This episode made me speechless.
A Judge vs A Father
Han Se-sang (Sung Dong-il) has a record of saying questionable remarks about women. In this episode, we learned more about him. It didn’t justify his comments but it made me understand him better.
As the Civil Court Department 44 handles a sexual harassment case involving an intern and her manager, the judges’ individual views were shown. The two younger judges have progressive take on the case but Judge Han argues not everyone can cope with the fast-changing times. That spark a heated debate between him and Park Cha O Reum (Go Ara). Both of their arguments actually make sense. Although I’m all out in support of O Reum, Judge Han’s points were surprisingly valid. Fortunately, even if he still has conservative views, Judge Han knew a real abuser when he sees one. After all, he is raising two daughters and is the breadwinner of his family. He understood both side of the case and he clearly pointed out that what his verdict is a consequence of what the abuser did.
A Judge vs A Colleague
Im Ba-reun (Infinite L/Kim Myung-soo) has learned a lot from this episode. He probably has a more open view when it comes to this matter but it was just in this case that he truly understood what sexual harassment really means regardless of your gender. He and Jung Bo-wang (Ryu Deok-hwan) have gone through what women experience daily. It was an eye-opener for Ba-reun. He thought he already knew everything but he was totally wrong.
Also, can I just mention how awesome Ba-reun is when he ran to O Reum. His knew his mere presence could feel her newfound friend safer. I like that the new breed of K-drama male leads are different from the borderline-jerks we learned to love in earlier series.
A Judge vs A Victim
I won’t go ranting about how patriarchal Asian countries are (including my beloved motherland), but I just want to point out that every woman has experienced gender inequality in their lives. It could come in many forms like inappropriate comments at the street, pervert men at trains, and degrading remarks from their male colleagues. O Reum has perfectly defined what sexual harassment really means. It happens when there is a power imbalance between two people (yes regardless of gender). Men, too, can experience those horrific things but it just so happen that women are more vulnerable than men.
O Reum, a victim herself, felt sympathy towards the victim. She understood what she’s going through. She was also brave to admit her past experience still haunt her. And this makes me love this character more. She might be too idealist to be real but she speaks out on matters that most of us are afraid to say.
Maknae’s Episode Verdict
I honestly don’t know how to write this episode. It feels like I wouldn’t be able to capture the aftereffects of this case. The series was courageous in taking this issue. This type of behavior was so ingrained in the society that the series could have made a mistake on how they handled it. Thankfully, they were on point in every aspect they tackled. They were able to show both sides without leaning too much on one gender. My heart aches to know that this really happens but I’m glad the media is doing its job on mirroring the bad side of this traditional societal hierarchy.
More on the episode though, I’m happy Judge Han and O Reum didn’t really clash too much. What I’m worried about is that O Reum might be in trouble in the next cases because she still hasn’t learned to be impersonal in her job.
– Cheers to these strong and independent women!
– They’re cute in hanbok: