Looks can be deceiving, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t give people a chance to explain why they might have done what they did. Oh-reum and Ba-reun are understanding and patient and sympathetic in this episode, but Ba-reun also learns the down side of being too kind and caring. Not everything is always good for good people.
Miss Hammurabi: Episode 12 Recap
Episode 12 starts off with our three judges eating food together. Ba-reun seems upset with Presiding Judge Han over something that happened not too long ago.
The drama takes us back to an hour ago when Chief Justice held a meeting with the presiding judges of the court. Presiding Judge Kwon of the Criminal Department complains about the heavy workload he and his department has been taking on recently. He and his department have been working late into the night just to suffice. Presiding Judge Han suggests that to make the working environment healthier and better for everyone, different departments can help one another and take on some of each other’s cases. Of course, this only applies to Department 44 and Presiding Judge Han, Ba-reun, and Oh-reum are to help out the Criminal Department by overlooking some of the criminal cases. Way to go Presiding Judge Han. Asdfkjd.
Oh-reum doesn’t mind the additional work, but Ba-reun and Presiding Judge Han inform her that it’s different from the civic cases they overlook. Make one mistake and you’re in serious danger.
Chief Presiding Judge holds a meeting with presiding judges and associate judges. He emphasizes on the importance of making verdicts that are unbiased and that are rather just, logical, and reasonable. Don’t be swayed by one’s own opinion when deciding the fate of those in the courtroom. Of course, the message is clearly meant more for Ba-reun and Oh-reum who have been rebelling within the court district. They remind the rest of the presiding judges to also follow the same suggestion (because clearly they haven’t been). Oh-reum adds that they should be merciless with the powerful and merciful with the powerless. Maybe this would help change things.
Ba-reun seems fed up with all the recent court cases involving alcohol of some sort. People have been blaming alcohol as the reasoning behind the incidents even though alcohol should not be an excuse.
Department 44 takes on a court case about a drinking and driving incident. The old man seems addicted to alcohol and got himself in trouble again for driving under the influence while he was on probation. Though he expresses wishes of not going to prison, his actions might prove otherwise.
Our three judges eat at a restaurant together and discuss about the criminal court cases that they’ve been overlooking which are all somehow related to alcohol. Ba-reun doesn’t seem to care much about them, but Presiding Judge Han reminds them that all court cases are equally important. Speaking of alcohol, one of the servers hands Presiding Judge Han a bottle of soju since he always drinks some when he frequents the restaurant. But he’s not going to drink any on that day and the server walks away.
Another day and another court case. This time, our three judges are working on a court case of an older man whose had 26 criminal records — all related to alcohol. Prosecutors want him in jail for posing as a threat and nuisance to society, but Presiding Judge Han is going to give the old man another chance.
They discuss about the court case back in their office. Presiding Judge Han doesn’t want to give the old man a harsh sentence; he’s getting older and he shouldn’t have to spend the rest of his life in prison for the trivial criminal acts he’s committed due to alcohol. Ba-reun disagrees though and argues that he should be punished for the crimes he’s committed regardless. Presiding Judge Han ends the conversation by asking Ba-reun to not speak about prison so easily. It’s not what Ba-reun thinks it is; he’s never been too prison so he’ll never know what it’s like to be in one.
Judge Jung, Oh-reum, and Ba-reun have a discussion about alcohol while drinking at a bar. Ba-reun feels like people shouldn’t be forced to drink if they don’t want to and more importantly, people who drink should be responsible for their actions and behaviors. Judge Jung teases Ba-reun for his opinions on alcohol and jokes that he must be planning on banning alcohol or something.
Ba-reun just can’t seem to escape violent and aggressive drunk people. On the subway, he comes across a loud and disrespectful veteran who shouts loudly at everyone on the subway and even polices a young lady for the outfit she’s wearing. He manages to get the man to stop and the man is taken away by security guards for his behavior. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Ba-reun’s shoes are ruined when a woman nearby pukes on it after having drank a little too much (“I’m so sick of people who cause others trouble”). Same Ba-reun, same.
Our three judges have another hearing for the first case with the older man who was driving while under the influence. A young man (who’s deaf) is at the hearing to testify as a witness. He shares that the old man isn’t a mean or evil person; he’s actually very kind and has done many things to help those in the neighborhood. Presiding Judge Han asks his interpreter to thank the young man and will use his testimony to make a careful decision.
