Extraordinary Attorney Woo: Episode 2 Recap

With one court case down, another one comes right up. While working with the Hanbada team on a new case, Young-woo reflects on her identity as a daughter as some things hit a little too close for home.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo Episode 2: Case 2 – The Wedding Dress That Slipped Off

The episode begins with a bride and groom preparing to walk down the aisle at their wedding. The audience watch in happiness and with smiles on their faces as the newlywed couple make their way down the aisle arm in arm. An applause can be heard throughout the venue and the wedding could not be any more perfect.

However, things come to a halt when the bride stops for a few seconds as she stares out into a certain part of the crowd. The groom pulls the bride’s hand so that they can proceed to walk down the aisle only for the bride to step on the bottom of her dress causing the dress to fall down. Everyone gasps in shock and horror as the bride is exposed; the bride and groom themselves freeze on the stage in front of everyone and try to cover up as much as possible. But it’s too late. Things that were hidden, like the tattoo on the back of the wife’s body seen by the groom’s father, is revealed and the damage is done.

It’s another day of work for Young-woo. As usual, she grabs some gimbap for breakfast at Dad’s small shop before heading out. They converse a bit about weddings and Young-woo notices that the ham in the gimbap tastes a bit strange. Dad nags for Young-woo to stop complaining; she’s already old enough that she should be making meals for him but here she is going off about his gimbap. Haha. Eventually, Dad learns that Young-woo has a new bestie who she can gush over sperm whales about who actually wants to listen to her. And so with that, she goes to work.

At Hanbada Law Firm, the bride’s father, Mr. Kim, stops by the office to consult with CEO Han and Attorney Jung. He wants to seek compensation from the hotel venue, Daehyeon Hotel, for the wedding incident. How much exactly could he get from the hotel for damages? But there’s a catch: Mr. Kim is unwilling to accept anything less than a billion won. Even though Daehyeon Hotel has already offered to give a full refund for the wedding as well as an additional hotel voucher, it’s still not enough. Mr. Kim is humiliated and wants at least 1 billion won for the incident.

Mr. Park manages to get under CEO Han’s skin when he compares the law firm to their rival, Taesan. Taesan and Hanbada? They’re both the same. They both reacted the way to Mr. Park’s case, but CEO Han takes the comparison personally. She feels the need to prove herself and her law firm so she accepts the challenge of taking on Mr. Kim’s case. 1 billion won? They can do that. Oh wow, you don’t mess with CEO Han!

In a meeting with the team, Attorney Jung goes over the case and they first discuss the topic of “damages.” Young-woo listens on as Attorney Jung quizzes Soo-yeon and Min-woo on the types of damages and watches as the two rookie lawyers try to outdo the other. They will eventually have to find a reason to show that the hotel is to blame for the wedding incident. And to find this reason will require an undercover investigation. After some back and forth, they reach on an agreement: Soo-yeon will pretend to be a couple with Jun-ho to visit Daehyeon hotel while Young-woo will go with Min-woo to meet with the bride and groom. Young-woo shares that she prefers to be with Jun-ho since she’s close to him, but this will do for now.

So with that, Min-woo and Young-woo visit the bride, Kim Hwa-young, at her parent’s grand house. After some quick introductions, they sit down to chat about the situation. It turns out Hwa-young wasn’t as involved with her wedding and marriage; the marriage arrangement came about due to the groom’s grandfather who knew Hwa-young from church. But things have changed since the grandfather saw Hwa-young’s tattoo of Guanyin Bodhisattva on her back at the wedding incident and he wants to break up any chances of another wedding again with Jin-wook.

Hwa-young adds that she felt like something was off about her dress the morning of her wedding, but was reassured by the hotel staff that it felt loose due to reasons like weight loss. She also mentions how she wasn’t as involved with the invitations as it was her father who was responsible for the guest list. Young-woo makes the most out of the visit and asks Hwa-young an honest and straight-forward question: does she love her husband? There’s photos all over the bedroom of family and friends and there’s a photo hidden in the corner of her husband. Does Hwa-young love him? Though both Min-woo and Hwa-young are taken aback by the question, Young-woo has a point and Hwa-young struggles to answer the question.

Moving onto the groom, Jin-wook, he shares that it was his grandfather who was behind the idea of the marriage. But just when things were coming along, the tattoo reveal at the wedding incident completely changed his mind and now he wants Jin-wook and Hwa-young to break off their marriage. But Jin-wook and Hwa-young are willing to let the adults in their families make the ultimate decision. To Young-woo and Min-woo’s surprise, they also learn that Hwa-young has been receiving psychiatric treatment because of the wedding incident — something she hid from them during their meeting.

