Miss Hammurabi: Episode 6 recap

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Episode six is a lot less formulaic and more..humanized. It focused on our characters and their lives and their background stories instead of the workplace or court cases like how it did in the past. This episode is very different from the ones prior to it, but it’s still as beautiful, touching, light, warm, and adorable. In the midst of all the chaos and commotion that comes about because of court cases and the fight for work equality, we are also reminded that the two judges fighting for that equality are not just judges, but also human beings.

Miss Hammurabi: Episode 6 Recap

Episode 6 begins with our three judges handling another case in the court room. It’s a privacy vs. public debate regarding a Congress member. He’s calling for the deletion of photos from his college days on the internet as well as any related word searches of that photo. Oh-reum and Ba-reun have a quick discussion about this back in their office before returning to the trial. Before leaving for the trial, they also mention about the general meeting with all the judges and presiding judges that we saw in episode five. After all their hard work, they finally were able to make something small happen even if the meeting didn’t resume like how they had wanted. They got everyone to take a first step together (OMG Y’ALL, THEY ARE TOO CUTE).

Back in the trial, the plaintiff – Congressman Kang – is asking for a photo of him back during his college days to be deleted. It’s a photo of when he was protesting against the use of nuclear energy as the only alternative source of energy which he now believes in presently. But the public wants to know why he’s changed his stance on this topic and even more, why he wants this photo of him to be deleted. Presiding Judge Han ends the trial for the day.

Oh-reum and Ba-reun discuss more on Congressman Kang and his life story. Thankfully, with his quick thinking, intelligence, participation in activism, and his wealthy wife, he was able to accomplish a lot throughout his life pretty quickly.

Do-yeon enters their office to inform Ba-reun to visit Presiding Judge Han to meet with him. She leaves their office only to find Judge Jung at her office, staring at the one photo frame on her desk. Do-yeon hurries to her desk while Judge Jung moves out of the way, making up excuses for his behavior. Before leaving, he asks her who the man in the photo is only for Do-yeon to answer that the guy’s her boyfriend, not her dad. Hmm, I wonder what’s the story behind this photo frame.

Ba-reun meets for a brief moment with Presiding Judge Han (who I might note is using a product to help his feet feel better so he’s bouncing up and down) who rushes Ba-reun to hurry and find out what it is that Congressman Kang wants. Sure, he wants the right to be forgotten and to have that college photo of him deleted, but is that really it? Ba-reun is to try to mediate the case as soon as possible.

Back in his office, Ba-reun stares at a recent picture of Congressman Kang and feels like he’s a decent looking man. But Oh-reum begs to differ. She feels like Ba-reun is better good-looking and also has a much nicer smile. Ba-reun quickly gets shy in response to Oh-reum’s compliments and he stutters while talking and can’t seem to think straight (omg he’s toooo cute!). Judge Jung interrupts the two and enters their office. He invites them out for some drinks.

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At the bar, the three begin to talk about Do-yeon. Judge Jung seems curious about her and asks the two judges some questions about her. They quickly become suspicious on his intent and why he seems so interested in her. Ba-reun jokes that Judge Jung is one of the many people who’s become smitten by her to the point where he’s now imagining childish things and pondering over her every gesture. Hmm, that sounds a lot like someone sitting at the table. Judge Jung and Oh-reum quickly becomes suspicious of Ba-reun. He’s the one acting strange.

The next morning at work, Oh-reum checks in on Ba-reun and asks how he’s feeling after a night of drinking. She doesn’t forget to mention how cute he was when he was drunk which throws him off. He blushes and quickly gets shy. Oh-reum hands him some medicine to drink to cure his hangover (THE PPL IN THIS IS REEEAAAL) and the two head over to the library to do some studying.

Of course, it’s really only Oh-reum who manages to get some studying done. Ba-reun, on the other hand, is too consumed with watching Oh-reum walk up and down the aisles and read books in between. He’s reminded of their high school days and when he would also peek at Oh-reum in the library while she searched for books and read some of them. He’s clearly awestruck.

Ba-reun leaves for the office first still in a trance. He picks at one of the flowers on the table in his office and plays a game of ‘love me, love me not’ using the flower’s petals. Judge Jung walks in on Ba-reun and catches him in his suspicious act. Ba-reun quickly realizes what he’s doing and drops both his flowers and books onto the ground. Oh-reum entering the office right at that time doesn’t help either. Ba-reun makes up an excuse as to why he picked out the books he did and tries to pretend like nothing happened. Judge Jung then asks the two judges about Do-yeon’s whereabouts. They inform her that Do-yeon went on vacation and will be returning shortly back to work that afternoon.

And so our assistant clerk returns to her office. Yay! But it seems like no one’s happier to see Do-yeon than Judge Jung who watches her working at her desk from outside in the hallway. He clearly likes her and is smitten by her, but doesn’t have the courage to go up to her. While he talks to himself outside the office in the hallway to himself, Presiding Judge Han approaches him and asks what he’s up to. Judge Jung denies that he’s doing anything and makes up an excuse as to why he’s outside of their department office. He walks away in a hurry after apologizing. Hmm, someone here is acting a lot like Ba-reun.

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Oh-reum heads off to mediate a case between two friends wanting to start a business together. While she walks off, Ba-reun returns back to his game of ‘love me, love me not’ with the flower petals. This time, Judge Jung doesn’t need to enter the room in order to wake Ba-reun up; Ba-reun finds himself doing the same exact thing he was doing earlier and stops after freaking himself out. Omg, he is too funny! Later on that day, Ba-reun visits the same music school that he did in the first episode and the same little kid who had been criticizing him earlier now compliments him. It seems like Ba-reun’s gotten better at playing the piano! Oh ho ho. Ba-reun’s changed.

Ba-reun works to mediate the case with the Congressman. The Congressman’s attorney insists that it’s only one photo of him that he wants deleted because this photo has caused great damage to his reputation and career. Isn’t there a past that everyone wishes to remember and a past that everyone wishes to forget? Meanwhile, the defendant’s side argue that he’s only filing this lawsuit as a publicity stunt.

A past one wants to remember, and a past one wants to forget. Judge Jung, Oh-reum, and Ba-reun ponder over the phrase in another round of drinks at the bar. Judge Jung asks Oh-reum if there’s a past in which she wants to forget, but she doesn’t answer his question. He then changes the subject and asks Oh-reum if she would be willing to play the piano for them at the bar. She did graduate from a music school and it’s been a while since she’s played the piano. Oh-reum volunteers to play the piano.

And so she returns to the piano like she did in her earlier years. While Oh-reum keeps herself busy with the instrument, Judge Jung and Ba-reun watch her from their table. Ba-reun then recalls high school memories with Judge Jung and asks if he remembered signing up for the book club that they were both members of at one point. Judge Jung remembers that clearly and even recalls quitting a few weeks in because it had gotten boring. LOL. The drama then takes us back to their high school years.

Judge Jung is the MC of the Book Club’s Friendship Night Showcase. He invites Oh-reum onto the stage to perform and play the piano in front of everyone. Ba-reun is in awe watching her play the piano and can’t seem to stare anywhere else. At times, it feels like he’s the only person in that room watching her play the piano. Her performance is met by a big positive response from the crowd and the next performer to be on stage is chosen by Judge Jung. It’s none other than Ba-reun (“you made eye contact with me!”).

Ba-reun is forced onto the stage and recites quotes from a book for his performance. He makes nervous eye contact with Oh-reum after his performance and becomes curious about her reaction. Oh-reum has definitely noticed Ba-reun though and she slightly smiles.

We return to the present where Oh-reum is playing the piano at the bar and the two guy judges are watching her from afar. She returns to their table and are met by an applause by the two guys. However, Judge Jung knocks out after drinking too much and it’s just our Department 44 judges talking to each other. They talk about topics like relationships and love and their high school days. Oh-reum apologizes to Ba-reun for her odd and strange behavior back then that Ba-reun never found offensive. She was a very nice person back then (JUST SPEAK WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND BA-REUN. JUST SAY YOU LOVE HERRR).

Oh-reum thanks Ba-reun for the nice words. Back then in high school, she was scared and afraid of the world. She was intimidated and insecure and she hated herself for not being able to do anything about it. But Oh-reum adds that with Ba-reun, she felt comfortable around him. He was different from all those other guys who plays video games and watches porn and thinks about girls all the time (but Ba-reun is all of those things too Oh-reum! Lol) because he liked other things like books and music. She drinks some more of her alcohol before making a bold confession: back then in high school and now in the court, Ba-reun has always been helpful and supportive of Oh-reum and she appreciates all his help. Ba-reun just timidly accepts the confession, a little disappointed that she might not feel the same way about him.

Do-yeon joins the three judges after receiving an invitation from Oh-reum to join them. Judge Jung wakes up from his nap after hearing that Do-yeon is with them. A little drunk, he goes off on a tangent about Do-yeon. Why would someone like her from a rich family work as an assistant clerk at the court district? Aren’t there other things she would want to do instead? Do-yeon refutes his allegations though and argues that contrary to what he thinks, she’s not from a rich family. She also adds that her hobbies and interests outside of work extends to doing something at night which arouses the suspicion of everyone at the table. The four of them quickly become close after a night of drinking, but Oh-reum has to leave early.

Once Oh-reum leaves, Judge Jung finally realizes that the girl Ba-reun had a crush on back in high school was none other than Oh-reum! Ba-reun tries to get him to stop talking, but Do-yeon is intrigued and curious. Judge Jung then proceeds to share with Do-yeon stories about their high school book club and how Ba-reun had a crush on Oh-reum, leading Do-yeon to ask Ba-reun if Oh-reum was his ideal type back then. But he easily denies it and she apologizes. Of course, how can you like someone who you don’t even know anything about? Do-yeon eventually leaves to go to her night activity/hobby.

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That night after drinking, Ba-reun heads home. He can’t stop thinking about the conversations that took place earlier at the bar. He reminds himself to not talk about his high school days and his crush on Oh-reum as if it was no big deal; his feelings for Oh-reum back then were sincere and genuine.

So the drama takes us back to the same moments when Ba-reun would take glances at Oh-reum in the library while she was occupied with reading. We also see him introducing himself to Oh-reum outside on campus and catching up with her throughout campus just so he could talk to her. She’s a little shy and quiet and reserved while he’s a little bit more outgoing and social (I know! It’s true! Ba-reun is the one initiating the conversations, not Oh-reum!). At one point, they talk about her playing the piano which motivates Ba-reun to want to play the piano too. But his parents can’t afford it so he doesn’t get to learn to play the piano. But he utilizes plenty of other opportunities to bond with Oh-reum, such as tickets to a concert he was going to invite Oh-reum to.

We’re then taken back to the very same scene we saw earlier in the drama. Ba-reun and Oh-reum are sitting on the bench on campus and Oh-reum shares that she doesn’t enjoy her piano lessons. Her piano teacher is sexually harassing her and keeps touching her body. She’s afraid to tell her parents anything because she’s afraid of their reactions. But before Ba-reun could say anything further, Oh-reum gets picked up by a driver and heads home. Ba-reun, watching Oh-reum get into the car and driven further away, voices, “Things ended too quickly.. before it could even begin.” He stares at the two concert tickets hopelessly. Fast forward a decade later and he still feels just as hopeless as he did that day.

Ba-reun returns to work on mediating the case with the Congressman. In the next meeting, the Congressman is there himself. The Congressman claims that he’s already done a handful of interviews as well as books explaining the reason for the change in his opinion and why it contrasts from what’s seen in the photo. The defendant fights that the writing in interviews and books differs from the type of impact that a photo has and ponders over which rights of his are violated by keeping the photo public. But it’s the Congressman’s photo and he wants it deleted. Period. Ba-reun watches all of this unfold right in front of him.

Ba-reun updates Oh-reum on the meeting. Oh-reum tries to fit the pieces of the puzzle together and understand what both sides are arguing. The Congressman wants to forget his past by deleting that one specific photo, but the public feels like they have a right to know why he wants to delete the photo. Isn’t that a bit too cruel?

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Judge Jung heads over to Department 44 and becomes sullen when Do-yeon isn’t there. But hey, if she’s not there, the two judges probably are. So he enters their office and invites them out to dinner. Oh-reum isn’t hungry though and Ba-reun just wants him to hurry up and leave so he can stop bothering them. LOL. Judge Jung eventually leaves without anyone with him. Poor man is just lonely and needs some company.

The two judges don’t have dinner with Judge Jung, but they do grab dinner with Yong-jun who stopped by their workplace to pick them up. They head out to one of Oh-reum’s most frequently visited restaurants before she got busy and became a judge. Oh-reum and Yong-jun share a little bit of their history to Ba-reun and how they met each other through a sign language club back in college. Yong-jun then proceeds to share how he does a lot of advocacy work for people with physical disabilities since his younger sister is personally affected herself.

Oh-reum has to abruptly leave dinner so it’s just Yong-jun and Ba-reun. He checks up on Oh-reum and asks Ba-reun how Oh-reum has been keeping up with work. It must be difficult doing work that contrasts widely from the type of living environment she grew up in. Yong-jun shares with Ba-reun that Oh-reum was very lonely growing up, but stops so Oh-reum can one day tell the rest of her story to Ba-reun on her own terms. The two guys continue to have dinner together that night and have a few talks before Ba-reun calls it a day. Yong-jun expresses his wish to get closer to Ba-reun and to even become friends with him, but Ba-reun is hesitant to accept his request. He leaves the restaurant after helping pitch in for the bill.

Oh-reum’s sudden leave at dinner was so she could visit her mother who’s been hospitalized. Her grandma is also in the room with her, but no words or glances are exchanged. We find out that Mom’s mental illness and health deterioration came about as a result of Oh-reum’s father’s suicide. After his death, Mom and Oh-reum didn’t have enough money to keep the house and their living situation descended since then. Witnessing Oh-reum’s father commit suicide right in front of her also heavily affected both Mom’s mental and physical health. Fortunately, Mom wakes up at the hospital and smiles in relief upon seeing Oh-reum, but she can’t seem to recognize Grandma. Grandma cries in pain and agony while Oh-reum tries to comfort her.

Oh-reum updates her Aunts at the farmers market on how Mom and Grandma are doing. She worries that Mom will eventually forget about her too just like how she seems to have forgotten about everything and everyone else. But her Aunts reassure her that that will never happen. Even if Mom wants to so desperately forget her past, she will never forget her own child.

It’s another meeting with Congressman Kang and the defendant. Ba-reun ends up talking to the Congressman by himself to get him to speak. Congressman Kang finally reveals the reason for why he wants the photo to be deleted: it’s not for him, but for his wife. His wife was also at the same protest as seen in the picture and the photo only reminds her of the unfortunate death that happened on the day of the protest. The protestor sitting next to Congressman Kang in the photo had unfortunately passed away on the day of the protest and seeing the photo only reminds them of that bad day. Along with his wife, Congressman Kang too wants to forget this past. Ba-reun responds that he’ll try to persuade the defendant to settle, but Congressman Kang stops him. He will withdraw the suit. His wife – who he had started this whole trial for – unfortunately passed away not too long ago so there’s no need to go through with the trial anymore.

Ba-reun informs Oh-reum on the conclusion of the case. Oh-reum reflects on Congressman Kang’s initial reason to file the lawsuit: he wanted to forget a certain memory from his past. She seems to understand where he’s coming from and the reasons for the lawsuit. Ba-reun quickly changes the subject to Oh-reum and expresses his desire to know more about her and her life story. What memory from her past does she want to forget about? But Oh-reum is puzzled and even hesitant to open up to Ba-reun on her life. Why is he interested in wanting to know about her?

Without any stuttering, without any hesitation, and with lots of courage, Ba-reun stares directly into Oh-reum’s eyes and boldly answers, “Because I like you.”

AAHHHHHHH. HE CONFESSED TO HER Y’ALL. I’M FREAKING OUT. OMGGG.

