoung the nurse is right. Myungsuk carried her here and Myungsuk was actually the one who erased the graffiti on her apartment wall… He has been buzzing around her background this whole time.

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Inyoung runs out to see Myungsuk’s retreating back. She panics and tosses a slipper to get his attention. It hits Myungsuk and he pauses which gives Inyoung enough time to run up to him and hug him angrily.

MY TWO CENTS

I wasn’t really feeling the angst in this one. But once I thought of it more like a movie than a drama and assumed more time was passing, it seemed more believable. With those assumptions, the story becomes incredibly romantic between the young idol star who has to choose between her career and what seems to be her first love. Inyoung portrays the highly emotional first real break up symptoms well in that she has no interest in the real world anymore… She tries but she keeps getting things wrong because her brain is filled with memories.

The writers appear to have tried for a daddy-long-legs scenario with Myungsuk but the episode was too short for it to be successful. Rather, Myungsuk’s character is helped by the fact that he was in the right place at the right time and was able to carry Inyoung to the hospital.

Turning to side characters and storylines, Dongsuk’s sweetness and kindness really shined in this episode. I had to sigh when he couldn’t beat up the fraud-committing scoundrel but had to resort to grabbing his heel. Yet, even though it looked less than Hollywood-heroic, the facts of the matter stand that Dongsuk is still trying his best for a woman he loves even though she made it clear that she was tired of him. That kind of love is amazing by itself; it was also that kind of love that helped Se-Mi find the scoundrel (with the help of Dad) and clear her name of the $100,000 debt! Hopefully, the writer gives him a break and he can get a job in the last episodes.

Finally, Young-Ah quietly showed us how mature she is in this episode. The elections faded into the background as we wondered about whether or not the bribery allegations were true. Before we have a chance to really get disappointed in the childish and selfish Mi-Hee, our attentions are re-directed to Young-Ah who decides to sacrifice her career for her mother-in-law. My jaw almost dropped and I almost cussed!

Young-Ah has made it clear through the previous episodes that her work is important to her and that’s why she’s not quitting. So, we know what an important decision this is to her. Yet, once I had time to digest it, it made sense and seemed commendable instead… The two things Young-Ah wants most right now is to get her husband back and her mother-in-law’s approval. Since her husband has basically chosen his mother over her, she decides to do what she can to protect him. Pretty darn amazing for a side character.

The Virtual Bride – E09

Inyoung gets kicked out of the house and has a last date with Myungsuk before she breaks it off.

THE RECAP

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It’s family crisis time! Choonja kicks Inyoung out of the house in the middle of the night and even declares that she’s stopping the filming. A cute pun where Inyoung calls Choonja “Mother-in-law ” and Choonja snaps that she’s not Inyoung’s mother. Myungsuk’s father interrupts to whine about what Inyoung is supposed to do if she cannot call her “Mother-in-law. ” With that, Junsu takes Inyoung away to calm Choonja.

Myungsuk had a talk with his mother and father. However, the negotiations still with both sides noting that Myungsuk has never disappointed his mother and Choonja has never said “no” to Myungsuk…

Junsu brings Inyoung to his house and tells Young-Ah not to tell anyone. He even takes away her cell phone.

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Young-Ah watches quietly and then invites Inyoung to some beers. She tells Inyoung that Inyoung doesn’t have to apologize; she is more worried about Inyoung getting hurt. Inyoung answers that she doesn’t mind the repercussions because Myungsuk makes her feel warm and happy.

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Night passes…Myungsuk rushes over to Junsu’s office first thing in the morning and asks about Inyoung’s safety. (Like a manager would do something to his leading celebrity…) Junsu tells his brother-in-law that Inyoung spent over a decade training and being unpopular; she’s just becoming famous and thus scandal can take away her popularity. Myungsuk agrees that he doesn’t want to ruin Inyoung’s chances as popularity but he wants to know she’s fine.

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Later on, Young-Ah goes home to find out how her family members are dealing with the crisis. Choonja confesses that she likes Inyoung as a person but she doesn’t approve of Inyoung as Myungsuk’s bride. Young-Ah then goes to Myungsuk who gives his answer that he knows the logical thing is to give up on Inyoung but he cannot. Young-Ah sympathizes with Myungsuk and tells him about Inyoung’s location.

