Young-woo learns something new everyday at work. It’s still all a learning experience for her and she’s involved in situations that are quite new to her. Such an experience is working with a senior attorney who’s not Attorney Jung. Whether Attorney Jung or another senior attorney, how will things pan out? Will anything be different?
Extraordinary Attorney Woo Episode 15: Saying and Doing Things Not Asked
A man named Choi Jin-pyo stays up late in his office at work. He eventually receives an email from his younger brother with an attachment to a cover letter. Mr. Choi excitedly opens up the document only to find that there’s nothing to the document so he doesn’t think too much about it and exits the office while on the phone with his brother. But his brother reveals that he never sent over the document so Mr. Choi panics and retreats to his office again. When approached by his Co-CEO, Mr. Kim Chan-hong, Mr. Choi’s instincts kick in and he shares that he believes he’s been a target of Spear Phishing.
Young-woo waits in the lobby of the work building where Hanbada is located. This time, things are a little different though. She and Jun-ho are no longer together so it’s not as if she can greet him like how she used to when they were still a couple. When Jun-ho enters the building, he looks behind him and finds Young-woo seated on the bench. Young-woo quickly grows embarrassed and she escapes out of the building and to the hospital where Attorney Jung is receiving surgery. She manages to catch him just in time before his appointment and it’s there where she also meets Attorney Jung’s mom. Right before his surgery, Attorney Jung says a quick prayer like how the Abbot of Hwangjisa showed him back at Jeju Island. As for Young-woo, she returns to the Hanbada office for a meeting with their new client.
The new client is co-CEO, Mr. Bae, and Mr. Kim of the popular online shopping mall Raon. When Young-woo joins the meeting, she finds herself with Soo-yeon, Min-woo, and Attorney Jang since Attorney Jung is out for his surgery. It turns out Mr. Bae, Attorney Jang, and Min-woo have some history since they all attended the same university. But they quickly dive into the reasoning for the meeting and they explain how Mr. Choi was hacked. To add, they believe that North Korea was involved in this as the word “program” was spelled similarly to how the word is spelled in North Korea. But as if things weren’t bad enough, Raon is also facing a penalty surcharge of 300 billion won by the Korea Communications Commission for the personal data breach. Attorney Jang finds the amount a bit too extensive; other companies that have suffered similar fates before weren’t punished with as much money by the KCC. Attorney Jang reassures the two clients that he’ll find the reasoning for the amount. Plus, the KCC loses most of their trials against corporations so he assumes the same will happen with their case. He’s sure they will win the lawsuit.
After the meeting, Soo-yeon and Min-woo have some lunch together. It’s a bit awkward, but they eat at the same table. Not too long afterwards, Soo-yeon spots Jun-ho sitting by himself at a table so she suggests that the three sit together. But, of course, Jun-ho is quite the popular guy at Hanbada and he’s accompanied by several other female employees at the table. Soo-yeon approaches Young-woo in her office where she’s eating her gimbap. Young-woo shouldn’t be stuck in her office; she should be out and about drinking coffee and doing other stuff. But Young-woo isn’t in the mood for that. Soo-yeon learns from Young-woo that Young-woo never revealed to Jun-ho the reasons as to why she wanted to break up. Soo-yeon’s curious as to what happened, but Young-woo excuses herself after finishing her lunch. She’s focused on work.
Young-woo visits Attorney Jang in his office to discuss some updates to the case. She justifies why the 300 billion won penalty surcharge by the KCC is reasonable; companies need to be held accountable and punished extensively for their actions. But Attorney Jang isn’t buying it and he’s distracted by how persistent (and annoying as he would say) Young-woo is. Since this is their first time working together, he draws his boundaries with the young attorney and shares that she is to follow one rule: don’t say anything you haven’t been asked and don’t do anything you haven’t been asked to do. Of course, whether it’s Attorney Jang or Jung, Young-woo can be quite sassy and she points out that these are two rules, not one. Haha. Attorney Jang is taken aback by Young-woo’s comments, but he makes himself clear.
Min-sik and Dong Geu-ra-mi visit Attorney Jung at the hospital and gift him with some yummy side dishes (that would go well with alcohol, haha). Young-woo is also there and she confides in Attorney Jung for some guidance and support. She’s unsure as to how to work with Attorney Jang which Attorney Jung isn’t so thrilled about upon learning. It had to be Attorney Jang out of all people. But he gives Young-woo some good advice and suggests that she talk to her colleagues and rely on them for support throughout the case.
On the first day of the trial, things don’t shape up so well for Attorney Jang. His opening statement is cut short because he took too long explaining concepts and terms that everyone in the room was already well familiar with. When pointing out how unfair Raon’s penalty surcharge was compared to other companies where their users’ personal data was also leaked, the defense attorney for the KCC validates the justification for their 300 billion won penalty surcharge. They could have charged more, but they refrained themselves from doing so in consideration of Raon’s situation. If anything, Raon’s reaction to the situation only proves their low level of awareness when it comes to their users’ personal data.
The Hanbada team have another meeting with their clients: this time, Mr. Choi is also there with Mr. Kim. They discuss potential strategies and methods they could use to track whether setting an idle timeout to Raon’s server could have prevented the data breach attack. This would be the difference between an administrative fine of 30 million won or the penalty surcharge of 300 billion won. But just when things were already stressful enough, Mr. Bae enters the room with new updates. Their clients are filing a class-action lawsuit against Raon to claim damages for the personal data breach. The law firm representing these users? None other than Taesan Law Firm. The situation intensifies even more and it doesn’t help when Young-woo interrupts Attorney Jang to clarify his pronunciations of certain law terms he keeps bringing up.
Eventually, Attorney Jang and Mr. Bae step outside the room for a private conversation. Turns out the presiding judge of the lawsuit against KCC also attended the same university that they did. If that’s the case, maybe they could use that to their advantage and try to pull some strings or create a connection to the presiding judge. In a meeting with CEO Han, Attorney Jang is reminded about the importance of the lawsuit against the KCC. They must win this first lawsuit to be better prepared for the class-action lawsuit against the 40 million users who will be represented by Taesan. They absolutely cannot lose that one. They must win against Taesan.
Soo-yeon scolds Young-woo for her behavior in the meeting with Attorney Jang where she interrupted him to talk about his pronunciations of certain words. There’s a time and place for everything and it was inappropriate to do such a thing. Min-woo is also with the two attorneys, but he leaves a few minutes into the conversation after receiving a phone call from Attorney Jang. Min-woo joins Mr. Bae and Attorney Jang at a nice restaurant where they are expected to meet with the presiding judge. Mr. Bae has a few things prepared for the meeting, but things don’t go as planned. The presiding judge isn’t so happy upon seeing Mr. Bae in the room. He knows exactly what the intentions behind the meeting is and he hates it. The presiding judge won’t make the meeting a big issue, but he hopes to never be involved in such a situation again.
In the next court hearing, Soo-yeon goes up to present their next argument: there is no causation between setting up the idle timeout on the Raon servers and the hacking. There’s nothing that Raon could have done to prevent the personal data breach. But the defense attorney for the KCC uses the revision of the Act of the Information and Communications Network to explain that the causation is irrelevant. Raon would still have to face the penalty surcharge regardless. Upon hearing the presiding judge agree with the defense attorney, Mr. Bae stands up and advocates for his company. More and more users are deleting their accounts on the website and are signing up to join the class-action lawsuit. It’s unfair that they have to pay this big of a price for something that they couldn’t prevent. So with that, in the middle of the courtroom, Mr. Bae ingests a suicide pill and he drops to the ground. Everyone panics upon seeing Mr. Bae’s condition, including Young-woo who retreats to the side of the room. Jun-ho is also in the courtroom and he comes close to approaching Young-woo. However, he stops himself at the last second since he and Young-woo are no longer a couple.
The Hanbada attorneys wait at the hospital for an update on Mr. Bae. The nurses will have to observe him for a little bit longer given that he ingested quite a bit of cyanide. With that, Jun-ho leaves to move their van to the front of the hospital. Everyone else in the group will walk outside and make their way past all the reporters waiting outside for them. But Attorney Jang is all talk and he betrays Soo-yeon, Young-woo, and Min-woo who are left behind to deal with the crowd of reporters all by themselves (omg Attorney Jang is the worst). While reporters swarm the three young attorneys, Attorney Jang sneaks his way into the van and forces Jun-ho to drive away.
The three attorneys eventually stop by Min-sik and Dong Geu-ra-mi’s empty restaurant afterwards. They’re presented with some delicious food, but work is the only thing on their mind. If only the hacking occurred a day earlier then Raon would have been charged with an administrative fine instead of a penalty surcharge. But wait, that’s it! A day earlier. Young-woo reaches another epiphany and this time a whale pops up on the screen. The Act of the Information and Communications Network was revised on January 19, 2022 but the hacking of Raon’s servers took place at 11:48pm on January 18. The hacking started a day before the act was revised.
So with that, the three attorneys present the information to Attorney Jang who refutes it with his own arguments. Young-woo and Attorney Jang go at it back and forth until Attorney Jang explodes on Young-woo. Attorney Jang has had enough of her and he dismisses her from working on the case. The three are told to leave the office and Young-woo exits first. Soo-yeon wishes to stay behind to say what’s on her mind, but she’s dragged out by Min-woo. The two have a conversation about the confrontation back in Attorney Jang’s office. Min-woo argues that not all senior attorneys are going to be like Attorney Jung so they should learn to act accordingly. Plus, Young-woo will still be perceived as a genius even after the way that she acts. If he or Soo-yeon even tried to the same, they would be perceived as junior attorneys who are difficult to work with.