After the meeting, Min-woo rambles about the couple. They should learn to be psychologically independent from their parents as it seems like they aren’t all that mature. They still seem to depend on their parents for everything, Min-woo doubts they even know how to make a meal for themselves. Speaking of meals and independence, Young-woo freezes upon hearing the words and questions if Min-woo has ever made a meal for himself. He answers in a haughty manner that he has made meals for himself before. With that, he walks away and Young-woo stays behind baffled.

While Min-woo and Young-woo meet with the bride and groom, Jun-ho and Soo-yeon go on their undercover investigation as a fake couple to Daehyeon Hotel. They decide to address each other as “sweetie” with their role playing before being interrupted by a sudden phone call from Young-woo. The rookie attorney can’t seem to get the topic of making meals and being independent out of her mind so she calls him to ask an urgent question: what are his thoughts on if an adult should be able to make meals for themselves and be independent from their parents?

Jun-ho goes on to give Young-woo his answer and listens as Young-woo loops in the topic of whales in response, but Soo-yeon isn’t having it. She interrupts the conversation and Jun-ho is forced to hang up. Jun-ho admits that Young-woo has interacted with him a few times in the past to talk about whales. Whether it’s in the morning before getting ready for work or leaving work or exiting the men’s restroom, Jun-ho receives surprise visits or calls from Young-woo to listen to her whale talks. Although Jun-ho doesn’t mind the surprise interactions, Soo-yeon suggests that Jun-ho create boundaries with Young-woo so that he doesn’t have to listen to her talk about whales all the time.

On the drive to the hotel, Soo-yeon gets an upset stomach and she doesn’t feel too well. She rushes to the restroom at the hotel and has Young-woo deliver new pants for her. Unfortunately, it’s not suit pants as she expected. They’re her comfy pajama pants, but she has no choice but to wear them. With her upset stomach, Soo-yeon stays behind in the restroom and hands off her undercover investigation to Young-woo. So much for wanting to be a pretend couple with Jun-ho. It’s Young-woo’s time to shine!

So with that, Soo-yeon heads back into the restroom stall while Young-woo heads back out to the lobby to reunite with Jun-ho. Without disclosing any details, Young-woo shares that she and Jun-ho will have to call each other “sweetie” now. Jun-ho isn’t so sure what to make of the situation, but since they are on a secret mission, they hurry for their appointment with the team director of the wedding business team at the hotel.

In their meeting, Young-woo makes it extra clear that she’s “expecting” which is why they’re in a rush to get married. Lol. They also take a look at the available dresses and pick out a dress similar to the one that Hwa-young wore for her wedding. The team director looks uncomfortable at the selection, but Young-woo is adamant on wearing that dress. So the pretend bride gets what she wants and with the help of the hotel staff, Young-woo tries on the dress.

While waiting for Young-woo, Jun-ho takes a phone call from Soo-yeon who overheard one of the staff on the wedding team chat on the phone in the restroom. The staff member, Ji-hye, is out running an errand for the team director and complains about it to her friend on the phone while in the restroom. Turns out Ju-hui, the former staff member who worked at Hwa-young’s wedding, was fired after the wedding incident. Jun-ho steps out of the room and follows after Ji-hye who’s seen carrying a bag of bread into the staff room. He inquires for Ju-hui’s contact information, but Ji-hye isn’t willing to give away the information so easily. With that, he returns to the room where Young-woo is for the big dress reveal and stops his phone call with Soo-yeon upon seeing his bride.

The curtains slide open to unveil Young-woo with the white gown on and a bouquet of flowers in her hands. She’s beautiful and stunning and Jun-ho is at a loss for words. He’s speechless. He has no words to describe this moment and Young-woo’s appearance in the wedding dress (Siri, play ‘Wedding Dress’ by Taeyang). It’s as if the young man has fallen in love in which Young-woo smiles shyly in response. Jun-ho? In love with Young-woo? Maybe Young-woo feels the same way too (*blushes*).

Team Hanbada meet with the judge and Daehyeon Hotel’s legal team at a settlement meeting. However, it’s clear that both sides have no intentions of backing down so no settlement is reached. Min-woo and Soo-yeon meet with Hwa-young’s psychiatrist in an effort to learn more about her treatment and plead that he testify at the court trial. However, the attempt is unsuccessful as the psychiatrist declines the request.

Young-woo and Jun-ho spend some alone time together at a bakery and Young-woo takes his chance to talk about whales again. However, Jun-ho utilizes Soo-yeon’s advice about creating boundaries with Young-woo and suggests a new idea: they can still speak about whales but only during lunchtime (unless it’s absolutely necessary of course). Outside of lunchtime, they can speak about anything else they want. So with that, Young-woo agrees. As long as she can still talk about whales when necessary, she’s fine with the new rule. After creating boundaries, the pretend soon-to-be newlyweds flag Ji-hye down at the bakery and plead once again for Ju-hui’s contact information. It’s pertaining to the wedding incident and they desperately want to get in contact with her. Ji-hye is still cautious, but she also opens up about Ju-hui. It’ll be difficult to get in contact with her as she’s no longer in the country.

On the first day of the court trial, Ji-hye barely makes it for her witness testimony, but she arrives just in time to testify. She recounts her memory of the morning of the incident and reiterates that the dress was probably loose on Hwa-young due to weight loss. It’s a pretty common thing for brides as their wedding approaches. But Ji-hye came forward to testify because she wanted to reveal the truth and felt guilty for the stress that Hwa-young had been experiencing. Turns out the reason as to why the dress felt loose on Hwa-young was because her original dress had been ripped by Ju-hui so the team director replaced it with a larger size of the same exact dress. This could explain for why the dress felt much bigger on Hwa-young that day.

It’s Hwa-young’s turn to testify and the hotel’s legal team get on her case immediately. They bring their attention to a post that Hwa-young made on an online community a week after the wedding stating her honest feelings about the whole incident. In the post, Hwa-young expresses her relief in the marriage potentially getting called off and talks about hiding behind her trauma for a bit longer to increase the chances of such a thing happening. Is she actually stressed from the wedding incident? From the marriage? What’s her real intentions behind the post? Young-woo glances at the post on Soo-yeon’s laptop and reads the bottom of the confession.

The Hanbada team meet with Hwa-young. There has to be something else to the story that they’re unaware of. So Hwa-young opens up about the land that she would have received from Jin-wook’s grandfather as a wedding gift. Of course, her dad was more excited about this than she was which is why he wanted the marriage to go through. But Hwa-young isn’t convinced this is right. She breaks down into tears; this isn’t what she wanted for herself and this marriage isn’t out of love. Her dad is the greedy one.

Upon hearing about the gift of land, Young-woo reaches an epiphany and the same vivid sperm whale vision that she had in episode one returns. There’s a solution to all of this! It’s Young-woo’s turn to teach and talk and she returns to the concept of “damages.” They can make an argument that the gift of land was a special damage which will help them seek a much larger sum if they use the value of the property to support the argument. With her brilliant thinking, Young-woo is assigned the Attorney Statement of Opinion (which Min-woo doesn’t seem so happy about, lol). And just like last time, she exits out of the meeting a second too early while Attorney Jung is talking. Hahaha.

CEO Han and the team meet with Hwa-young and her father in a follow-up meeting to discuss the updates to the case. Now that they know about the promised gift of land, they can demand compensation according to the value of that property of land (which is definitely over a billion won). Hwa-young’s father is elated and excited at the news; this definitely makes Hanbada different. But Hwa-young doesn’t feel so good about the lawsuit. In fact, she speaks up and advocates for herself. This is her case so her opinion is important and she wishes that her father not take advantage of the incident for his own selfish reasons. But her father can care less about her feelings and wishes to proceed with the lawsuit. The meeting eventually concludes and everyone exits the room, leaving Hwa-young behind by herself.

Jin-wook’s uncle, the chairman of Daehyeon Hotel, testifies at the next court hearing. While being questioned by Attorney Jung, he admits that he was aware about the property that Jin-wook’s father was going to gift Hwa-young had the wedding gone through. His legal team watches on in horror, but it’s too late. The confession is a win for Team Hanbada and they seek compensation for how much value the property is worth. But things don’t always go as planned.