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Myungsuk runs to Inyoung’s house with the new information and they gleefully reunite. They almost get caught but thanks to Mi-Hee’s possessiveness, Junsu is stopped from going back home. Even Dongsuk calls to give his support as he tells Myungsuk that with the exception of Choonja, everyone likes Inyoung.

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Inyoung and Myungsuk resort to the people’s therapist. As they drink, Inyoung teaches Myungsuk that she puts in all of her negative feelings into the empty can and crush it to get relief. Then she confesses that she’s so frustrated because she likes Choonja but she doesn’t want to stop liking Myungsuk. After Inyoung falls asleep, Myungsuk puts a blanket on her and goes to bed in Young-Ah’s room.

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The morning brings it’s own mini crisis as Haji sounds the alarm that Myungsuk stayed the night at Young-Ah’s with Inyoung. Young-Ah texts Junsu the alarm. So, he stumbles half awake home to find the two in bed together.

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When Choonja arrives before the two can leave, Junsu pretends to have slept in the bed. However, Choonja yells that if the two culprits don’t come out she will call the broadcasting station and ask that they don’t let Inyoung on air. With a squeal, Inyoung opens the closet door.

To calm Choonja down again, Junsu promises to not let Inyoung near Myungsuk again. With the subcrisis over, they walk out and run into Mi-Hee. Choonja then finds out that Mi-Hee hasn’t let Junsu sleep at home for a while.

The family calls a meeting as they discuss their wishes. The family agrees that they don’t want to sell their house.

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Choonja tries to reason with Mi-Hee in a cafe. She promises to convince Young-Ah to drop out of the election if Mi-Hee would give up on her redevelopment plan. Mi-Hee answers that she cannot give up. Choonja downs her glass of water and declares that the whole family will help Young-Ah win.

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Back at the academy, things are still awkward as the head pulls out some dust from Se-Mi’s hair. He then asks her to take over the academy as he starts to focus on the second branch.

At the same time, Junsu and Inyoung’s manager are in damage control mode as people call to confirm the rumors that Inyoung and Myungsuk are an item. It turns out that Haji has been sending leaks out to the stations…

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Unfortunately, someone calls Choonja who ends up giving an unofficial interview that Inyoung purposefully seduced Inyoung for the money and prestige.

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Junsu worries about Inyoung getting hurt. Coincidentally Inyoung comes into the office and reassures him that she’s fine. She worries about Myungsuk’s future at the college instead. Hearing this, Junsu yells at Inyoung for ignoring her teammates who were allowed to resign their contracts due to Inyoung’s popularity.

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As for Myungsuk, he gets angry at his mother’s insistence on hating on Inyoung and yells at her. He goes back into his room in a mood only to be followed by Haji who declares that she loves Myungsuk. Myungsuk turns around and tells her that he’s going to pretend he didn’t hear her confession.

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In the morning, all of the family members note how unfortunate it is that Choonja turned the sweet Inyoung into a heartless gold digger. Soonhee takes the chance to snipe that Choonja’s children are all having difficulties because of their mother. Choonja’s had enough and she stomps into her room to get all of her account books for the household finances. She angrily throws them on the table and declares that she’s leaving since the family doesn’t seem to want her.

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Choonja heads over to Young-Ah’s house and Inyoung moves into Mi-Hee’s apartment…Mi-Hee enters her house to find it a complete mess! Inyoung explains that she was staying at Choonja’s place as her daughter-in-law and had to help. But, she’s staying at Mi-Hee’s place as a singer so she doesn’t need to clean up. With that, Inyoung leaves to go into her room and Mi-Hee turns to her son to ask how long Inyoung will be staying.

Back at home, people are feeling Choonja’s absence as Soonhee is unprepared to prepare such extravagant meals for the family. The family members take turn checking in on Soonhee because they get hungry. The grandfather even pushes Dongsuk into the kitchen to help. He smiles that it might not look like much but it’s actually hard work to prepare all of the meals for the family.

Meanwhile, Young-Ah excuses herself because she’s not hungry and leaves her mom to worry about her daughter.

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The next day, Choonja calls Inyoung out to the cafe. She tells Inyoung that she likes Inyoung as a daughter but not as a daughter-in-law and asks if they can’t just be mother and daughter instead. Lonely Inyoung gets moved and wonders about Choonja’s words in the ride back. Right on time, some of her members text her about their new album that Junsu promised them.