Though Soo-yeon hates it, she acknowledges that Min-woo is right. But still, she wishes that he would just act like a “fool” sometimes. Put down his tactics and politics for a bit and be brave like a fool. But why? Why should Min-woo do such a thing? Soo-yeon points out that she wishes Min-woo act like that because she likes guys who are like that (askdjfd I can’t with this conversation right now. What is going on?). Min-woo is speechless upon hearing Soo-yeon’s comment. He freezes upon hearing her indirect confession and all he can do is stare at her.
Later on that night, Young-woo returns home to find Jun-ho waiting outside her house for her. He’s still not over their break-up and he can’t comprehend why they broke up. So Young-woo finally reveals the reason as to why she broke up with him. She’s not sure if she can make him happy. She’s also not sure if she’s someone that he has to take care of. It’s then that Jun-ho realizes that she must have overheard the conversation between him and his sister back at Jeju Island. Jun-ho makes it loud and clear that he’s happy with Young-woo. He has to be with her to be happy. But what about the loneliness part? Is he lonely when he’s with her? Young-woo is well aware that all her thoughts tend to center around her which affects her relationships with others. She likes Jun-ho, but she’s afraid that she’ll make him lonely. With tears in her eyes, Young-woo bows to Jun-ho like how she did back on Jeju Island. Jun-ho remains silent at the confession, but he too holds back the tears in his eyes. Oh you two! You’re both going to make me cry.
It’s the final day of the trial. Prior to leaving, Soo-yeon bids farewell with Young-woo and offers to buy her some gimbap on the way back. The Choi Soo-yeon special gimbap. But there’s no such thing so Soo-yeon just leaves. Haha. After chatting briefly with Soo-yeon, Young-woo moves to the window in her office and peeks through the blinds for a glance at Jun-ho. Jun-ho manages to catch sight of Young-woo peeking at him from his desk, but he doesn’t smile this time. Young-woo quickly turns away upon being found out and she retreats to her chair. Sigh.
Though Young-woo has been dismissed from working on the case, her spirit still lives on in Soo-yeon (and the presiding judge). Soo-yeon is unable to hold back any longer and she brings up how the hacking took place a day before the Act of the Information and Communications Network was revised. Attorney Jang and Min-woo attempt to keep Soo-yeon from speaking, but Soo-yeon is fired up. But that’s not it. Min-woo also has something to say and he speaks up to make another argument to defend their client. The presiding judge is impressed by both Min-woo and Soo-yeon’s closing argument and agrees to take their comments into consideration. Wow, I can’t believe Min-woo is changing right in front of our eyes!
Back at Dad’s gimbap shop, CEO Han warns Dad about the news article that is to be released about Attorney Tae and Young-woo. There’s a few resorts across the country that Dad and Young-woo can stay at to lay low for a while. Once all the commotion dies down, the father and daughter pair can return and Young-woo can work at Hanbada again. But Dad isn’t feeling so great about the decision. How would Young-woo ever have a career again after the news breaks out? Is there really no other way to go about this? But CEO Han reminds Dad about the commitment and permission he gave her to use Young-woo in return for hiring her at Hanbada. He can’t go back on his word now.
Meanwhile, a young boy is seen sitting at his computer watching the news update regarding Raon’s lawsuit against the KCC. Turns out Raon won the trial and their penalty surcharge was cancelled. But Mr. Bae is still unconscious after ingesting the suicide pill and the young boy is worried about Mr. Bae’s health condition. The young boy is eventually interrupted by a surprise visit from his mother who is none other than Attorney Tae. She invites her son to have some dinner together since she’s home early.
Oh ho ho, we finally meet Young-woo’s half-brother! It’s interesting that he appeared this late into the drama as I wasn’t sure we were ever gonna see him (and I feel so foolish now for even doubting at one point that maybe Jun-ho was Attorney Tae’s son. Hahaha. I know I know, it’s just all the trauma from having watched so many K-dramas over the year. You never know what to expect!). I’m curious as to what the drama plans to do with his character and how he’ll play a role in all of this. It would be cool for him to meet his older sister and to see the two form a bond. Young-woo with Dad is cute, but Young-woo with her younger brother? That’ll be even cuter!