And that’s because Hwa-young is the plaintiff after all. She raises her hand and gathers the courage to announce that she would like to withdraw from the lawsuit. Everyone watches in horror and shock.. everyone except for Young-woo. She looks calmly at Hwa-young admist all the chaos and recalls the brief conversation she had with Hwa-young in her office after their meeting. She was the one who advised Hwa-young on how to withdraw from the lawsuit. Hwa-young’s a bit baffled at how easy it seemed; if she would had known this, she would have done it sooner. It’s then that Young-woo ties the conversation back to independence and meals. The thought of withdrawing from the lawsuit didn’t occur earlier because Hwa-young has never been independent from her parents; has she ever even cooked a meal for herself?

Hwa-young’s dad erupts in anger and frustration and lashes out at his daughter in the courtroom. How could she do such a thing? But Hwa-young doesn’t back down; she comes clean to her father about her tattoo. She’s Buddhist. Oh, and the woman standing by her side in that courtroom? That’s her lover. This woman is her best friend; the woman she wants to get married to. It was her lover who Hwa-young saw at her wedding which is why she froze on the aisle. The two lovers walk out of the courtroom hand in hand after delivering the bombshell news. It’s too much for Hwa-young’s father to process and Soo-yeon unfortunately missed out on the action thanks to a restroom visit, lol.

To celebrate the win, Team Hanbada eat out at a nice restaurant on CEO Han’s treat. CEO Han is a bit late, but she joins the team nonetheless. Young-woo munches on her favorite seaweed sushi while Soo-yeon enjoys some rice porridge due to her upset stomach, but everyone else eats the yummy expensive stuff. Even though the court trial didn’t go as planned, Mr. Kim was impressed with the team and is now a loyal client to the law firm so there’s that. They eventually pick up their drinks to celebrate. Young-woo’s seat at the corner of the table is a bit further away so she struggles to reach the middle of the table. But no fear. Jun-ho notices and clinks his shot cup with Young-woo’s cup before taking a sip (LEE JUN-HOOOOOOO. THE MAN THAT YOU ARE).

After the fun outing, Jun-ho waits outside of the restaurant for Young-woo. He flags her down and is eager to talk to her, but Young-woo is in a hurry to go home. So they bid farewell without saying a word to each other. Maybe that’s how it’s going to be for a while until Young-woo finds something else that she can talk with Jun-ho about. When Young-woo arrives home, she delivers the expensive food that she got for her dad from the restaurant: seaweed sushi. Haha. An owner of a gimbap shop eating some seaweed sushi out of all things. But it’s the thought that counts and Young-woo views this as an accomplishment.

The thought of being independent from her dad has been weighing on her mind. Not only did Young-woo get Dad a meal, but when and if she does get married, she won’t have Dad walk her down the aisle. Instead, she’ll give him the bouquet because she would want Dad to also find a partner and get married than to live alone. While Young-woo goes off to take a shower, Dad reflects on his daughter’s words while munching on the seaweed sushi.

The CEO of Taesan Law Firm, Tae Soo-mi, gives an interview with a journalist and shares her plans of stepping down as the CEO to return as an attorney. After the interview concludes, she receives an update from her staff on Mr. Kim’s lawsuit against Daehyeon Hotel. After scanning through the Statement of Opinion, CEO Tae is quite impressed with Hanbada’s work on the case and how they managed to actually do something that her law firm couldn’t do. Perhaps the most impressive thing on the document is the name of the attorney who played a crucial role in the success and results of the lawsuit: Attorney Woo Young-woo. Extraordinary she is, indeed.

My Thoughts:

Wow. Just wow. I have quite a few thoughts about this episode alone and then also how it pales in comparison to episode one. I was so excited for episode two that I couldn’t sleep and then ended up waiting an hour and a half for the episode to show up on Netflix and then.. the rest is history. I don’t necessarily regret the decisions that I made, but.. I also wish the wait and watch was a bit more rewarding. Lol.

To start off with the good stuff from this episode, I liked the case itself and the different lessons and messages that it was conveying. You have a daughter who is forced into this marriage due to her selfish and greedy dad and one of her most humiliating experiences in her life is taken advantage of by her dad. Her feelings are ignored and avoided and no one takes her seriously. It’s as if she’s invisible in all of this even though she was the one who experienced the horrific moment. She was the one who had to endure and suffer the consequences and then watched in pain as her dad used the incident for his own benefits. To add onto this, she was hiding a painful secret that she was so afraid to share because of social norms as well as religious and familial expectations. Hwa-young was going through so much.