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At the same time, the academy head gives Se-Mi the legal papers which transfers the academy into her name. He also gives her a new name plaque. Se-Mi looks moved but then gets a text from Choonja.

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Choonja asks Se-Mi to return home in return for Choonja’s permission to work at the academy. Se-Mi responds that she does not want to return home and is considering divorce if Choonja refuses to approve of her working. She explains that she believes that she will be able to take care of San financially.

Choonja goes home in a mood and decides to leave so that Junsu can come home. At the same time, Mi-Hee’s husband drops by with flowers. Mi-Hee gets worried about Junsu seeing his father and pushes him into the house.

By the time that Mi-Hee enters her house, her husband has already taken off his clothes to shower. She curses him until he walks out all clean and Mi-Hee cannot help herself but sighing at his looks. A few minutes pass and Mi-Hee returns to normal so she goes back to yelling at him to leave.

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Later, Inyoung seems to have made her decision. She invites Myungsuk out to a date at her old elementary school. Her condition for the day is that they never let go of each other’s hands… Among the background of sad music, Inyoung and Myungsuk enjoy a happy date in the playground and even spend tons of money so Myungsuk can get Inyoung a ring from the toy turnstiles. Before he gets a ring, he gets a toy handcuff which he puts on her fingers and asks her if she likes him. Inyoung answers that she loves him instead of just liking him.

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The drama throws us a surprise with Se-Mi. All of a sudden her coworkers barge in and announce that they are not going to teach anymore because they haven’t been paid for three months. She also gets a text from the bank that alerts her about a loan of $100,000 being funded in her name…

Back at Mi-Hee’s place. Her husband knocks out drunk and she drags him into her room just as Junsu comes home. When Junsu offers to read to her so that she can fall asleep, her ex-husband snores and Mi-Hee has to pretend that she’s already sleeping.

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Junsu happily goes to his apartment but finds himself locked out. Young-Ah comes out and tells Junsu that she’s changed the password for the lock. She adds that he’s not allowed to come back until he figures things out with his mom.

Finally, Myungsuk and Inyoung also arrive at home. She let’s go of his hand and tells him to let her go now.

MY TWO CENTS

An episode of surprises? The first one that I totally did not expect was the academy head pulling a fraud on Se-Mi. While, I was wondering if he was cosmopolitan or bisexual, I did think that he was interested in Se-Mi. It was perfectly set up for some kind of love triangle between Dongsuk, Se-Mi and the guy! The fraud was completely unexpected… It almost feels like making him into a bad guy is a cop out so that Se-Mi can return to Dongsuk without really developing Dongsuk’s character or the love triangle storyline.

Inyoung’s decision was more expected. It was also not that sad. For as much as I love watching this drama, as I noted in the last recap, I have difficulties falling for this pair. Their chemistry is “Meh” at best. So, while the sad music played and I knew I should have been sad, I just wondered how the story would progress.

Inyoung’s decision does provide for an interesting internal conflict. It’s true that Inyoung feels responsible for her teammates. Growing up without parents, Inyoung must also be swayed by Choonja’s offer to continue as mother/daughter. Her decision to try to end things seems logical and practical at this point but we can see how the writer includes the angst and tries to convince us that this couple is meant to me 😉

The Virtual Bride – E08

Inyoung and Myungsuk start their lovey dovey dating away from Choonja’s suspicions.  Meanwhile, Choonja and Soonhee begin a powerplay at home.

THE RECAP

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When we return, Inyoung happily looks through fake family pictures from her past. She gets too embarrassed to acknowledge how happy this makes her but she does give Myungsuk a peck on the lips. Our resident scholar doesn’t need much encouragement before he leans in for a followup kiss.

Our resident stalker (Haji) sees all this and runs back into her room in fury. She throws a pillow against Inyoung’s poster and starts to brood about what she can do in revenge.

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Meanwhile, Dongsuk angrily watches his wife walk up to her apartment with the academy head. He loses it and follows them in, pushes his wife aside and punches the head in the face. When he takes the time to look up, he realizes that there’s a bunch of students in Se-Mi’s apartment for some extra studying.

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Se-Mi pulls Dongsuk out and reams into him for resorting to violence. She also demands to know why he would doubt her.

