Witch’s Court: Episode 8
As our heroes both face shocking revelations that threaten to subvert everything they thought they knew about their loved ones, another evil rears its ugly head while their original foe only seems to grow more sinister. On the upside, our heroes aren’t alone and as the saying goes, things have to get worse, before they get better, right? Right?
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Having found Yi-deum in her office, gaping at the diagram she’s created on Jo Gap-soo, Prosecutor Min tries to dismiss her. But Yi-deum declares that one of the women on the screen is her mother and pulls out an old photograph of her and Mom, placing it in front of Prosecutor Min. The two women stare at each other under the weight of this new revelation.
Meanwhile, Jin-wook’s discovery of Baek Sang-ho’s business card in his mother’s office triggers his memory and he recalls that Sang-ho had been the officer he’d spoken to as a high schooler. The pieces start to fall into place as he thinks back to his mother and Sang-ho in the elevator, just as Dr. Ko returns and he instinctively hides the card behind his back.
Dr. Ko’s pleasant smile falters as Jin-wook reveals the oddities he’s uncovered with Kim Mi-jung’s medical records. Almost desperately, he suggests that perhaps someone had tried to falsify the records in order to lock the woman away and steal her money, but Dr. Ko remains silent so he asks pointedly if she has anything to say to him.
Back in her office, Prosecutor Min tells Yi-deum that back in 1986, while working as a police detective, Jo Gap-soo had sexually tortured factory women who’d gone on strike. Due to lack of evidence, he’d been acquitted and the next day the main witness died. Then Mom, the only victim she’d been unable to find, had called saying she had a tape with Jo Gap-soo’s confession, and Prosecutor Min had rushed to meet her. Unfortunately, she encountered Jo Gap-soo instead and afterwards Mom went missing.
Prosecutor Min admits that she’d looked into the suspected abduction but hadn’t found any leads. Yi-deum dismisses the idea, though, reasoning that Mom was cheerful and a crybaby and couldn’t have survived such violence. In response, Prosecutor Min passes over the case file and tells Yi-deum to investigate it herself.
At the same time, Dr. Ko finally speaks up and reminds Jin-wook that the computer they’d used back then was old and faulty so the records were probably just an error. Jin-wook doesn’t look convinced so Dr. Ko insists that Kim Mi-jung had saved Jin-wook’s life and she wouldn’t have been mistaken.
Dr. Ko implores her son to believe her, and Jin-wook relents before passing back Baek Sang-ho’s business card. He asks whose it is and is disappointed when Dr. Ko lies that it belongs to a patient’s guardian, but forces a smile before leaving.
Lost in thought, Jin-wook narrowly avoids an accident when his car drifts into the opposing lane on the drive home. Slamming on his brakes, Jin-wook takes a deep, shuddering breath as he flashes back to the day of his graduation as a prosecutor a year ago.
Dr. Ko had proudly adjusted Jin-wook’s robes and when he’d teased her for being upset with him earlier, she had pouted that he had originally intended to be a doctor like her. She had asked him about his oath and Jin-wook had recited, “I will become courageous to fight injustice. I will become caring to those who are weak. I will be just and follow only the truth.”
Although Jin-wook had cringed at the corniness, his mother had proudly wondered who he took after. Grinning widely, Jin-wook had replied that he was practically her clone and Dr. Ko had answered that he would surely become a fine prosecutor who revealed the truth for the victims. Meanwhile, in the present, Jin-wook cries quietly.
Flipping through page after page of gruesome details, Yi-deum finally reaches Mom’s section of the file. It triggers a flashback to the televised mayoral candidate debate where one of the candidates had confronted Jo Gap-soo on the charges, and he’d blithely replied that he had no reason to feel ashamed.
That’s the final straw and Yi-deum rushes to the bathroom to throw up. Afterwards, she crouches next to the sink, sobbing as she remembers laughing happily with her mother when she’d promised to become a doctor to take care of her, right before Mom disappeared.
