The court always emphasizes on the importance of justice and making fair decisions, but it’s easier said than done for many of the folks working inside the court district. There shouldn’t be any corruption within the court district, but money and power can do a lot and go a long way in disrupting the court whose system is supposed to be just. Why is it so difficult to just advocate for equality and justice and to fight against corruption without having to worry about it and even feel bad about it? That’s the struggle our two leads are caught up in with this episode.
Miss Hammurabi: Episode 9 Recap
Episode 9 starts off with a thankful and shy Oh-reum who expresses her gratitude to Ba-reun. She can’t stop thinking of the night before when he played the guitar to comfort her mother at the hospital while Oh-reum was away for a meeting. However, Oh-reum barely gets to say anything before Ba-reun leaves the office to meet with Presiding Judge Han. He has a suggestion he wants to make to Presiding Judge Han.
Do-yeon heads outside for a quick stretch. While outside, she encounters Judge Jung who’s also outside to get some air. She catches his attention by complimenting his nice butt which throws him off. He jokes that he’s going to report her for sexual harassment, but Do-yeon takes it seriously. She didn’t mean to humiliate him like that. Judge Jung has to make it clear to Do-yeon that he’s actually not offended though; he liked how she complimented him. Do-yeon walks away in confusion before being stopped by Judge Jung who asks her a question about the man in her photo frame. He wants to so desperately believe that the man in the photo is not her lover, but Do-yeon doesn’t say anything about it.
On her way back to the office, Do-yeon meets Oh-reum who’s also on her break. Do-yeon invites her for some tea back in the office.
The two girls talk about Judge Jung and Oh-reum’s curious as to how Do-yeon feels about him. Judge Jung is such an indifferent and thoughtless person who grew up in a rich family without any concerns. Do-yeon’s not sure how well they can get along. Speaking of indifference, Oh-reum shares with Do-yeon her feelings about Ba-reun from a third person point of view. Oh-reum’s “friend” (aka her) and her mother was visited by her guy friend yesterday at the hospital which confuses her “friend” (aka her) because they’re not even that close. Do-yeon seems to have caught on though, but before Oh-reum can continue her story, Presiding Judge Han wants to speak to Oh-reum.
Presiding Judge Han expresses his concern for the amount of workload and cases that Oh-reum has been taking. He wants to give some of her cases to Ba-reun so that the cases aren’t postponed and so everything will be resolved in a timely manner. Oh-reum worries how Ba-reun would feel about this, but Presiding Judge Han asserts his position as their boss. Ba-reun will be fine.
In the next scene, we see a man talking to a broker about a lawyer named Hwang Mal-dong who is apparently close to Presiding Judge Han. The lawyer will be representing the man so he just wants to know how the lawyer’s relationship with Presiding Judge Han is like. But it’s the complete opposite for Presiding Judge Han who doesn’t like the lawyer and claims that they’re not close at all. Presiding Judge Han despises him. Asdkdfjd.
Department 44 discusses the case and reveals that this lawyer won’t even be needed for the case as it’s clear who’s going to win. Meanwhile, the guy wanting to hire Lawyer Hwang to defend him is astounded when he learns how much he’s going to have to pay to hire Lawyer Hwang: $30,000.
Our three judges go out to get some food and then some coffee afterwards. There seems to be this tension between Ba-reun and Presiding Judge Han for some unknown reason. As Presiding Judge Han stops by the pharmacy to grab some medicine, he complains about how frustrated and irritated he feels both at home and at work. Poor Presiding Judge Han.
It’s the day of the trial with Lawyer Hwang. He gets his cases mixed up though and has to sort through the many packets of documents he has with him to finally understand who it is he’s representing. The case is about a cosmetics company who argues that their products aren’t defected, but the defendant disagrees. As Lawyer Hwang goes on to talk about defects, he gets the case mixed up again and starts talking about another case he’s representing that also had to do with defects. Presiding Judge Han gets angry and impatient and ends the trial for the day.
As the three judges leave the courtroom and walk back to their office, Oh-reum reassures Presiding Judge Han that he did well despite the tension back in the courtroom. Meanwhile, Ba-reun whispers that Presiding Judge Han would have done well had he just stayed patient and calm. OOOOH. Even I felt that ASKJDFKD. But Ba-reun please, chillll!
Lawyer Hwang complains about Presiding Judge Han’s behavior in the courtroom to a colleague while the plaintiff being represented by Lawyer Hwang has to pay him $5,000 as a sign of gratitude (poor man is being scammed probably). Meanwhile, two guys working at the cosmetics company who were at the hearing raises concerns about our three judges’s reactions during the hearing. They were acting a little strange and it seemed like they were making fun of the lawyer.