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Things are going much better for the Inyoung and Myungsuk lovebirds as they take couple pictures in the morning…with Haji glaring in the background. She decides that Myungsuk doesn’t deserve his milk and drinks it up herself.

Then when Choonja wonders about how Myungsuk has changed lately, Haji notes that guys change after they start dating. Choonja gets worried and goes into Myungsuk’s room to pick up the milk glass. She finds a book on the ground and picks it up to find the picture of Inyoung that Haji planted.

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So, Choonja goes back out to find Inyoung making kimchi. She asks Inyoung about her boyfriend and asks to speak with him. Inyoung calls her manager and puts Choonja on the phone. He goes along with it and Choonja goes away satisfied.

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Poor Choonja, Soonhee comes over and tells Choonja that it’s her lunar birthday the next day. She asks Choonja to prepare a feast. Choonja angrily tells Soonhee to prepare her own feast. So, Soonhee goes fake crying to her husband who tells Choonja to do as Soonhee asks.

Meanwhile, a bunch of fans come crowding Young-Ah for her signature. Mi-Hee angrily runs out and runs into her husband. He asks her to accept him back.

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Mi-Hee drags her husband to a park and tells him to go back to the young wench he left her and Junsu for. Her husband answers that she left for another man. Mi-Hee tells him that she doesn’t care and he deserves to suffer before leaving.

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Se-Mi apologizes to the academy head on behalf of her husband. He answers good-naturedly that he only suffered because be couldn’t stop his instinctual reaction to hit back. Se-Mi suddenly sees that the head is bleeding and picks up a napkin to blot it out. The two pause realizing the awkward atmosphere.

Dongsuk arrives at just that moment and drags Se-Mi out. He tells her that she can choose either the academy or him, because if she continues to work, he might ask for a divorce.

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Meanwhile, Young-Ah gets the cold treatment from Mi-Hee and her husband. However, Junsu does ask his mother whether or not she could just give up on developing the land that Young-Ah’s house is on. Mi-Hee tells Junsu that she only wants to help Young-Ah’s family; they would pay her family three times the asking price so Young-Ah’s family could move someplace else and start a business with the money.

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Back at home, Inyoung and Myungsuk are filming another episode. This one is about outdoor cold baths. Myungsuk takes off his shirt and Inyoung starts pouring cold water on him. They pause when Myungsuk seems cold and the episode turns to a romantic moment between Inyoung and Myungsuk.

Choonja sees this when she walks by. She runs over and throws a fit causing the filming to stop.

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Inyoung and Myungsuk meet up at night. Inyoung asks what Myungsuk what Choonja wants in a daughter-in-law. Myungsuk answers that Choonja wants a busy, cute daughter-in-law who is wise. Inyoung answers confidently about the first two but deflates and gives up on the wise category.

Myungsuk puts his arm around Inyoung and consoles her that his mother will one day see her charm.

Choonja interrupts their secret date looking for Inyoung. She asks Myungsuk if he likes Inyoung. When Myungsuk looks like he might confess, Inyoung throws a rock at Myungsuk.

So, Myungsuk backs off.

The next day is another power play between Soonhee and Choonja. The grandfather reminds Choonja to prepare the breakfast feast for Soonhee. Soonhee notes that she wants to eat japchae but she doesn’t have to since she knows how difficult it is to make the dish. Inyoung js the only member of the family who backs Choonja up noting that it is much more difficult to make japchae.

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Afterwards, Myungsuk and Inyoung exchange lovey dovey looks which Choonja catches. Unaware that Choonja is suspicious the two go off to continue their dates on the phone exchanging pictures.

Meanwhile, Junsu runs to tell Young-Ah that she’s misunderstanding Mi-Hee. However, Mi-Hee catches her and Junsu pretends to be there to give Young-Ah the dry cleaning fee.

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When Young-Ah refuses to drop out of the election, Mi-Hee turns to other methods. She goes to visit Choonja. She tells Choonja that Young-Ah needs support and suggests that Choonja pay for a neighborhood feast for the elders. She even offers to reserve space at a nearby restaurant.

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Afterwards, Choonja prepares the food for Soonhee’s birthday feast with Soonhee taking issue with Choonja’s cooking. When the guests arrive, Soonhee even orders Choonja around to show everyone who’s in charge.