The old man pleads our three judges to release him from prison. He needs to head back home so that he could feed and take care of the farm animals he’s been raising. Oh-reum asks the old man if there’s any other form of transportation he can take to get to his house located all the way in the mountains, but there isn’t and the old man resorts to his motorcycle to get him home after he drinks with his neighbors. Ba-reun then questions the old man by asking how great the damage would have been if the old man had hit someone while driving his motorcycle drunk. A person could get badly injured and even possibly killed if anything like that happened. Ba-reun’s message is clear.
Meanwhile, the other trial of the old man with the 26 criminal records resumes. His public defender suggests that they can mediate with prosecution, but prosecutors don’t want that. If he gets released, the violent offender will only return to society and commit the same acts he did before. He needs to be arrested and punished for his crimes.
Oh-reum finds more about the drunk driver who lives in the mountain. Along with visits by a social worker, his family lives far away from him so his only close friend is the head of the village near where he lives. Oh-reum feels sympathetic for him, but Ba-reun doesn’t. Whether the violent offender or the drunk driver, their poor situation doesn’t give them the right to harm others. Ba-reun adds that everyone is equal when in the courtroom and Oh-reum’s suggestion of being merciful towards the powerful and merciless towards the powerless should not apply to the court. But Oh-reum argues that power is distributed disproportionately among people and therefore, the rules in the courtroom should be applied differently to people when necessary. Ba-reun reflects on Oh-reum’s words.
Judge Jung and Do-yeon have a date at the bar. There, they share with each other details about their lives, interests, and hobbies. We learn that Do-yeon used to work as a bartender at a bar similar to the one they’re at to make some extra cash. Additionally, she also likes to read and believes that a story is most touching when there’s some truth in it.
We return to the moment when Do-yeon first met her creative writing professor. It was back when she still worked as a bartender and he was at the bar drinking. They have a conversation about writing and books and her professor offers her some writing tips. She’s kept that moment and those advice close to her heart which she still remembers to this day. Do-yeon shares with Judge Jung that although working in the court can be difficult, she ultimately enjoys it for the many stories that are told in the court.
While exiting the bar, Do-yeon becomes curious and wants to know why Judge Jung likes her. He stutters and comes up with a bunch of excuses, but finally reveals the honest reason as to why he likes her: Do-yeon’s pretty and it drives him crazy. Though she’s not satisfied with the answer, she does give him some credit for sounding sincere and genuine. It might have been the alcohol or her actual feelings, but she pulls him in for a kiss. EEEEE. Their relationship developed so much faster than Ba-reun and Oh-reum’s ASDKJFD.
Ba-reun returns home that night after work. Dad’s friend who had used Dad’s name to borrow some money and take out loans appeared in court today for his hearing. Dad’s friend is apologetic and guilty for what happened and although Ba-reun still isn’t too happy with the news, he lets it go.
Ba-reun seems to also be having doubts about his position as a judge. But Mom reassures him that he’s always wanted to be a judge since he was little and that this is the right position for him.
Judge Jung couldn’t be any happier while arriving at work. He dances around and jumps around and greets security guards who he almost ran into because he wasn’t being careful with his surroundings. Meanwhile, Oh-reum and Ba-reun visit the neighborhood where the violent offender resides in. There had been another incident in the neighborhood that resulted in the death of a drunk man who was fighting with two other drunk men.
Oh-reum and Ba-reun head out to the neighborhood. It’s clearly not in the best condition and the people living there are impoverished. While walking through the neighborhood, Ba-reun shares a story of when he and his family had to move when he was younger. They used an old, worn-out cart to move their belongings from house to house which Ba-reun clearly didn’t like. Oh-reum jokes that he still thinks and behaves immaturely like he did back then when he was younger. Haha.
Ba-reun notes that there aren’t any children in the neighborhood. It’s quiet and silent and no one is outside. They come across the same veteran that had caused a scene in the subway who Ba-reun eventually reported. The old man sits in the neighborhood drinking some alcohol by himself. Ba-reun recognizes the old man, but he doesn’t approach him or greet him.
The two judges are approached by an old lady pushing a young man in a wheelchair. She sits down with the two judges to have a conversation with them about the apartment complex in the neighborhood. It’s obvious that there seems to be a problem with the apartment complex. There’s been many incidents with alcohol involved as well as suicides and deaths of neighbors. One of the residents ended up in jail after causing trouble while he was drunk and his mother committed suicide not knowing when she would ever see him again. The story clearly moves Oh-reum and Ba-reun and they’re horrified.