Jo Gap-soo hosts a private get-together with two bigwigs and some wannabe actresses. He panders to the sleazy men for their support but his expression darkens when he looks away.
Yi-deum walks through the streets with a blank look on her face, arriving at the Hyungjae Law Group building. Breezing past the front desk, she punches the elevator button and steps out on the roof. Striding over to the railing, she hops over and stands defiantly on the ledge, looking out over the city as tears glisten in her eyes and a siren wails in the background.
Jo Gap-soo’s nephew, Tae-gyu, parties with Baek Min-ho, Soo-ah, and another girl. All is well until the second girl drunkenly asks Tae-gyu about his cut lip, and when he replies that he got hit, she laughs at the idea that someone beat him up. Taking it as an affront to his pride, Tae-gyu grabs the girl by her hair and throws her onto the floor.
Soo-ah looks on in horror as Tae-gyu taunts the girl, raising a hand to hit her before Min-ho steps in. Tae-gyu laughs that he’s just playing around and prompts the girl to smile, which she shakily does. He turns back to Min-ho but then his gaze rests on Soo-ah. Oh no…
Baek Sang-ho meets Jo Gap-soo as he’s escorting his guests to the elevator. Jo bows to his guests as the elevator departs just as screaming can be heard at the end of the adjacent hall. Sang-ho catches a glimpse of Tae-gyu dragging Soo-ah into another room by her hair but when Jo asks what’s going on, he says it’s nothing.
Across town, Yi-deum has created quite the ruckus, demanding at the top of her lungs to see Jo Gap-soo to the crowd of reporters, policemen, and firemen below. Among the crowd, we see a familiar face as Reporter Han (the victim of Yi-deum’s previous boss) calls Jin-wook and fills him in.
Jo Gap-soo is also informed of the chaos by his secretary. Apparently, Yi-deum has been at this for two hours already and threatens to jump if Jo Gap-soo doesn’t make an appearance. Annoyed, Jo has no interest in complying but his secretary points out that he’d visited Yi-deum at the hospital and even featured her in his campaign video. It looks worse if he doesn’t go.
And so, Jo Gap-soo arrives on the rooftop with a posse of reporters. Jo calmly asks her to come down and Yi-deum readily vaults over the railing and stomps up to him. Screaming, she demands to know what he’s done to her mother, listing Mom’s full name for the reporters. Jo tries to feign ignorance, but Yi-deum loudly declares that in 1986 he raped Mom, then abducted her ten years later to prevent her from testifying.
They glare at each other for a beat, but then Jo chuckles. Regaining his composure, Jo announces that since Yi-deum’s safe, he’ll take his leave. As he turns to go, Yi-deum throws a stack of fliers into air and the reporters scramble for the documents, which show two articles that prove Jo and Mom were in the same hospital the day she disappeared.
Jo’s smile twitches and he turns back to Yi-deum as she accuses him of kidnapping. Yi-deum spits that Jo had then shamelessly climbed the political ladder and now even has eyes on becoming the mayor. Jo asks if she has evidence and Yi-deum promises to find some soon.
Noting the pack of reporters eagerly holding out their recording devices, Jo steps up to Yi-deum and threatens under his breath that she’ll share Mom’s fate if she doesn’t stop. Meeting his eyes, Yi-deum scoffs and tells him that he should continue to show his true colors since it gives her purpose. She vows to find evidence and arrest him before walking away.
Jin-wook rushes into the building as the reporters file out. He catches Reporter Han and sighs with relief when she says that Yi-deum is safe. Reporter Han then shows him the flier that Yi-deum had thrown.
Jin-wook finds Yi-deum outside, slumped on a bench. He walks up to her, and she quietly asks if he’ll take her home.
They drive in silence with Yi-deum staring blankly out the window while Jin-wook watches her with concern. He reaches over to take her hand but stops when she suddenly remembers he had something to tell her. Retracting his hand, Jin-wook simply replies that he’ll tell her later.