Inyoung looks at the situation and suggests that Choonja offer up delivered ja jang myun (black bean noodles), which would imply that Soonhee cannot order Choonja around. Choonja does so and Soonhee fumes.

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Inyoung also takes this opportunity to go see Myungsuk. They decide to go roller blading where Myungsuk pretends not to know how to skate so that he can fall all over Inyoung and keep on hugging her. ^^ now that was a cute scene!

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Choonja continues cooking when she feels nervous about Inyoung not being home. She calls Myungsuk to ask whether she should bring him food. Myungsuk answers that he’s off giving an outside lecture. She accepts the explanation and then calls Inyoung to confirm that she’s at the airport.

Feeling relieved again, Choonja returns to cooking food to bring to the feast that night for Young-Ah. Her husband comes along and Choonja tells him to help out. However, since Young-Ah’s father has been defrauded so many times, he calls Young-Ah to confirm.

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Young-Ah runs home and tells them not to continue with the feast as it would violate bribery laws.

Next, the grandfather calls Choonja over to his room as Soonhee sobs. She cried that she’s nothing in the house since Choonja has all of the power. So, the grandfather agrees to let Soonhee do whatever she wants. Soonhee’s revenge is to order Choonja to bring the accounting books so that Soonhee can oversee the household spending.

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To add oil to the fire, Se-Mi comes home with divorce papers. She gives them to Dongsuk and tells him to contact her after he’s reviewed the papers.

Dongsuk grabs her and asks if she’s only doing this to teach her a lesson. Se-Mi answers that she’s tired of living with his family and his inability to provide for the family; she’s actually thankful that he brought up divorce first.

Dongsuk asks his mother to apologize to Se-Mi since she’s threatening to divorce. Choonja angrily responds that she doesn’t need to apologize when Se-Mi is the audacious daughter-in-law who left her own child. She tells Dongsuk not to worry as Se-Mi wouldn’t really divorce him. Like an idiot, Dongsuk lets his mother convince him.

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Young-Ah also deals with her problems. She goes to ask Mi-Hee what she did with Choonja. Mi-Hee answers that all she wants is for Young-Ah to drop out of the election. Young-Ah pulls out a voice recorder and replays the recording of Mi-Hee demanding that Young-Ah drop out. She reminds Mi-Hee that it’s illegal to order another candidate to drop out.

Mi-Hee pretends to fall backwards in shock and Junsu runs over to ask Young-Ah why she’s doing this. Young-Ah clearly tells him that as much as his mother is important to him, her family is important to her; she will not drop out of the election or let Mi-Hee manipulate her family members. She adds that she will delete the recording because she’s different from Mi-Hee and leaves.

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Back at home, Myungsuk brings home a box with couple shirts which the two wear in the storage room. Haji notes what they are doing and calls Choonja over with the worry that something seems off with the lettuce.

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Choonja walks over to the storage room where Myungsuk is telling Inyoung that the formula symbolizes that a complicated person like himself met a simple person like Inyoung and everything sorted itself out. Inyoung pecks Myungsuk and he pulls her on for a kiss just as Choonja walks in.

MY TWO CENTS

I take my complaints back.  This episode fully developed the relationship between Myungsuk and Inyoung.  It’s cute even if the chemistry is not there.  If I were to compare the relationship to anything, I would compare the chemistry to a more awkward version of Sweet 18, which starred Han Ji-Hye and Lee Dong-Gun.  There’s an awkward cuteness about the romance.

There is one thing though…Ryu Soo-Young is too old and too big for Dasom.  Even with the awkward cutesy character, it’s still awkward…The 14 year difference shows up whenever the focus is on the two main character’s relationship.  Don’t get me wrong, Ryu Soo-Young is a good-looking guy;  there was a time when I had a crush on him in the past.  It’s just that he does not match well aesthetically with Dasom.  Rather a more gangly physique like Chun Jung-Myung might have matched her better.