While heading back home after the visit, Oh-reum and Ba-reun have a discussion about people like the violent offender. It’s not that people like him are evil or ugly. It’s rather that the situation they’re in is ugly and evil and therefore causes them to commit to things such as alcohol to forget about their situation. Ba-reun understands Oh-reum’s point of view, but he still doesn’t think that their helpless situation should be used as an excuse for their actions and behaviors.
Judge Jung visits Do-yeon in Department 44’s office. He hands her a box of chocolates that he got for her. Do-yeon feels a little shy and embarrassed to accept the box and asks for Judge Jung to not visit her or else it’ll only attract attention. Of course, at that moment the two gossip guys walk past the office and witness Judge Jung standing next to Do-yeon. Judge Jung reassures Do-yeon that everything will be fine as long as she only cares about him and not about what anyone else thinks (*plays Taeyang’s ‘Look At Me Only’*).
Once Judge Jung exits the office, he comes across Presiding Judge Han. He compliments his looks and notes that Presiding Judge Han looks similar to George Clooney. He then
skips walks away with a smile on his face.
Ba-reun and Oh-reum look up different resources and services that the violent offender and drunk driver can use to help recover, but it’s hopeless. There’s limited resources and the two guys are still in custody so it’ll be hard for them to access these services.
Oh-reum and Ba-reun have a meeting with Presiding Judge Han on what to do with both cases. For the drunk driver, Oh-reum proposes that they release him on bail and place him in a rehabilitation clinic for 10 months. If the treatment goes well and he recovers, he won’t be sentenced to prison. However, if he doesn’t keep his promise then he’ll be arrested. Presiding Judge Han and Ba-reun agree with Oh-reum’s proposal.
The two gossip guys once again open their mouths and discloses to Judge Jung’s colleague about how they saw Judge Jung with Do-yeon in her office. They assume that she’s just using him for his money and that she actually doesn’t love him. Judge Jung overhears their conversation while walking by and throws a punch at one of the guy’s face. Presiding Judge Bae – who is Judge Jung’s presiding judge – stops Judge Jung from fighting the guy and grows enraged at him.
For the violent offender with 26 criminal records, Ba-reun proposes that he still be punished for his misdemeanors. He was violent, assaulted, and injured those around him and alcohol shouldn’t justify or excuse his wrongdoings. If Ba-reun is so harsh on the violent offender, why did he agree to letting go of the drunk driver? Unlike the violent offender, the drunk driver didn’t harm or injure anyone while driving under the influence. Although dangerous and bad, he didn’t hurt anyone so his consequences should be lighter.
It’s the final hearings for both cases. They go with the original plan and allow the drunk driver to be treated at a rehabilitation clinic for 10 months. As for the violent offender, he is sentenced to five years total in prison and not the life sentence that he had expected. He’s grateful for our three judges.
The Department 44 team head out for dinner together that evening. They all obviously notice the difference in Do-yeon’s behavior who seems a lot more cheerful and upbeat. Their dinner is interrupted by news about the violent offender that our three judges had announced the final verdict for in court earlier that day. Turns out the old man is actually the Chairman of The Businessman’s Association and had participated in dereliction and embezzlement of over $10 million. Of course, Ba-reun wasn’t aware of this when he was working on the old man’s case and quickly becomes furious after having found out.
He consumes his anger with alcohol and drinks although he’s not much of a drinker to begin with. But he’s way too upset and needs something to distract him. Ba-reun cries later on that night while puking all the alcohol he devoured earlier at dinner. He knocks out in the bathroom of the restaurant only to find himself laying on Oh-reum’s lap on the subway once he wakes up.
Oh-reum accompanies a drunk and wobbly Ba-reun home. Ba-reun is embarrassed and apologetic to Oh-reum for being a burden and inconvenience to her, but she doesn’t mind. It’s okay to be an inconvenience and to ask for help from others sometimes, especially from her (OMG I MIGHT BE CRYING RIGHT NOW). She helps him walk down the stairs as he struggles to maintain his balance and to open his eyes. Arm in arm, side by side, Oh-reum is right there next to Ba-reun to support him.. just like he’s been there for her all the other times in the past.