Back in his office, Jo Gap-soo throws his nameplate through the window, shattering it. He snaps at his secretary to block the kidnapping articles within the next hour or else. Jo calls for Sang-ho, but Sang-ho is actually at the hotel surveying the trashed room (is that blood on the carpet?) that Tae-gyu had used earlier in the evening.
He growls at the employee behind him that Tae-gyu was not to be allowed in the hotel but his tone grows shaky as he asks if Tae-gyu was alone.
In the security room, Sang-ho watches the CCTV footage of the parking garage, which shows one of the men loading a limp Soo-ah into the trunk of a car. He immediately tries to dial his little brother but the phone is turned off so he asks for all of the footage that captured the men. His phone rings, and on the other line Jo Gap-soo says they’re in trouble.
Sang-ho rushes into the office and asks what Jo wants to do about Yi-deum. He starts to suggest having the chief prosecutor pressure her, but Jo shoots down that idea, saying that Yi-deum won’t respond to subtle prodding. Instead, Jo feels an “eye for an eye” is in order. Taking the hint, Sang-ho says he’ll look into it.
The next day, Yi-deum notices stares and whispers when she arrives at work. Pulling out her phone to check for internet articles, she’s interrupted by a call from Prosecutor Min.
In her office, Prosecutor Min admits that she understands how Yi-deum feels and why she reacted the way she did. Unfortunately, rather than Mom’s kidnapping case, the top internet searches are all about the hidden camera footage of Yi-deum in the shower. Although the video itself wasn’t uploaded, screenshots were, and it’s obvious that the culprit is Jo Gap-soo.
Prosecutor Min gently tells Yi-deum that Jo won’t be caught so easily and offers to give her a few days off, but Yi-deum declares she’ll keep working.
Meanwhile, Investigator Gu and Mi-young are busy calling up everyone that published an article on Yi-deum and pulling them down. They take a break and Mi-young takes the opportunity to thank Investigator Gu for standing up to her crappy blind date with an ornate lunchbox. He’s thrilled and happily sits down to eat when Prosecutors Jang and Seo arrive and invite themselves to join despite Mi-young’s feeble protests that she only packed two servings.
Arriving at the police station, Jin-wook finally learns that Soo-ah is missing. Her cell records show that the Eel had called her and they gather from the threatening text messages she must’ve accepted a job. Neither her grandmother nor her friends have seen her since and the only lead they have is the final call Soo-ah made… to Yi-deum.
In her office, Yi-deum plugs in her dead phone and a voicemail notification pops up. It’s from Soo-ah, and the girl’s panicked whisper begs, “Unni, save me. I’m at the Hyungjae Hotel K…” before abruptly cutting off with a scream. Yi-deum realizes that Soo-ah must’ve called while she was making a scene on the roof. When Jin-wook bursts in the room, Yi-deum plays the voicemail for him and they rush off.
At the hotel, the concierge flips through a list of rooms and informs them that there is no “K” room and they must be mistaken. Yi-deum snaps that they traced Soo-ah’s phone and it registered at the hotel but the man simply replies that he can’t help them. Jin-wook tries instead to ask for security footage but the concierge claims it violates the privacy of the guests and refuses.
Yi-deum grows increasingly agitated as she argues that they’re looking for a minor whose life is at risk but the concierge merely suggests she bring a warrant. Furious, Yi-deum promises to do so and threatens to hold him legally accountable if anything is missing or destroyed. The concierge only smiles as Investigator Gu ushers Yi-deum away.
On their way out, they pass by a man Jin-wook recognizes as the Eel. The Eel steps up to the concierge to ask about Soo-ah when he sees a reflection of the prosecutors coming towards him and bolts. They chase him outside and down the street, and while the men stay on his heels, Yi-deum takes a detour to commandeer a truck. Flashing her prosecutor’s badge, she hops inside only to realize it’s a manual shift and has to jump right back out to grab a car from a businessman instead. Hehe.