Jumping from one topic to another, I don’t like the way that the writer is writing about Myungsuk’s supposed nerdy cuteness.  Specifically, I don’t like the formula on the couple shirt and his explanation.  The fact that he decided that he’s the more complex number and Inyoung is the simple component that makes his life more simple was a bit insulting.  Understandably, Myungsuk is supposed to be a talented mathematician.  However, that does not mean that Inyoung is an idiot.  Rather, she’s been groomed and invested her time in a different area… Instead of impressing me, it irritated me that Myungsuk would put himself on a pedestal at Inyoung’s sake.  Speaks volumes of a man if he cannot lower himself to lift up the woman he supposedly loves.

Finally, I was happy to see Young-Ah continue to stand up for herself against Mi-Hee.  It makes me happy because dramas are an exaggerated reflection of current society.  The fact that two of the daughters-in-laws would challenge the unreasonable behavior of their mother-in-laws imply that the culture is slowly changing.  In Young-Ah’s case, Mi-Hee is continuing to be unbearable.  While, it’s clearer that she’s turned out to be unsufferable because of her husband’s betrayal, it does not mean that Mi-Hee is stupid.  She knows exactly what she’s doing to her son’s marriage and Young-Ah.  What we need is for Junsu to act instead of pampering to his mother.

The Virtual Bride – E07

Myungsuk confesses to Inyoung and the two start their awkward and bumbling romance.  Meanwhile, Se-Mi continues to get tempted by her academy head while Young-Ah is told by Junsu that she has to choose the election or him.

THE RECAP

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Myungsuk gasps out that he wants Inyoung to stay. Inyoung snaps back that Myungsuk is nothing to her so he has no right to tell her what to do.

Myungsuk holds on to Inyoung’s bag as he turns around and declares to the air that he won’t go on any more blind dates while he likes someone else. Inyoung still doesn’t realize that he’s talking about her and continues to snap at him to leave. Myungsuk finally turns around to hold on to her hand and answer that he’s holding on to her now…

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Misunderstandings are cleared up as Inyoung explains that she made up her boyfriend so that Choonja won’t worry. Myungsuk, in turn, asks Inyoung to give him some time so that he can figure out a way for her to like him back. Inyoung notes that she never said that she doesn’t like him… When Inyoung’s manager shows up.

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Inyoung smiles that she doesn’t want to leave anymore because her horoscope states that she shouldn’t move. She goes back in with Myungsuk and we get another scene where Myungsuk and Inyoung hide in the corner… With Myungsuk basically pushing her against the wall.

In the morning, Soonhee is the only one who declares loudly that the house feels empty without Se-Mi. Choonja eats healthily while the rest of the family quietly glares at Choonja. Soonhee pushes it further by declaring that Choonja should bring Se-Mi back since she kicked her out. Choonja turns to her husband for help but he only agrees with his father who’s already siding with Soonhee.

Myungsuk is on a roll! He keeps smiling at Inyoung and even comes into the kitchen to announce that he’s leaving. Inyoung snaps at him being the only one who understands how Choonja would react if she suspected that Myungsuk likes her. However, she runs out right after to mess up his hair and clothes…

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She smiles after mussing up his style so that he no longer looks snappy and runs back inside. A few minutes later Junsu comes and asks Myungsuk if it’s true that Myungsuk stopped Inyoung from leaving.

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They take the conversation outside the house and Myungsuk smiles that Sangsik (the manager was correct), he stopped Inyoung from leaving because he likes her. Junsu asks if Inyoung reciprocates his feelings and Myungsuk denies it. So, Junsu tells him to curb his feelings since he knows that Choonja would never approve of Inyoung…continuing would only hurt her. What both boys don’t realize is that Inyoung had been listening from behind the door.

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Next, Inyoung goes to help Young-Ah in her project to give out food to the elderly. A bunch of Inyoung’s fans show up and Inyoung agrees to take pictures and sign autographs so the fans all help out. At the same time, Mi-Hee goes walking through the local market with her campaign team. One of the market owners ask her how she’s going to save the neighborhood economy without kicking them out and redeveloping the market. Mi-Hee ignores his question and starts singing instead.

Mi-Hee returns to the office exhausted only to find that Inyoung’s fans published pictures of Young-Ah online. Mi-Hee pretends to be happy for Young-Ah but she snipes that it would be a horrible thing for Young-Ah to be disqualified for using celebrities to promote her campaign…

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Mi-Hee turns to eating ice cream at home. She pretends not to have an appetite when Junsu comes home but Junsu laughs as Young-Ah has ice cream on her chin… Junsu promises to make sure that Inyoung does not go near Young-Ah in the future. However, Mi-Hee is not satisfied and whines that she had no luck with her husband…so, it’s not surprising that she has no luck with her children.

