It’s another case involving sexual harassment, but our three judges approach this case a little differently than they did with the first case back in episode three. In addition, there’s character growth for many of our characters in this episode and our two couples continue to be an “inconvenience” to their respective partners… inconvenience that really only makes them happy.
Miss Hammurabi: Episode 13 Recap
The episode starts off with Ba-reun and Oh-reum awkwardly working in the office together. Ba-reun’s hung over, but he still remembers what happened the night before. Oh-reum surely hasn’t forgotten either and most certainly regrets the one comment she made to Ba-reun about how he can always ask her for help if he needs it. ASDKJD. Ba-reun leaves the office while Judge Jung enters to find a distressed and panicked Oh-reum. He updates her on how his relationship with Do-yeon is going before leaving.
Presiding Judge Bae yells at Judge Jung for punching one of the gossip guys at work and for causing trouble. He’s even more upset that it was all because of Do-yeon. He reminds Judge Jung that regardless of what it is, he still works under Presiding Judge Bae so he needs to be more careful with his actions and words.
Judge Jung’s colleague/co-judge informs him of how news about the incident is spreading around the court. Everyone also knows about Judge Jung and Do-yeon’s relationship now. Judge Jung has a meeting with Do-yeon outside in the courtyard to discuss about the incident. She advises Judge Jung to not be bothered by what other people think or say about her. He doesn’t need to be friends with everyone nor does he need to be fighting people for her. Everything will be alright.
Oh-reum reads a news article about a professor at Sejin National University who quasi-raped a student and whose warrant also got dismissed. Ba-reun reminds Oh-reum to not reach any conclusions as the verdict hasn’t been finalized yet. Oh-reum stays grounded and praises Presiding Judge Han for being able to control his temper while in the courtroom. How does he manage to do that?
Except.. Presiding Judge Han hasn’t really learned to control that short temper of his. Askjdfd. Whether it’s in the courtroom or at Ba-reun, he easily gets upset and impatient. Lol.
The Sejin National University Hospital case is assigned to Oh-reum. To make things worse, the professor’s in-laws are a part of the infamous and powerful NJ Group that Yong-jun is also from. The professor himself is the husband of the director of the hospital. Yiiiikes.
Oh-reum addresses her concerns about the case with Presiding Judge Han. As the one responsible for the case, she’s afraid others might misunderstand and target her.
It’s the first day of the trial. Before starting, Presiding Judge Han reveals that Oh-reum knows someone from NJ Group (Yong-jun) who’s close to the defendant (the professor) and if reappointment is needed, they will request it. But neither sides believe this will be a problem so they resume.
Prosecution starts off by asking the professor if he acknowledges that the case has to do with sexual assault, but he denies it. He had the student’s consent to have sex and later on adds that consent doesn’t always have to be expressed verbally (ohhh booyyyyy, I already know this case is going to be hard to watch).
The student herself testifies in court against the Professor. However, the professor’s team is way too strong and stubborn. They accuse the student of being attracted to the professor for her own self-interests and question why she reported the professor a week after the incident occurred. It wasn’t until news of the incident started to spread that she finally reported him. Didn’t she do this only to save herself and her reputation? The student tries to defend herself, but it’s of no use. Everyone in the courtroom is outraged, including Oh-reum.
Oh-reum, Dan-di, Judge Hong, and Do-yeon agree to go out that evening to celebrate Judge Hong’s birthday. While exiting from work, they come across the gossip guy who was punched in the face by Judge Jung. He questions how an assistant clerk and sternographer like Do-yeon can afford a luxury car. But Do-yeon just doesn’t work in the court; she’s also a popular web novelist whose work is a favorite among Oh-reum and her Aunts. She makes most of her money from writing web novels. AHHH. I knew it! The four girls head out to the club that night to have some fun. (Lesson learned: Never mess with Do-yeon!).
Judge Jung rushes into Ba-reun’s office while he’s working to inform him of the 4 girls. They’re at the club and he’s afraid they might get too drunk and something might happen to them. Ba-reun remains careless at first until he learns that Oh-reum is also at the club. He quickly stops working and rushes out the office. Askdfjd.
The 4 girls have some fun on the dance floor and then sit down to have some drinks. Two random guys approach the girls and invite them to have some drinks together, but our 4 girls aren’t interested one bit. Just when one of the guys gets angry and threatens to smash Oh-reum in the head with a bottle, Ba-reun arrives just in time to stop him (AHHHH OMG HE’S SO HOT ASKFJD). The two guys leave and our two male judges join the 4 girls. I love this squad. Can I join too?! Oh and also, our four girls were doing amazing by themselves anyways. They can handle anything that comes along their way just fine.