He wants to know more about her because he likes her. He’s liked her all along, but he wasn’t sure if he could like Oh-reum since he didn’t know much about her. But he does and it’s because he likes her that he wants to get to know her better. As a response to the sudden confession, Oh-reum reiterates what she told him earlier at the bar: she’s grateful for all the support he’s given her but she doesn’t have any feelings for him, both in the past and the present.

But Oh-reum proceeds to sharing with Ba-reun her life story like how he had asked. Her father passed away, her mother is ill, and her grandmother’s health is deteriorating by the day. She needs to work and survive at the court so she could help pay off her father’s debt as well as take care of Mom and Grandma. She’s about to continue her story when Ba-reun stops her. It’s okay. She doesn’t need to share more than what she’s comfortable sharing. He just simply wanted to tell her his honest feelings about her. Even if she doesn’t feel the same way about him, he’ll still look out for her and be the supportive colleague that he’s been this entire time.

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Judge Jung interrupts the two’s intimate moment once again and invites them out for a drink (it went from just visiting their office to now visiting their office to go out for drinks. I love it!). The three visit the same bar that they’ve been visiting the past few nights. At the bar, Judge Jung senses the awkward and somewhat dejected mood between the two judges, but they insist that nothing’s wrong. They’re not saying anything because they’re listening to the music playing in the background.

That’s when Ba-reun and Oh-reum discuss about the piano piece that’s currently being played. It’s called ‘Melody of Star-Crossed Lovers’ and it’s about two unfortunate lovers whose stars meet very briefly but fall in different directions and never meet again. The situation sounds similar to Ba-reun and Oh-reum’s current situation, but it also reminds Oh-reum of her mother and how her mother will never meet her father ever again. Mournful and heart-broken, she heads to the one treasure that makes her feel at peace: the piano. She starts to play the piano to relieve herself of her pain and anguish while Ba-reun watches her from the table.

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In between rotating scenes of Oh-reum playing the piano at the bar and then her playing the piano on the night of the Book Club Friendship Night showcase back in high school, a voice over from Ba-reun plays, saying,

The human memory is a strange thing. We forget about what’s completed and remember unfinished matters for a very long time.

Between those who get used to what they’ve accomplished after a happy ending and those who fail to accomplish something and think about it all their lives, what’s more romantic? Or actually, whose story.. is sadder?

While Oh-reum continues to play the piano, Ba-reun watches her from afar. Tears fill his eyes and he finally manages to glance away from Oh-reum. The episode ends with our two leads, heart-broken and sorrowful in their own ways for their own respective reasons.

My Thoughts:

Wow. Just wow. I’m actually not really sure how I feel about this episode. It just felt so different from all the other episodes that I’m actually kind of confused on what the purpose behind this episode was.

The past five episodes were focused on establishing our characters and our two leads as the main fighters in the court who advocated for justice and equality within the workplace. We saw them almost reprimanded and punished for their actions and behaviors, we saw them almost give up after countless hours of hard work and meetings, we saw them going up against higher-ups and powerful people who could have easily ruined the two’s future if they wanted to.

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And maybe I was so used to seeing this that when we didn’t see any of this in this episode I became a little… confused. The drama had done such a great job building up the momentum and intensity that episode six felt kind of flat compared to the episodes prior. The one case in this episode with Congressman Kang wasn’t as heavy and intense as the other ones before were. It was just simply used as a catalyst to emphasize the learning lesson of this episode: there’s a past that one wants to forget and a past that one wants to remember. The case was introduced for this reason and this reason only which is why it felt.. empty to me. We didn’t see Oh-reum and Ba-reun work on it extensively like how they did with prior cases. I missed seeing the strong, determined, persistent, and fearless power duo that we did in the prior episodes.

But I do have to admit that while this episode was widely different from the episodes prior, it was still just as beautiful, light, fluffy, warm, and touching and maybe even more. It was nice to just take a break and to relax and breathe with this episode which was inarguably a lot more calm, a lot less intense, and a lot less suspenseful. Compared to the past episodes that had a lot more action and intensity, this one was much more mellow which I enjoyed just as much. Although this episode didn’t have much going on, it still provided us with so much context on our two leads so the episode never really felt wasted in that sense.