Junsu realizes that his mother wants something different and offers to send Inyoung to help Mi-Hee out. Bingo! He calls Inyoung to clear her schedule so that she can help Mi-Hee out the next day. Inyoung sighs that she will do whatever Junsu wants since he’s her boss before turning to Myungsuk.

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She tells him to stop being so obvious about his feelings or Choonja will kick her out. Myungsuk smiles that you can’t hide your true feelings and Inyoung smiles that Myungsuk has a romantic side. He asks her about herself that other people don’t know. So, Inyoung pauses and then answers that when she was at the orphanage, she was happiest when they played “house.” This was because when they played house, she had a family.

To demonstrate, Inyoung uses flowers to show how they prepared the food. Myungsuk agrees that the breakfast looks delicious but notes that he wants to try Inyoung’s cooking. Somehow this request for manual service gets Inyoung’s heart beating and she runs off to sleep early.

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In the morning, Inyoung has everything prepared by the time Choonja comes. She asks if she can prepare breakfast. Even though Haji answers that Choonja never even let Se-Mi take care of breakfast, Choonja agrees. Inyoung prepares all of these dishes…made out eggs! Why you ask? Because Myungsuk likes eggs.

Remembering that Inyoung warned him not to make his feelings obvious, Myungsuk notes angrily that the breakfast table is ridiculous since everything is made out of eggs. He sighs that he will only eat since he does not want to waste food. Inyoung does not realize that Myungsuk is lying and gets hurt.

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Even after breakfast, Inyoung sulks in the kitchen. Choonja smiles and tries to cheer her up that the family ate everything, so Inyoung should be proud. Inyoung whines that she tried her best only to be told that her food is food waste. Choonja laughs and tells Inyoung to go in and rest as they will take care of the dishes. Inyoung walks out to find Myungsuk waiting for her. He offers to take her to the movies in exchange for the breakfast. Inyoung looks at him incredulously and snaps that he can go with someone who doesn’t make food waste.

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Next, Inyoung goes to her orphanage with Mi-Hee to volunteer. At every opportunity, Mi-Hee tries to rest or cut things off early after the pictures. However, Inyoung is just as combative and keeps asking Mi-Hee if she only came for the publicity – spurring Mi-Hee to continue her best.

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At the same time, Se-Mi sneaks back into the home to see her son. She promises that she will come back for him soon when Choonja comes in with snacks. She gets furious when she sees Se-Mi and kicks her out again. Se-Mi goes to her office to cry. She barely has calmed down when the head of the academy comes in and invites her to a nice lunch as he’s feeling glum. To emphasize the contrast, Se-Mi gets an angry text from Dongsuk asking why she came home to annoy his mother… =_=

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Coincidentally, Junsu takes Inyoung to a nice restaurant to eat with a drama director. Except the drama director bails because he’s busy. So, Inyoung asks Junsu to invite Choonja. She’s in the middle of preparing kimchi but agrees to come for free steak. The starts are not aligned for a fancy meal for Choonja…

Within minutes of her invite Se-Mi and the academy head come into the restaurant. Inyoung immediately assumes that they are having an affair and tells Junsu to cancel his invitation. He calls Choonja and apologizes that something came up at work. Choonja reassures him that she has not even changed or put on make-up. Just as she starts to take off her outfit, Soonhee comes in to ask Choonja to make lunch for her husband (Choonja’s father-in-law). Choonja snaps at Soonhee to do it herself and leaves.

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As for Inyoung and Junsu, they not-so-stealthily follow Se-Mi and the academy head’s car back to the academy building. Seeing the two enter the same elevator, they decide that it’s an affair. They run to Young-Ah and spill everything! As it’s a drama, Dongsuk was there delivering kimchi and overhears. He snaps at Inyoung for lying about Young-Ah and goes home to sulk.

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What’s going on in the election, you ask? Mi-Hee gets annoyed that everything she does gets overshadowed by Young-Ah’s deeds. So, she leaves early and goes to a public computer lab to anonymously comment on articles about her. Her ex-husband stalks her there and Mi-Hee enlists him in the online attack.

