[Discuss Away!] Joseon Attorney: Episodes 9-10

10 episodes in and ‘Joseon Attorney’ still does not disappoint. I feel like I’ve been repeating myself by saying the same thing every week but I can’t help it. It’s the truth! ‘Joseon Attorney’ has been consistent, it’s been intentional, and it’s still been intriguing and interesting.

The drama went from focusing on Han-soo’s journey to finding out the truth about the death of his parents to focusing on the battle between the King vs. Executive Minister Yoo. The case in episodes 9 and 10 basically centered around this battle between the two powerful characters and looped in the rest of our characters into it as well. We returned to watching Han-soo work his magic and investigate the murder of the newly appointed Commissioner’s brother. The King personally reached out to Han-soo himself for his assistance in the investigation given that he was the one who appointed the new Commissioner. The King needed the Commissioner to be innocent in all of it so that he could keep his position and the King could then gain some power against Executive Minister Yoo. Unfortunately, as our characters worked together on the investigation, more and more things came into light and it was not all as it seemed. Things got even more complicated and confusing when Yeon-joo’s uncle appeared in the picture and was the mastermind behind the murder. This affected the King’s plan, stripped the new Commissioner of his position, and impacted Yeon-joo’s relationship with Han-soo.

This case was probably the most intense one yet as it involved the King and Executive Minister Yoo. While we still watched Han-soo’s investigative strategies and antics come into play, the case felt like there were more risks with higher stakes because of the powerful characters who were involved. It was essentially about the King vs. the Executive Minister and them attempting to one-up the other or trying to assert their dominance and authority over each other. It also didn’t help that the person who came up with the idea and plan to murder the brother was a member of the royal family himself. That compelled Yeon-joo to get directly involved herself by attempting to shift the blame onto someone else who did not kill the brother. Han-soo was disappointed in Yeon-joo and it showed the lengths that Yeon-joo was willing to go through to protect her family. This most recent case was probably the most fun one to watch so far because of the high stakes and risks that were involved but also because there were multiple suspects under the same roof who were interrogated and investigated. It was a guessing game for a bit and the case could twist and turn at any given point. You weren’t completely sure as to who did it or how things were going to end up.

I do feel conflicted on Yeon-joo’s character regression, primarily her decision to hide her identity as the princess from Han-soo. It kind of makes me pity Han-soo because he’s been kept in the dark about her identity and it especially showed in the most recent case. Han-soo is a man who wants to get down to the bottom of things and he advocates for justice. He wants to know the truth and how something happened. His parents’ deaths probably played into that determination and passion of his. So Yeon-joo’s involvement in hiding the servant and working with Magistrate Yoo to make it seem as if the servant was the killer only confused Han-soo even further. Why was she so passionate and involved in this case? Why was she working with Magistrate Yoo to conclude the case so soon? It was unlike her to do so and Han-soo was disappointed and confused with Yeon-joo. And that’s where my disappointment with Yeon-joo’s character appears. A part of me just wanted her to reveal to him her identity already. It’s unfair to Han-soo that he’s fallen in love with her, devoted his love and affection to her, protects her and cares for her, and has dedicated himself to her without really knowing her truth. Han-soo cares about the truth; that’s the reason as to why he’s on this journey. He wants to know the truth about what happened to his parents and who killed them. So honesty is one of the most important values to him and the hurt from finding out the truth about Yeon-joo will only intensify because of how much they’ve gone through together.

And that opportunity arrived at the ending of episode 10. Yeon-joo’s identity reveal came about in front of a confused Han-soo who was arrested and falsely framed for the murder of the Commissioner’s brother. Han-soo had just affirmed his romance with Yeon-joo and removed any worries or concerns that he had about her relationship with Magistrate Yoo. Then in that moment when he was got arrested, he saw the two together again and he introduced her to everyone as the princess. There’s the romantic side to the identity reveal where Han-soo’s going to be hurt because he was in love with someone who he thought was just an ordinary woman working at a merchant house. But there’s also the personal side to the identity reveal where he realizes that it was Yeon-joo who stole the letter that somehow led to the death of his parents. I wouldn’t say the identity reveal was anti-climatic because it came about during a pretty important and big moment and this is what the drama had us wait this entire time for. But I would like to see what the aftermath is given that it did take us this long into the drama for it to finally happen and things could have been much easier if the drama had just revealed her identity a little bit earlier on. Now that the cat is out of the bag, how will this impact Han-soo’s perception, feelings, and emotions towards Yeon-joo? Will he find it in his heart to somehow forgive her or will their relationship all be in the past and he’ll return to being someone cold-hearted?

It seemed as if episodes 9 and 10 were the turning points of the drama primarily in the way that it focused on the battle between the King and the Executive Minister. And I assume the drama will continue to focus on this for the rest of the show. I was glad that we still got to see Han-soo be sneaky and sly and smart in the most recent investigation. But there’s a part of me that would still like to see more of his personal journey and his determination to get revenge and find the truth about his parents’ deaths. Just because the three characters who he assumed had something to do with it is gone now doesn’t mean that the fight is over. Because really, the one character who was the mastermind behind it is still very much alive. Plus, Han-soo’s sister – who he also isn’t aware is still alive – has been working for the Executive Minister so that’ll be tricky for him. I feel for Han-soo whose only truthful and honest friend has been Dong-chi. Though Yeon-joo, Magistrate Yoo, and the other characters’ feelings may be sincere and genuine towards Han-soo, they haven’t been the most honest with him. But maybe with a few apologies and honest conversations, Han-soo can team up with Yeon-joo and the King afterwards and work together to defeat the Executive Minister for their own reasons: revenge and justice.

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