Everyone’s drinking and having some fun, but Ba-reun can’t seem to stop stealing looks at Oh-reum. Working with her is bad for him and his heart. Omg, that’s so cheesy Ba-reun! Meanwhile, Judge Jung learns about Do-yeon’s hidden identity as a web novelist. She hopes to one day write about the different stories presented in the courtroom.
It’s a great time for everyone until Oh-reum witnesses something very serious and alarming. The same guys that had approached her and the other girls earlier are now inviting drunk girls into their reserved VIP rooms.
The two guys get one of the girls to become so intoxicated she passes out. They carry her out of the room and are about to transport her to a hotel until they come across the squad. YESSSS. Our court squad is so cool omg.
They stop the guys before the guys can do anything more horrific and disgusting to the young lady. Ba-reun especially gets angry when the two guys defend themselves for their wrongdoings. They just wanted to have some fun with the young lady and plus, it’s not like they actually did anything to her in the first place. Of course, this doesn’t fly with anyone – especially Ba-reun – who almost punches one of the guys in the face. OOH YOU GO BA-REUN, YOU GO.
Judge Jung takes Do-yeon home that night. She shares with him that she likes how honest and good of a guy he is. He never pretends to be someone he’s not and he learns from his mistakes. She leans her head on his shoulders while they’re riding in the taxi. He leans his head on her head in return. Aww, they’re gonna make me cry. They’re so sweet together.
Judge Jung drops Do-yeon off at her apartment and prepares to bid farewell with her. However, she invites him inside her place so they can spend more time together. Since she feels safe with him now, she wants to be more ~adventurous~. Omo omo omo. The night sure must have been adventurous for Do-yeon. She’s completely happy and upbeat the next morning at work. Hehe.
It’s another day of a court hearing for the case with the professor. An old woman who had worked at a motel across from the university hospital testifies as a witness. Although she has some trouble reading the oath, she eventually swears to speak only the truth and then begins her testimony.
Her responses vary widely from the statement that she had originally made to the police. She changes her answers and is uncertain as to whether the student entered the motel room was unconscious or not. Err.
A close friend of the victim testifies as a witness. She saw the professor carry the student into the motel as she was drunk and unconscious. The professor’s attorney then attacks the victim for 1) having done protests and activities when she was younger against the professor and his foundation and therefore being biased against him 2) not reporting what she saw that night right away and instead only speaking up about it a few days later which is then eventually how everyone at the hospital found out. Plus, the friend doesn’t have that great of a relationship with the victim as she claims she does. This raises everyone’s suspicion about her.
While having lunch, Oh-reum wonders just how amazing it is that the professor was able to grab lawyers from the top law firm in the country to represent him. That’s what money and power can do for you. She feels like it’s unfair for the victim because nothing’s going right for her in the courtroom. Presiding Judge Han has to yet warn Oh-reum once again to not be biased about the case. Even if the professor hired an attorney from the top law firm in the nation to represent him, it doesn’t mean that the team is evil nor that they as judges discriminate against them. Not all powerful people are evil.
Judge Jung stops by the Department 44 Office to pick up Do-yeon so they can leave for work together. Do-yeon’s afraid that people might notice them though and at that moment, Presiding Judge Bae catches the two of them together. He grows angry at Judge Jung, but Judge Jung stands up to his boss. He doesn’t listen or care about how Presiding Judge Bae feels about Judge Jung dating Do-yeon; he’s going to do whatever it is he wants. OOH YES. Oh-reum and Ba-reun also exit their office to confront Presiding Judge Bae. The presiding judge leaves the office astounded and shocked. Do-yeon and Judge Jung leave work together.
Oh-reum and Ba-reun retreat back to their office to continue working. Oh-reum struggles to grab a stack of papers in the locker so Ba-reun offers her his help. He adds that it’s okay to be an inconvenience to people at times, especially to him. AHHHH. HE DID NOT JUST SAY THAT. HE DID NOT JUST GO THERE.