All the presiding judges and associate judges are called into a meeting with the Chief Presiding Judge. They discuss the concern over how former judges are granted special privileges by presiding judges and how the administration wants to now enact rules to check their behaviors and to ensure that this doesn’t happen anymore. Presiding Judge Han isn’t too happy with the rumors, but Chief Presiding Judge is going to present solutions about the concerns despite what others might feel about it.
During lunch that day, Oh-reum gets into a heated debate with another Presiding Judge, Presiding Judge Kwon. She argues that presiding judges did grant former judges special privileges in the past and because nothing was done about it, this continued to happen. Presiding Judge Kwon is enraged at her comment and disagrees with her, but Oh-reum is set on her opinion.
Oh-reum has a small talk with Presiding Judge Gam who was also there in the cafeteria and had witnessed the debate. He kindly reminds Oh-reum of how dangerous the court district can be and to just focus on doing her work and being careful with her words.
Both Oh-reum and Ba-reun meet with Presiding Judge Han over the cafeteria incident. Oh-reum apologizes for her aggressive and direct comments. To prove his point and to disprove the rumors, Presiding Judge Han adds that he’s never showed any bias towards Lawyer Hwang who was once a former judge. But Ba-reun whispers under his breath again that Presiding Judge Han is equally unfriendly to everyone, not just Lawyer Hwang. HAHHAA. Ba-reun pleeeeease! What did Presiding Judge Han do to you??
Later on that night in the office, Oh-reum checks in on Ba-reun who’s been working a lot more than he usually does since he’s now been assigned some of her cases. But the workload doesn’t bother Ba-reun and he’s okay with it. Ba-reun warns Oh-reum to not speak so confidently like how she did earlier in the cafeteria or else she’s just going to make enemies for herself.
The next morning at work, Oh-reum witnesses a bunch of protestors calling for the removal of Ba-reun and Presiding Judge Han from the court. We find out that the protestors are angry at Ba-reun for causing them to lose a court case. He was just following protocol and wanted them to revise their complaint to make it more condensed and easier to understand, but the group never did and lost their lawsuit. Now they want Ba-reun fired. But he’s not too worried about the protestors as they’ve done this for many of the other lawsuits they’ve filed as well.
While Oh-reum spends some time with Presiding Judge Gam and his team outside, Ba-reun witnesses security guard Dan-di fight against one of the protestors who wants to enter the building. He claims he only has a bag of flyers in his backpack, but Dan-di finds it hard to believe and wants him to show her what’s inside his backpack. Things escalate when Dan-di uses some of her martial art skills to protect herself from the protestor. After the incident, Ba-reun and Dan-di have a brief talk outside. Dan-di must be so brave and fearless to be able to fight against guys like the protestor, but she claims that she’s only doing her job. Plus, even if she’s skilled in martial arts she still gets scared from time to time.
Oh-reum plans on working on the case belonging to the protestors, but Ba-reun stops her from doing so. The civic group case is going to be his and he’ll take care of it. Oh-reum already has enough to work on.
Judge Jung passes by Do-yeon while walking in the hallway, but no words are exchanged between the two. Instead, he walks outside to the courtyard where he meets Ba-reun there. It seems like both guys have a lot on their mind and are consumed in thoughts of worry and concern.
Presiding Judge Han and Ba-reun have a small meeting to talk about the protest outside the court. They don’t really care that the group is protesting, but Presiding Judge Han just wishes they had chosen a better picture of him to use (HAHAHA PRIORITIES!). He also checks in on Ba-reun to make sure he’s okay with the heavier workload he has now that he’s taken on a few more of Oh-reum’s cases. But Ba-reun is okay with it; he’s her senior so he should do more of the work. Aww, someone here cares for Oh-reum.
Judge Jung goes to the club to get things off his mind. When he’s not drinking, he’s on the dance floor dancing with and talking to girls. The alcohol starts to kick in and he begins to imagine things. At one point, he hallucinates Do-yeon dancing on the dance floor with him when really she’s not. But he can’t stop thinking about Do-yeon and images of Do-yeon appear throughout the dance floor. He starts to yell in confusion and scares the girls he was dancing with away.
That night, Ba-reun has a conversation with his mom about struggles and whether one can change the struggles that they’ve been fated to overcome. But Mom says that it’s not something that they can change and that even if people do struggle, they’re not struggling alone. Everyone is struggling together. The next morning, Ba-reun heads off to a friend’s wedding.
