Man, this drama is so so good. There’s no other way to put it or describe it. Just when I think each episode can’t get any better, ‘Joseon Attorney’ proves me wrong and impresses with every passing episode. Episodes 7 and 8 were the drama’s strongest episodes yet with plenty of development and progress on many parts. We got progress on Han-soo’s revenge for his parent’s deaths, we got development on Han-soo and Yeon-joo’s romance, and we also got character development with Han-soo and Yeon-joo. ‘Joseon Attorney’ has proven to be such a great watch so far in many ways and I find myself more and more excited to watch this drama every week.
There were many wonderful things in this week’s episodes, but my favorite aspect probably had to be the character development of both Han-soo and Yeon-joo. Han-soo was the trickiest character for me to evaluate and decipher at first because of his intentions in becoming an attorney as well as the antics and strategies he used to recruit his clients. I thought he was a bit scummy, a bit shady, a bit odd at first and even though he was all of those things in the beginning (which isn’t necessarily anything to ding him for), he’s grown so much with every client and case that he’s taken on ever since. A part of it could be the fact that he’s teamed up with Yeon-joo and her team (Court Lady Hong, guard Choi Yoon, and her merchant house) so he has more support and help. But a big part of it is that he’s found another purpose in becoming an attorney. He started it in hopes of getting revenge for his parent’s wrongful deaths which he still plans to achieve step by step and case by case. But through every client and case that he’s taken on, he’s also learned to care about others and to learn about their stories and their experiences. It helps that every client and case has something to do with the evil people who were behind the deaths of his parents, but he also comes out of the case both victorious but also genuinely protective of his clients.
The latest case that Han-soo and Yeon-joo took on was a perfect example of this. Han-soo represented a father who was falsely framed for the murder of a man who Lord Chu’s son actually killed. And given that Lord Chu was the Executive Minister’s right hand man and someone in a position of power, there were moments when it seemed like they were going to lose. There were times when it seemed like there was no other way to win because Lord Chu had all the power and those in power can manipulate the laws to their benefit and liking. But then Han-soo found a solution to the problem and he was able to fight for justice for his client. Thankfully, the father’s life was saved and he was able to reunite with his family. And it was this reunion scene in particular at the end of episode 8 that brought tears to my eyes. While watching the father interact with his wife and son once again, Han-soo was reminded of his own family. He voiced,
Father. This time, I protected a family. Are you watching this?
Han-soo was unable to save his own family, but in the process of seeking revenge and fighting for justice, he was able to save a father and that father’s family. He saw himself in the young boy who cried for his father and who wanted his father to stay alive. Oof. And this is why I rave about this drama and why I say that it’s so good. It’s powerful scenes like this where Han-soo’s character development shines bright and makes you warm up to him and root for him. Through this case, he was able to protect a family and move one step closer to finding out the truth behind his parent’s wrongful deaths.
In this particular scene, Yeon-joo was also with Han-soo and she studied him as he watched the family that he had protected. She reached out to hold his hand and they stared at each other lovingly during the heartwarming scene. Episodes 7 and 8 provided us with plenty of romance between the two and I actually quite liked the pacing of their relationship so far. Yeon-joo was aware of Han-soo’s intelligence and leadership and knew that Han-soo was competent in using the law to bring about justice and help others. But in the process of getting to know him better, she also fell in love with him. Then she declared her loyalty and love for him in the two most recent episodes.
A part of me does feel a bit conflicted given that I want to see more of her and her individual story/character arc. She’s my favorite character in the drama and I’d hate to see her character center and revolve around Han-soo and only Han-soo. But it seems as if the drama has slowly started treading in that direction and, therefore, has given us more romance between the two as a result. I can’t complain too much though because I do enjoy Han-soo and Yeon-joo’s relationship development. There’s a part where Yeon-joo likes Han-soo for who he is but she’s also devoted to him because of the guilt that she faces for playing a role in the reason why his parents died. She intercepted a letter that was written from his father that was supposed to be delivered to her father – the late King – but she took it instead. The letter got taken away by the villains and her dad as well as Han-soo’s parents died after. So while Yeon-joo does harbor feelings for Han-soo, a big part of her dedication and devotion to Han-soo comes about as a result of her wanting to give back to him and to make up for what she did in the past.
Of course, Han-soo isn’t aware that Yeon-joo is the princess and, therefore, the person who took away the letter. The reveal will happen soon and when that moment comes, there’s going to be so much pain and hurt and angst. It’s going to hurt so much because Han-soo is in love with Yeon-joo and has confessed his feelings to her in several different ways. She’s changed his life, helped him overcome his trauma and fear of water/swimming, given him hope and motivation to stay alive everyday and to live a decent life. He even proposed and shared how he wanted to marry her and do other things that everyone else does such as get married and have a family. Han-soo’s envisioned a life with Yeon-joo and looks forward to a future with her once everything is all over. For Yeon-joo, she’s set on protecting Han-soo and staying by his side through this whole process. That’s the least that she can do for him after what she did seven years prior.
By the end of episode 8, you had yet another person involved in the deaths of Han-soo’s parents who died. Lord Chu ended up dying along with his son (basically a life for a life since Lord Chu was involved with Han-soo’s parent’s deaths so his son ended up dying due to Han-soo), but it’s so interesting that all the deaths so far has been executed by Executive Minister Yoo himself. Han-soo is the one seeking revenge and could have killed these guys if he wanted to but he didn’t. Instead, it’s Executive Minister Yoo killing his own guys who worked under him. We also learned that Executive Minister Yoo has been working with Han-soo’s younger sister so it turns out that she’s alive after all. I wonder why they’re working together but more so, I assume Executive Minister Yoo will use Han-soo’s younger sister against him. He’s aware that she’s his weak link so he’ll probably use the younger sister as a tactic or strategy to win against Han-soo. Poor Han-soo is going to feel so betrayed once he discovers the truth about both his younger sister and Yeon-joo.
We’re halfway into ‘Joseon Attorney’ and the drama still remains a strong and pleasant watch. Each episode only gets better and better and I can’t say enough good things about it. I enjoy the teamwork between Han-soo, Dong-chi, Yeon-joo, Court Lady Hong, and Choi Yoon. I definitely enjoy the character development. My heart flutters at every interaction between Han-soo and Yeon-joo (how about when he won the fighting match and gifted Yeon-joo the new shoes that he won as a prize?? MY HEART T_T). It’s satisfying watching Han-soo provide both justice and protection to his clients while taking down his enemies regardless of how much power they have. As we saw with Lord Chu, no one is as invincible or untouchable as they think they are. Han-soo is a capable and competent attorney with a determination to win and fight every case. It doesn’t matter who he’s up against or what he’s gotta do – he will win every time. As Han-soo said himself in episode 7, losing does not suit him.