He places the stack of papers on the table and then walks back to his desk. Oh-reum stops him to ask him a genuine question she’s been curious about: what about her does he like. Why does he like her? It takes him a few seconds to think before he answers her question: she makes him uncomfortable. By working together, she’s made him uncomfortable and in the process has helped him learn more about himself. He’s learned to reflect on himself because being with Oh-reum makes him uncomfortable (I’M TOTALLY NOT GUSHING AT THIS POINT).
In response, Oh-reum shares that Ba-reun helped her a lot when she was struggling in the beginning as a judge. Him being by her side made things more bearable and easier and she felt at ease with his support (I think I might start crying at this point). She ends the conversation by commenting that she’ll continue to be an inconvenience… especially to him. (I’ve gotten about a million screenshots from just this scene alone because every single facial expression they both make is so beautiful and meaningful asdkfjd).
Oh-reum meets with Yong-jun that night after work. They first discuss about their last interaction and why Oh-reum got upset with him. It’s not because of Ba-reun like Yong-jun assumes, but because of Yong-jun himself. He has many privileges and such high levels of power that it seems like a hypocrite when he helps people even if it’s with good intentions. She doesn’t like that he lives so lavishly. Yong-jun then reveals the real reason for why he wants to meet with Oh-reum. He pleads her to forgive the professor in the sexual assault case. As his brother-in-law, the professor would never ever do anything like that. Oh-reum doesn’t listen to Yong-jun though and walks away, disappointed that Yong-jun would even ask for such a favor from her.
Before the third day of the court hearing, Oh-reum visits Presiding Judge Han to offer him her opinion about the topic they had over lunch earlier in the week. It’s not that she’s being biased towards the victim in the sexual assault case. She knows that as a judge, her job is to remain neutral. But she pleads Presiding Judge Han to also consider how people without power might feel when going up against people with such immense power. It’s not easy for them and often they easily get punished or face consequences for their actions and behaviors. There must have been a reason why the victim reacted the way she did after the incident.
In the court hearing, a waitress working at the restaurant near the university hospital that the professor and the student visited the night of the incident testifies. She claims that the two were acting affectionately and romantically towards each other and the student seemed willing to follow him even after they were done eating.
Oh-reum notices that the witness seems uncomfortable and afraid though so she asks her a few questions. The witness shares that her boss is in the courtroom and prior to the trial, he was in disbelief that the professor was in court for something he would never do. The professor’s wife had also visited the witness in the restaurant prior to the case to encourage her to testify but didn’t ask the witness for any illegal favors.
The witness does reveal a detail of what happened that night at the restaurant that she had left out of her testimony earlier. When she went to the restroom that night, she found the student laying on the ground after having puked because of the alcohol. The student managed to walk out of the restroom by herself though so the witness assumed that she was okay.
The professor makes his closing argument and admits that he shouldn’t have been attracted to his student nor should he have gotten the both of them drunk. But on that night, she wasn’t unconscious and she had given him permission to have sexual intercourse. He claims that he’s innocent.
Ba-reun prepares to head home first that night. Before leaving, Oh-reum asks him for a favor. They’ll be making their final decision about the court case the next day. If she starts to react and show her bias towards the victim, Ba-reun needs to keep her in check. She wants to make sure she is as neutral as she can and should be. Ba-reun agrees to help her. It’s not like he goes easy on her anyways.
The two judges have a meeting with Presiding Judge Han about the final decision for the court case. Oh-reum is surprisingly neutral while Ba-reun is the reactive one. Haha. She comments that the attorney could be telling the truth and there’s limited evidence because there were no video cameras that recorded the incident the night of and the waitress’s testimony is suspicious. Still, the victim’s statement has always been consistent the entire time and aligns with what the witnesses testified. Therefore, the professor is guilty. He is sentenced to four years in prison.
Upon hearing the verdict, the professor faints in shock. He is taken out of the court and to the hospital. Our three judges are stressed, overwhelmed, and concerned.
Oh-reum is especially affected and impacted by the fainting of the professor. In a way, she feels guilty for what happened. Presiding Judge Han takes the two judges to his office to have a serious and deep conversation with them about the courtroom. After sharing with them a story of a court case that almost lead to Presiding Judge Han’s resignation from the court district, he reminds them that the most powerful people in the courtroom is them. Judges are the most scary and powerful people in the courtroom and they have the power to make big decisions. Oh-reum and Ba-reun must never forget that.
Oh-reum and Ba-reun listen to Presiding Judge Han’s story and advice carefully while he sits in his chair and turns to look away from them. Today’s court case reminded him of his past and serves as another good wake-up call of what being a judge is like.