While waiting for the wedding to start, Ba-reun encounters Yong-jun at the building. Yong-jun had stopped by the building to grab a report, but since he and Ba-reun are together they might as well grab some tea.
Yong-jun expresses his envy in how caring and worried Oh-reum is over Ba-reun with all the protests going on. It seems like everyone in the court must be really close which is why some former judges are still granted special privileges even after having left the court. But Yong-jun reassures Ba-reun to not believe in those rumors. Ba-reun appreciates the concern, but doesn’t want any of Yong-jun’s sympathy. Yong-jun ends the conversation by bringing up a few cases and people within the court district that he has connections to and demonstrating his power and authority to Ba-reun.
Later on that night while studying, Ba-reun hears frightening screams and cries from his mother. He rushes her to the hospital and tries to grab the attention of different nurses and doctors, but they’re all too busy with other patients. He uses his connections and calls one of his colleagues from the hospital to ask if they will take his mother in. A few seconds later, Ba-reun’s mother is taken into the emergency room.
Ba-reun learns from the doctor that his mother has urinary tract stones, but she should be fine if she just takes her medicine. Ba-reun is relieved with the news, but finds out that his behavior earlier at the hospital caused one of the patients to pass away. He was so worried about his mom that he didn’t take the time to consider the many other patients who were also at the hospital. He stares at all the other nurses, patients, and family members surrounding him and finally realizes how busy and worried everyone in that hospital is. He apologizes to a man waiting in the waiting room with his mother desperate for the nurse and doctors to notice them. Ba-reun approaches the man, gets on his knees, and acknowledges his mistake. He’s truly sorry.
It’s another court hearing for the case about the cosmetics company. The defendant’s team asks for more time to work on the case, but Presiding Judge Han won’t grant anyone any favors. They wrap up the case.
Presiding Judge Han warns Oh-reum and Ba-reun about the civic group case (aka the case with the protestors) coming up in a few days. Ba-reun presents to Presiding Judge Han the research he’s done on the leader of the group and argues that there must be a reason as to why he’s filed so many lawsuits over the years. But Presiding Judge Han doesn’t buy it and still believes that he’s filing lawsuits over some of the most trivial reasons. Their meeting is interrupted by breaking news of how the Chairman of a factory named Daeyrong group has been released from prison. Despite actions of malpractice and tax evasions, he’s been excused because of the huge contribution his corporation’s made to the national economy. Yikey-yikes.
Department 44 confronts Presiding Judge Kwon who was the lead judge in the court case involving the Chairman. He justifies that he received a lot of feedback and input from many different people and these opinions helped him make his final decision in court. But Oh-reum asks Presiding Judge Kwon if he actually spoke to anyone outside of his circle who wasn’t wealthy and rich like him, like maybe the factory workers themselves or other normal working class citizens. Presiding Judge Kwon is speechless and Oh-reum has to be stopped by Presiding Judge Han.
While walking to work, Ba-reun witnesses the same group of protestors that had been protesting against him and Presiding Judge Han the past few days. He thinks to himself about the special privileges that money and power can grant you, saying,
Those with no money or power protest on the streets out of blind anger.
Those with a little money trust the brokers and hire former judges as their lawyers.
Those with real power don’t even need to lobby since judges among them will take their side.
Oh-reum has a brief meeting with Presiding Judge Gam. An acquaintance of his is involved with the cosmetics case that Oh-reum is in charge of and Presiding Judge Gam just wants Oh-reum to review all the files for the case carefully so that the final decision made is a fair one. Of course, Oh-reum catches on to Presiding Judge Gam’s intent and abruptly walks away from him.
Oh-reum reviews some documents about the cosmetics company and asks her colleague Judge Hong about the company since her department is also working on another case with the same company. Judge Hong is hesitant to give Oh-reum any details so Oh-reum is left with no answers. But she’s pretty sure that Presiding Judge Gam was trying to help his friend – who’s the CEO of the cosmetics company – out by asking judges to let them win the court case. He’s clearly breaking the rules and Oh-reum won’t let this happen. She plans on filing a complaint against Presiding Judge Gam, but Ba-reun holds her back. She can possibly get dismissed if she does that and if she so desperately wants to file a complaint, he’ll file one for her using his name instead. Oh-reum needs to keep working so she can support her mother and grandma. She can’t afford to be too reckless.
The two judges meet with Presiding Judge Han to ask for his opinion. Presiding Judge Han stops them from moving forward with the complaint; he’ll go and ask Presiding Judge Gam himself for more details.