It’s weird to want to label this episode as a filler episode when really it provided us with the most amount of details and information on Ba-reun and Oh-reum’s high school relationship yet in the show. It also does a fairly nice job of coming full circle and ending things where we started. I really appreciate these small details that the drama showed us of Ba-reun and Oh-reum’s high school memories, like when he would approach her and talk to her or how he at one point wanted to play the piano just because she did. Just like Ba-reun told himself after that night of drinking, his feelings for Oh-reum were genuine and sincere all along. He’s always liked her and she’s always had a special spot in his heart after all these years. It’s so interesting to see how things have changed and how the tables have turned. Now she’s the much more outgoing and loud one while he’s the one who’s less social and a little bit more reserved. Somewhere along the way, something happened to the both of them that caused them to change.

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I think another reason why this episode felt so different to me was because we didn’t have any of determined and stubborn Oh-reum standing up for people like we did in the past five episodes. In substitute of watching her work, we saw her instead struggle and come to terms with her family’s current situation and it was a perfect replacement. Though Oh-reum excels in the court and she fights until the very end for what she believes in, we’re reminded in this episode that she is also human. She also has struggles and challenges of her own that she goes through outside of work. We saw her primarily working and fighting against work inequality in the last five episodes that now we see her battling her own demons and her mom’s demons and I honestly loved it. To many people, they see her as Judge Park, but there’s another side of Judge Park that not many people except Ba-reun sees, understands, and appreciates:  Park Cha Oh-reum.

I can’t complain about all the amount of flashbacks we’re getting of high school Ba-reun and Oh-reum because although this type of storytelling is rare (usually flashbacks are not as frequent and extended this late into a drama), I do find it effective (and plus, they’re both so cute). This entire episode was basically an episode of Ba-reun swooning over Oh-reum and still being in love with her as much as he was twelve years earlier. Nothing’s changed for him and the high school flashbacks helped us better witness and understand his feelings. His feelings for her has always been genuine and it was so sweet watching Oh-reum express her gratitude for him.

When everything in her life was falling apart because of her father’s suicide, her mother’s deteriorating health, her fear of the world, and her difficult situation with the piano teacher, she had Ba-reun there alongside her to support her. He helped her move forward and see the positive side in things. He really cares for her so much and it’s so funny and cute watching him ponder over whether she feels the same way towards him (all the picking of the petal roses or the way he stutters or easily blushes and becomes shy). Oh-reum feels some sort of home and comfort in Ba-reun’s presence and I think (or at least I hope) these feelings of ease with him will transform into feelings of love. Of course, she doesn’t owe him anything just because he’s confessed and I hope he respects her decision. Just because he’s confessed doesn’t mean she will automatically reciprocate the same feelings back and I imagine that the next few episodes will showcase the push-and-pull (and awkward) dynamic that is to propel their relationship.

The obvious learning lesson in this episode was the idea that everyone has a certain past that they want to forget about and a certain past that they want to remember. From Congressman Kang with the protest photo to Oh-reum with her piano teacher to Mom having witnessed Dad’s suicide, these painful memories of their past lives on and this makes it difficult for them to move forward. No matter how hard they try, they just can’t seem to forget. This past is the reason for why Oh-reum is a judge. It’s so so sad and unfortunate that her father committed suicide, but I’m also glad that Oh-reum’s had a strong support system and that she herself has remained strong since his passing. This context is and will be greatly appreciated when we continue to see Oh-reum fight in the court passionately and confidently like how she’s been doing. Oh-reum has gone through so much and has had a very painful past, but she also acknowledges that these memories are what’s helped her become who she is today. She doesn’t try to hide it and she doesn’t attempt to forget about it even though she is still clearly hurt and affected by what’s happened. Using the painful past as her motivation, Oh-reum moves forward and fights on, remaining the hero that she is to everyone and herself. We can truly all learn from Oh-reum and maybe even strive to be like her in our own respective ways.

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