And then in the end, she stood up for herself and did what she felt was right. She put her foot down and was unapologetically herself. This is who she is; this is what she wants and nothing anyone says or do will change her mind. She aims to be psychologically independent from her parents and just as Jun-ho did with Young-woo, this is her way of creating boundaries with her parents. It wasn’t easy and it took a whole lot to get to that point, but it was worth it and Hwa-young knows that what she did was the right decision.

And I like Hwa-young’s story because I feel as if it represents a small glimpse of the type of issues that Asian daughters face in their families. We’re expected to just be submissive, to not speak up for ourselves, to not go against our parents, and to be loyal and filial to our parents regardless of how toxic they can be. But Hwa-young had enough and she stood her ground. Even though the ending to her story was exaggerated for dramatic purposes, there were bits in her story where I could relate as a young Asian female and daughter myself.

I do have to admit though, and maybe I might be in the minority here, that I didn’t enjoy this episode as much as the first one. Having watched this episode twice, there was just something about it that felt different from episode one that I can’t quite pinpoint just yet. And I know that this might sound ridiculous given that there’s only two episodes out so far so I might be reaching a conclusion a little too soon, but it just didn’t feel similar. For a lack of better wording, episode two felt a little more toned down? Too robotic? Too formulaic? Less energetic and exciting? And maybe it was because episode one did such a fantastic job setting everything up and laying out the foundation that episode two settled in so it didn’t feel the need to go all out.

Maybe it was also because episode two focused more on the lawsuit and court case than the characters – primarily Young-woo. She had her epiphany moment again like she did in episode one, but this episode wasn’t so much about her. It was more about witnessing the Hanbada team actually go out into the field and do work. It was about witnessing them prepare for the court trial. It was also fun and entertaining watching our sperm whale besties take on an undercover investigation. But unlike episode one, we saw less of Young-woo in this episode which I think could have also contributed to the difference in energy and tone.

That’s not to say that Young-woo needs to be the center of attention in every episode and that the drama has to follow a certain structure or formula for every single episode. I’m assuming each episode is going to tackle a different case so the episodes will also focus on teamwork and the court trials and the witnesses and all that good law stuff. But I’m hoping the drama doesn’t take away the focus on Young-woo as a character to focus on the court cases instead. The court cases are fun, don’t get me wrong. But I also want to see more of Young-woo and her life and her story. I’m not losing out on hope yet as I doubt the drama is going to dramatically change and transform into this other type of drama that I don’t recognize as we are only two episodes in. However, I would hate for Young-woo to be cast aside in favor of centering the drama around the court cases. That’s not what the title of the drama is about and that’s not what the drama should be about. If I wanted to watch a legal drama, there’s plenty of other options out there to choose from.

I think it’s primarily for this reason that I felt like episode two was lacking. It was still an enjoyable watch with a pretty interesting and intriguing court case, but I think the episode was trying to do too much. This is sort of ironic considering that in my recap for episode one, I praised the drama for not overdoing it (don’t make me take back my words so quickly, EAW!). Episode one was a breezy and easy watch whereas episode two felt a bit more concentrated as it was mainly about the Hanbada team and Hwa-young’s story.

What does it say that my favorite scene in the episode was when Hwa-young and Young-woo had the conversation in Young-woo’s office about withdrawing from the lawsuit? No one else listened to Hwa-young other than Young-woo. Young-woo was empathetic and helpful and supportive; she was the catalyst that propelled Hwa-young to stand up for herself and to persuade her to be her own person. Young-woo was the one who encouraged Hwa-young to be the person that she wanted to be and to live the type of life that she wanted to live. That goes to show the type of impact that Young-woo has on strangers; I loved seeing this side of her in this episode and I wanted to see more of that.

Overall, episode two proved to be a much more interesting watch because of how different it felt from episode one. It was fun and nice actually seeing our team do the work and work their magic and it felt good to see Hwa-young be herself. Heck, I was glad that we also got to see more Jun-ho and Young-woo interactions (even though I do have to admit that I was sort of sad with that last interaction they had after the celebration dinner). However, it would have been a much more rewarding and satisfying watch if the episode gave us more Young-woo – whether that was with the client (which in this case was Hwa-young) or with Dad as seen at the end of the episode. I especially loved the scene between Dad and Young-woo because to Dad, Young-woo will always be his little baby. But there will also come a day where he’ll have to accept that his daughter is all grown up and that she might become psychologically independent from him or she’ll make meals for herself (and him). At the end of the day, maybe this is all just a part in Young-woo’s journey of being extraordinary.

Extra photos from the episode~

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