Back at home, Junsu asks Young-Ah if she couldn’t be more understanding about his mother’s campaign. Young-Ah doesn’t disappoint and honestly tells Junsu that she’s made her decision and he should know that she’s disappointed in him as well. Junsu changes the subject.

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Mi-Hee comes home in the morning with her ex-husband and gets caught by Junsu! She pretends to faint and then sulks in bed until Junsu offers helping her get an article written in the newspaper. Mi-Hee perks up immediately!

At the main house, Inyoung waits for Myungsuk until she hears from Choonja that Myungsuk is working overnight. Meanwhile, Dongsuk looks online about ways to find out if one’s wife is cheating…The long night passes with little sleep for the two of them… In the morning, Dongsuk goes to ask his mother for some money so that he can buy flowers for Young-Ah.

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As the reporter comes to interview Mi-Hee, Young-Ah is off doing her work. She randomly sees a grandfather having a seizure on the ground and runs to stop a car from running him over. She calls for an ambulance and goes to the emergency room as the elder’s guardian until his actual guardian shows up.

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At the same time, Dongsuk arrives at Se-Mi’s apartment building with the flowers. He sighs that it’s his fault that Se-Mi is being accused of cheating just because he’s not capable. Then a car pulls up and Se-Mi comes out with the academy head…

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Things are not that calm at Mi-Hee’s place as well. As Mi-Hee, Junsu and Young-Ah eat fruit while watching the news they see the elder’s son giving an interview about how Young-Ah saved his father. Then the newspaper company calls to say that the article got caught. Mi-Hee turns to Young-Ah and yells at Young-Ah to choose either the election or Mi-Hee and Junsu. Wait for it guys…Junsu walks with Young-Ah to their apartment and tells her that he will support her decision but he cannot abandon his mother…THEN HE PACKS UP AND GOES TO HIS MOM’S APARTMENT!

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The only calm is with Myungsuk and Inyoung. He calls her out to the jars and shows her a present. He’s spent the whole night up photoshopping his and Inyoung’s pictures together to create some family pictures for Inyoung because she said that she never had a family. Inyoung looks like she’s going to tear up with emotion and opts to kiss Myungsuk instead.

MY TWO CENTS
OMG! I can’t believe that Junsu did this to Young-Ah. More than Mi-Hee’s childish behavior, I am more disgusted by Junsu. That last scene where he tells Young-Ah to choose between the election which could symbolize both Young-Ah’s dream and her desire to protect her family and him left me speechless. My gut reaction? Junsu does not deserve Young-Ah for all that he’s a CEO of an entertainment company. Young-Ah is beautiful and smart. She’s also a salaried government worker. In Korea, once you are a government worker, they rarely fire you. Additionally, you get a lifetime pension. Since they don’t even have children, it might be a good time for Young-Ah to re-evaluate whether or not having a “not-there-husband” is better than spending the time to find herself or a new love. HMPH!

Sigh, not that I got that off my chest. I was happy to see that the drama is maintaining its zappy and fast pacing as well as development of the characters. Other than basically wanting to throw Junsu out of the window, I feel like I have learned a bit more about most of the characters – endearing each one of them as a viewer. Notably, I find myself seeing what Inyoung sees in Choonja. For all of her gruffness, there is this cute naivete and sweetness about her like the way that she happily got dressed to go eat steak or the way that she’s accepted Inyoung even if it’s temporarily – even complimenting her on her cooking.

Since I complained about Myungsuk’s character in the past, I was happy to see his character get some more screen time and storyline in this episode. Since Ryu Soo Young is too old to have the automatic squeal-worthy charismak it’s going to be up to the writing and the acting to carry his character. In this episode, Soo Young nailed the dorky but sweet motel-solo older single nerd. It’s his first real crush because he’s always been focused on making his mother happy. Hence, he has difficulty hiding his emotions to the point where Inyoung is worried about getting kicked out. Then he overzealously pretends not to like Inyoung or her cooking, hurting her feelings – all because he does not realize that he just needs to be standoffish…He does not really need to insult her. The way that Myungsuk’s character has been written and is being portrayed really seems to nail the endearing dorkable type and I’m starting to warm up to the MS/IY ship.

As it’s late, I’ll end my ramblings here. Hope everyone has a happy Thursday! Fighting y’all!