How does this drama manage to end each episode in such a warm, delicate, and light way every single time? I’m never not satisfied with the endings to each episode because they’re done in the most gratifying and relieving way. Although I might not feel the same way about the court cases per se, I’ve always liked the endings to each episode because they tie all loose endings and wrap each episode up collectively. You never go wrong with the endings to each episode and it always leaves me feeling so hopeful and relaxed.
This episode was probably the one where I felt the most conflicted because I understood where both Ba-reun and Oh-reum were coming from. Oh-reum argued that people like the drunk driver never intended to do any harm to others although he was driving drunk. Plus, he was in a poor and helpless situation where alcohol was the only way to relieve himself of his stress and pain. He’s not drinking because he wants to, but because there’s no other option for him that can help him feel better. People like him are purposely and systematically placed into neighborhoods and locations and situations where they live in poverty, have no money, can barely afford to support themselves and it’s because of this environment that they resort to methods like alcohol to forget about how powerless they are. There’s a reason as to why people like the old man was drinking and just like all the other times, Oh-reum dug in deep to understand this reason. Not only is this consistent with her character, but it’s also a point that the drama has repeatedly emphasized in the past so I felt like Oh-reum’s take on the court case made sense.
At the same time, I wholeheartedly agree with Ba-reun’s opinion that one should always be responsible for their actions and behaviors. True, the drunk driver is poor and stressed and overwhelmed and lonely, but that doesn’t justify or excuse the harm he could have done while driving drunk. He should not have been driving under the influence because he put not only his life but many other lives in danger in the process and punishing him would have been a good wake-up call that he should never do something like that ever again. Sometimes, the only way people will learn is if they’re subject to the necessary consequences and punishments for their actions and behaviors. Driving under the influence and drunk driving is never okay and Ba-reun repeatedly reiterated that throughout this episode. I totally agree with him and to an extent, I sided with him a little more than I did with Oh-reum.
The revelation at the end when Ba-reun discovered the real identity of the violent offender was absolutely heart-breaking to watch. Here he was, letting down the walls he’s spent so many years building and slowly learning to sympathize with people only to be deceived and taken advantage of in the end. He’s changed so much since he’s started working with Oh-reum and has learned a lot from her. Before he refused to let any emotions of sympathy or pity get to him as a judge and he distanced himself from court cases, but he eventually began to let go as time passed by. All of this was for nothing as he was betrayed and deceived in the end for being too kind and understanding and caring. Now I’m afraid that Ba-reun might return to his old ways and not trust or open up to people so easily. He’s going to retreat to like how he used to be before after having made so much progress the past few months. It’s not his fault for being too kind or for sympathizing for the old man although I’m pretty sure he blames himself for what happened. I know it was a hard blow for him (and for me too.. I wanted to cry when I watched his reaction to that news scene), but I wish he wouldn’t feel so bad about it. Everyone makes mistakes and this is a learning lesson.
I just find it so funny and enjoyable that Judge Jung and Do-yeon’s relationship developed at a much faster rate than Oh-reum and Ba-reun’s. Though both relationships are very different from each other respectively, I still enjoy watching both relationships develop in their own ways. Judge Jung and Do-yeon are in their honeymoon phase so they’re very happy and upbeat and everything is so bright for them at the moment. Judge Jung even almost got into deep trouble for standing up for Do-yeon.
Though Ba-reun and Oh-reum’s relationship is developing at a much slower rate, I’m so satisfied with how everything’s going. It’s obvious they like each other but they try not to show it so when they do show it, it makes everything even more rewarding and worth it. For example, the scene at the end when Oh-reum reassured Ba-reun that it’s okay to sometimes be an inconvenience especially to her made me scream because it was yet another huge recognition of her feelings for him. She’s becoming less shy about her feelings for him whereas he’s already confessed how he feels about her. Oh-reum’s slowly reciprocating the same feelings to Ba-reum and I’m loving it. Every single interaction or small gesture means the entire world because they’re both so shy in expressing their feelings for each other. They’ve always been each other’s rock and support when they were going through hard times and this episode was no exception. I admit that I almost cried watching Oh-reum take care of Ba-reun while he was drunk because of all the stress he suffered from work. She’s showing her gratitude and giving back to him for all the times he was there for her in the past.
Simply put, if this isn’t love, then I honestly don’t know what is.