For a second, I thought Presiding Judge Han was going to resign because he brought up the story about his resignation letter and I was seriously going to cry. I’m glad that he didn’t though (wouldn’t make sense for him to resign in the first place over this court case) and that he reminded our two judges that anything can happen in the courtroom and to always best be prepared. I hope Oh-reum doesn’t blame herself for what happened with the professor. Although she did advocate for the victim and argued that the professor was guilty, she is an empathetic and emotional person who can resonate with many folks. The professor is no exception and I have a feeling she’s going to blame herself for the professor’s reaction.
All the cases have been interesting and intense to some extent so far, but the cases involving sexual harassment and assault are always the most difficult and frustrating cases to watch. This episode made me so angry with how the professor was trying to defend himself and making bold claims that consent doesn’t have to be verbal expressions. This is the common excuse that many people use to this day when they’re accused of sexual assault and rape and for some reason it’s so challenging for people to understand that NO MEANS NO. Whether verbally or through body language, no means no and that’s that.
Although Oh-reum rejected Yong-jun in the last episode, I’m still very interested and intrigued with him as a character and his relationship with Oh-reum. He obviously has feelings and a soft spot for her, but at the same time, works for a corporation that is powerful, corrupt, and evil. He feels and thinks one way, but acts in another and he probably feels conflicted about everything. If he truly loved Oh-reum and appreciated her, he would be willing to make sacrifices to meet her halfway and to change the impression she has about him and NJ Group. The only question is if he would be willing to make those sacrifices and to drop a few things just to protect her. Maybe their relationship will be put to the test in the next few episodes.
Ba-reun and Oh-reum sure are being an inconvenience to each other, but I’m loving every single second of it. She now knows why he likes her and he receives requests from her to help keep her in check which is always great. They’ve already been helping and supporting each other since the beginning. The only thing that’s changed now is that they have feelings for each other so these interactions and support is so much more meaningful now than they were before. They remain so adorable and cute and squishy and compatible. I love how Ba-reun acknowledges that their differences in opinions and thoughts on numerous topics was what made him attracted to her. It’s not that she’s pretty (although Oh-reum is very pretty) or that she has a great body (although she does have that too), but that she’s smart and intelligent and witty and she challenges him to become a better person. Just like Ba-reun claims, he has changed and grown so much since he’s met Oh-reum and I think the same thing can be said about her too.
Also, can we speak about how much Oh-reum grew in this episode? Not only does she have Ba-reun to help her be the judge that she aspires to be and should be, but she also keeps herself grounded. I found it so admirable when she was calm and poised and used evidence provided in the courtroom to reach her final decision regarding the sexual assault case. She’s finally starting to practice habits that she should be doing as a judge and that’s not to say that everything she’s been doing this entire time has been wrong or bad of her, but her behavior hasn’t been the most accepting by everyone in the courtroom. Now she’s learning that if she wants to be a judge ~the right way~ (or at least according to the rules of the court), she needs to do it properly and what better way to do that than to have Ba-reun and Presiding Judge Han help her (who are arguably the best candidates to help her in this process). We’ve witnessed character growth from Ba-reun this entire time and now we’re getting the same from Oh-reum. Yay for character growth from our two leads!
I really praise this drama for addressing topics that might be taboo or that are rarely ever addressed in other dramas. ‘Miss Hammurabi’ is a drama of its own because there aren’t many dramas out there that is doing what it’s doing: having discussions about controversial topics and incidents relating to sexual harassment, strict hierarchy, powerful vs. powerless, the patriarchy in society, etc. Each episode brings forth something different and I especially like that there’s two different arguments that are usually presented for each topic. In this aspect, each episode is well-rounded and you hear both sides of the story for each case. This drama helps you think critically and listen in on what people have to say about the different topics it explores and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
Sometimes I find myself reflecting and wondering how I feel about these topics and whether my opinions about them are reflected in the episodes. It’s just great to have a drama like ‘Miss Hammurabi’ that isn’t afraid to go out of its comfort zones and be something different. The fact that it can talk about controversial and relevant topics in society in a way that is refreshing, serious, and balanced makes it even more special and noteworthy. There’s so many things to commend about this drama and I’m glad that I’m watching it. I’m afraid as to what’s going to happen to our two leads now that we’re approaching the finale of the show, but as seen with all the endings to each episode, I hope the finale will be a good ending for everyone. It has to be. Please.