Presiding Judge Han is proven wrong when he meets with his close colleague. Presiding Judge Gam was doing exactly what his two associate judges were telling him: he’s trying to protect the CEO of the cosmetics company in return for the favors that the CEO has done for him in the past. Presiding Judge Han is hurt and disappointed and has lost all his trust in Presiding Judge Gam. He informs Chief Presiding Judge of the misdemeanors of Presiding Judge Gam.
In the court hearing for the civic groups case with the protestors, Presiding Judge Han accepts the plaintiff’s request and allows him to share with them his side of the story and his reasoning for the lawsuit. And so he starts explaining himself.
Judge Jung paces back and forth outside in the courtyard before bravely entering Department 44’s office. He confesses his feelings for Do-yeon and asks her out on a date. EEEEEEK.
Oh-reum is informed that Presiding Judge Gam has been dismissed from the court. She joins the many other presiding judges and associate judges as they watch him walk into a car, give his last remarks, and then is taken away. Once he’s gone, everyone else goes back inside the building but without walking past Oh-reum first. Many of the presiding judges gives her looks of disapproval and disappointment which heavily impacts Oh-reum.
She’s left alone and stands outside by herself until Ba-reun joins her. He quietly approaches her and glances at her, but doesn’t say anything.
The two stand together, side by side, in silence uncertain as to what to say or how to feel.
This episode’s theme about money and power was the most powerful one yet because it’s so relevant and applicable to society today. Money, wealth, and power does grant you special privileges that those without it wouldn’t have any access to and I think this episode did a great job in showcasing that. From Ba-reun at the hospital to Presiding Judge Gam to Yong-jun, their positions of power enabled them to form connections that has been beneficial for them. But like we saw in the hospital, not everyone can be in control of their fate and receive the same resources that those with more power and money do. It’s unfortunate, it’s unequal, it’s corrupt, but this is how society has been for so long that now it’s become the norm unfortunately.
How unfortunate it was for Oh-reum to receive those disappointing looks from the presiding judges for doing something that she believed in plus shouldn’t be practiced in the court district anyways. She was just simply trying to bring attention to the corrupt and biased strategies that many others – along with Presiding Judge Gam – uses in the court district, but many others just saw it as one of her rebellious acts. It’s ironic that everyone in the court disapproves of her and her behaviors when she’s the only one speaking up against the corruption and inequality in the court which wouldn’t be happening if everyone just did what they were supposed to do. The court preaches about justice and equality and making fair decisions, but the tactics and practices they use to go about doing that is the complete opposite. It’s so ironic that they say one thing and then do another. It relates back to the whole idea presented in this episode again of how money and power can give you access to connections which then allows the corruption to be perpetuated. Until when will things be this way and how much longer will Oh-reum and Ba-reun have to fight to bring the truth to light?
(omg i know this is so random but look at the way Ba-reun is staring at Dan-di in the second screenshot!! THOSE HEART EYES!!)
The hospital scene with Mom and Ba-reun was scary and riveting. It was used to prove the idea that money and wealth and connections leaves some more privileged than others , but just the scene itself was so fearful. I’m glad that Ba-reun’s mom is okay because she’s played such a huge role in the development of Ba-reun’s life and losing her would be a huge blow to him and his family. Both Oh-reum and Ba-reun’s mothers are the driving forces in their lives and this is another common characteristic that our two leads have with each other.
I think Oh-reum is starting to slowly open her heart up to Ba-reun which is always great. I like it even more than that we don’t see her explicitly say it or do things for Ba-reun, but rather we hear it from other characters instead like Yong-jun or Do-yeon. She’s slowly changing her mind about Ba-reun and even though they still bicker with each other because they’re both very different people, their relationship only gets stronger with each passing interaction.
I’m also quite excited to witness Judge Jung and Do-yeon’s relationship development as well just because they too are very different from each other. He’s from a wealthy family with the power and connections that this episode was talking about while she has to work so much more just to stay afloat. I’m curious as to how they’re going to get along and more so, what her night time job is. I have a feeling the drama is trolling us and her night time job isn’t actually what we or Judge Jung make it out to be. I’m even more curious about Do-yeon because she’s been such a mysterious character this entire time who’ll pop in and out of each episode here and there. We don’t know too much about her yet or who the man in the photo frame is, but I’m assuming that these details will be revealed as she and Judge Jung gets to know each other. Until then, I guess them throwing small compliments at each other is all we’ll be getting for now.