Picking up where i left off is rarely an easy thing for me, especially following a holiday season, even though it’s only a short break. Remember took a year-end break so it took us two full weeks to see what happened after the burning face-off at the end of episode 6. While episode 7 and 8 weren’t a letdown, the pace felt somewhat slower and the plot turns became more aggravating they’re really starting to try my patience. Or maybe i’m still in holiday mood. They can only add so much insult to injury before it becomes too much to bear. However, if this is what it takes for Jin-woo to realize he can’t fight and win this war alone, and for him to finally ask for/accept help from others, then so be it.
For someone who claims he has begun four years ago, Jin-woo doesn’t seem to have done his homework. He hasn’t gone far in terms of collecting new incriminating evidence or securing witnesses to testify against Gyu-man. Neither has he had his nemesis down pat (was expanding and staring at the wall of charts all he did all these years?) because he should’ve learned about Gyu-man’s temperament and known better than to point an empty gun at him — any kind of provocation or warning doesn’t sit well with him.
Having waited four years to file an appeal, Jin-woo is much less prepared than expected. He may appear as impressive an attorney as Dong-ho was in court but isn’t half as crafty in checkmating his opponent and ultimately having his way. Dong-ho easily outplayed Gyu-man twice whereas Jin-woo has only managed to threaten the deranged bully twice before finding himself in the trap set by the latter. Augh, i hate it when the villain is so effective. Gyu-man practically kills three birds with one stone: getting rid of a potential defense witness, pinning the hit on Jin-woo, and causing the appeal request to be rejected. On top of that, he still has the gall to have the pot calling the kettle black exchanges with Dad (Jin-woo’s, Jae-hyuk).
That’s. Just. Ugh!
Okay, it’s not like he’s only being fiendish now, or hasn’t crossed the line before, but his pompous demeanor and self-righteous speech before Dad are so revolting i can’t even. At this point i no longer wish to see more dimensions to (humanize) his character, neither to understand him. You’d better not let him get away with a light punishment, Show, his family’s wealth, power, and influence notwithstanding. So far, he has bought a prosecutor, an attorney, and a police detective, what’s left for him to be completely above the law is having a judge by his side too — he knows one, likely a key figure in Dad’s retrial, and a handsome one at that (hee).
Gyu-man is a pure evil who’s admittedly fun to watch for his outbursts alone (he erupts at the littlest things since he’s done more bad than good), respects only his father, isn’t even that kind to his sister (Yeo-kyung, prosecutor, who unlike her family members seems to have eyes and conscience, although we’ve yet to figure the role she’ll play in the whole scenario), and treats his friend-turned-secretary like crap — how can he not, when the lesson abeoji teaches him is to use people as tools and to replace them regularly?
Speaking of which, i wonder if — or rather when — Gyu-man will discard his loyal-yet-reluctant partner-in-crime as i believe Secretary Ahn is surely gonna be the key person to unearth all of his crimes, provided he isn’t silenced beforehand. He looks genuinely afflicted by Gyu-man’s requests and begs him point-blank not to kill anymore that i wonder how far his loyalties go, how long more he can endure his abuses, how in the world he’s still insistent on calling him a friend, or simply why he hasn’t quit — is he too afraid to? Well, working under someone ordering a hit on others left and right without batting an eyelash is the scariest job in the world — you’ll never know if/when you’re gonna be the next target.
That why i much prefer Dong-ho when he was the ‘son’ of the mob boss to he as one of Gyu-man’s minions. Then, despite his moral ambiguity and love for money, he clearly sides with what’s right. Now, he’s completely under Gyu-man’s thumb, unable to defy his orders or do much to help Jin-woo. Stop saying the contract is still valid — it’s only so after Dad is a free man — if you’re doing next to nothing to make amends or working to bring Gyu-man to justice! Walk the talk! Clock is ticking and Dad cannot wait forever! Isn’t he aware of Jin-woo’s glares (or even In-ah’s) every time they meet? Please return to the Great Dong-ho i saw in the first three-and-a-half episodes…
Speaking of Dad, episode 8 gave us a glimpse of his prison cell — bare, with only the basic things labeled for his failing memory, although strangely Jin-woo’s photos are pasted on the wall but not his name, which explains why he doesn’t remember his own son(?). The flashbacks to their happy times do not bother me, yet, mainly because they’re of different scenes/situations every time, although i wish it would be more meaningful to the current case rather than a painful memory to Jin-woo. I know we’re only a third way through, but things are already looking quite bad at the moment i wonder how much more sufferings the father and son have to go through till the finale. Hopefully Show does have enough plot to fill the next 16 episodes with though, cuz for the first time, the closing scene of the week didn’t enthrall me.
Despite knowing that it’s part of Jin-woo’s characterization since the start, despite knowing that it will happen, i’m still surprised to see the onset of his Alzheimer’s occurring as early as episode 7, when we’ve yet to make significant progress with the case. We could clearly see the horror in his face when he failed to recall Jung-ah’s name. It might be a normal lapse to us, but not to him who never forgets a thing he’s seen; forgetting the victim’s name, out of all things, is unforgivable especially when he’s spent who knows how much time staring at his wall chart bearing everybody’s name and information involved in/related to the murder.
So, while i’m looking forward to the moment Secretary Ahn will change side, i’m hoping Jin-woo won’t be betrayed by his closest circle. I don’t worry the slightest bit about Manager Yeon, but i do have bad feeling about the stuttering lawyer, who’s pretty much a pushover. I’ll be glad to be proven wrong, albeit still demand an explanation as to why Jin-woo’s willing to take him in, when he didn’t believe in Dad’s innocence or know who the real culprit is. Come on, Show, you gave us the backstory behind Jin-woo/Manager Yeon’s close bond, don’t discriminate against the stuttering lawyer! The last fear i have as of now is for In-ah to lose any of her family members in the process, either because she’s too vocal or because she’s siding with Jin-woo.
Here’s hoping these are just groundless fears due to previous drama watching experiences.