This episode felt more in line with the majority of what we saw with the rest of the drama so it felt like it fit in quite nicely. There were a few highlights in this episode, but perhaps the one that the drama wanted us to take away the most was Young-woo’s (and to an extent, Min-woo and Soo-yeon’s) experience of working with a senior attorney whose the complete opposite of Attorney Jung. It makes you appreciate Attorney Jung so much more because of the type of leader he is and the way that he supports his junior attorneys. I feel as if Attorney Jung doesn’t get as much credit because his leadership isn’t exactly loud or the most visible; he’s a leader and mentor in subtle ways to the team. But his leadership and guidance is appreciated nonetheless and you can see why his team favors him more than anyone else.
We were already introduced to Attorney Jang earlier in the drama so it doesn’t come as a surprise just how harsh and disrespectful he is. He’s not the brightest man in the room despite wanting to think so and he has a huge ego and lots of pride. It was nice to see our junior attorneys sort of just dismiss him throughout the trial. Even if Attorney Jang is a senior attorney, respect shouldn’t just automatically be granted. If you want respect, you also have to give respect and respect others. He abused his authority and power figure as a senior attorney and assumed Young-woo, Soo-yeon, and Min-woo would just do as he said and listen to him all the way. But as he experienced firsthand, our three attorneys have a backbone and they stand up for themselves. That’s what they taught themselves, but that’s also what they learned from Attorney Jung. Like Attorney Jung told Young-woo, colleagues should lean on one another for support. We saw that advice come to life throughout the case.
The other highlight in this episode for me was the final day of the trial and the way that Soo-yeon channeled her inner Young-woo to make their closing argument. In a way, to make up for the disrespect that Young-woo faced throughout the case by Attorney Jang, she brought up the same argument that Young-woo did and presented it in the courtroom. Even when she was being discouraged from speaking up any further, she continued to do so. I loved just watching Soo-yeon do the right thing. In that moment, she thought of what Young-woo would do, but she also did what she thought she should do. Enough of trying to obey and listen to Attorney Jang. Enough of the one-man show that Attorney Jang was trying to put on in the courtroom. This is their last day of trial, Young-woo was wrongfully dismissed from the case, and they’re trying to do their jobs here. Kudos for Soo-yeon for sticking up and garnering the courage to speak what was on her mind. Kudos for Soo-yeon for being brave. And yes, I even have to give Min-woo some credit as well for also doing the same. Though his intentions might be for another reason (AKA for Soo-yeon), I liked that he didn’t just sit there or that he didn’t put Soo-yeon down for what she did. Instead, he went along with it and supported her by also adding to the closing argument. It’s little things like these that Min-woo does that makes me think there’s a chance he could potentially be redeemed.
It was bittersweet to watch Young-woo finally open up to Jun-ho about their break-up and her reasons for doing so. A part of it is thanks to Soo-yeon for sort of hinting at it for Young-woo to do so, but I’m also relieved that Young-woo went through with it. She was so honest and vulnerable in front of him and she didn’t hold herself back. It was also heartbreaking because Young-woo isn’t so sure what she can do about it. This is just who she is and as much as she wants to change her ways or act differently so that Jun-ho doesn’t feel as lonely, she’s not so sure she can. Young-woo feels guilty and she doesn’t want things to be like this, but she’s also not so sure what she can do so that he doesn’t feel as lonely. The feelings are still there for Jun-ho, but it’s everything else outside of those emotions that is preventing her from being with him.
The fact that Jun-ho remained silent throughout the whole conversation also speaks volumes. I think Jun-ho needed time to process all the information that was being thrown at him. He had to endure all this time of not knowing why Young-woo broke up with him only to find out all the reasons in one night. It’s a lot for him to think about and he himself isn’t even so sure what to do next either because he knows that there’s some truth to Young-woo’s comments as well. Maybe Jun-ho also remained speechless because he does sometimes feel lonely in their relationship. He loves Young-woo so much and he’s so happy around her that he’s willing to do all that she wants, but what about him? What about what he wants to do? We’ve seen several examples in the past where he voiced his disappointment or where he wanted to receive Young-woo’s love as well. Jun-ho couldn’t say anything after hearing from Young-woo because it was alot for him to process in the moment, but also because the loneliness part in their relationship rings true to an extent. And he knew that too.
With one final episode left, I’m curious as to how the drama wraps up. At the time of this posting, I have yet to watch the final episode so I’ve been trying my best to avoid social media so I don’t get spoiled (even as tempting as it may be! I hope I’m not missing out on too much!). It’ll be interesting to see the direction that Young-woo and Jun-ho’s relationship heads in. It seems as if Soo-yeon and Min-woo will eventually become a thing. We’ll see the aftermath of what happens once the article about Young-woo and Attorney Tae’s connection drops and how Young-woo will react to all of this. We’ll also hopefully get to see more of Attorney Jung now that he’s received his surgery. I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet to our wonderful characters and thankfully we won’t have to for too long as there are talks about a second season for the drama (woo hoo!). But here we are at last and it’s finale time. Onto the last and final episode!