Meanwhile, Investigator Gu grows tired and collapses on the sidewalk, while Jin-wook continues on. The Eel screams back at Jin-wook to stop pursuing him and doesn’t notice a car swinging out in front of him until it’s too late. He slams into the side at full speed (harming his sensitive spot in the process) and falls on the ground, where Jin-wook is finally able to subdue him as Yi-deum steps out of the car.
Jin-wook demands to know where Soo-ah is, but the Eel just asks who they are. Yi-deum tuts, then sighs when she sees Investigator Gu crawling after them in the distance.
Sang-ho keeps trying to call Min-ho to no avail when he arrives at Lawyer Heo’s office. He asks her if she’s seen Min-ho, but she just points at the empty desk so he goes to leave. Calling out to him, Lawyer Heo asks if he’s checked “the Kingdom” and Sang-ho reminds her that she agreed to a confidentiality clause when she accepted the money for the last case. Unperturbed, Lawyer Heo says she was merely offering her services.
Parked on a road in a wooded area, Min-ho is asleep at the wheel, seemingly trapped in a nightmare. Tae-gyu shoots him a disgusted look from the passenger seat and deletes a messenger app off his phone before shaking Min-ho awake. Calmly, Tae-gyu asks Min-ho why he decided to drive drunk, but Min-ho shakily asks if they’ll be okay.
Tae-gyu asks why Min-ho drove them here last night and warns that his car had better not be scratched. Dumbfounded, Min-ho asks if Tae-gyu doesn’t remember what they did. Min-ho’s use of the term “we” rubs Tae-gyu the wrong way, and he sneers at him for thinking they’re on the same level. When Min-ho keeps trying to address what happened last night, Tae-gyu says all they did was drink expensive liquor, nothing more.
Then there’s a knock on Tae-gyu’s window, and Tae-gyu barks at Min-ho to get out of the car. Stunned, Min-ho steps out of the car and a man in a suit takes his place behind the wheel. The car drives away with Tae-gyu, leaving Min-ho alone on an abandoned road. He pulls out his phone and calls Sang-ho, but we don’t hear the conversation.
In the interrogation room, the Eel claims that Soo-ah ran off with his money, but Jin-wook angrily points out that he’s the one that sent a sick minor out to sell her body for a few bucks. Scoffing, the Eel corrects that it wasn’t a small amount and that Soo-ah was excited over the money. Calling Soo-ah greedy, the Eel thinks that it should be considered embezzlement.
Playing the role of “good cop,” Yi-deum asks how he could accept such a large amount via text and the Eel defensively says that he checked the client out first, citing that Soo-ah was his best girl so he wouldn’t just send her anywhere. Smiling, Yi-deum points out that he just admitted to having information on the client but the Eel just asks what they’ll give him in exchange.
Aggravated, Jin-wok informs the Eel that everything is being recorded, and his statements and his demeanor can be used against him in court. The Eel argues that they should be begging him and wonders if they really want to find Soo-ah, which sets Jin-wook off. But Yi-deum calms him down and speaks in a sweet tone, offering to drop the sex-trafficking of a minor charge if the Eel shares his information.
The Eel leans forward and confirms that everything they say is being recorded, suspicious of the deal. Yi-deum assures him that finding Soo-ah is their priority, so the Eel takes out his phone and shows the client’s photo ID (which turns out to be Min-ho’s) and claimed to own Hyungjae Hotel.
His end of the “deal” complete, the Eel laughs and tells them to let him out, but Yi-deum snatches the device. She tells him that the phone is now evidence and warns that if anything has happened to Soo-ah, she’ll tack aiding and abetting onto his charges. Yi-deum and Jin-wook saunter out of the room as an astonished the Eel shouts after them.
In the car, Yi-deum checks Min-ho’s identity with Mi-young, who tells her that the ID wasn’t forged and that she’s already texted his address to them.
Min-ho’s looking incredibly nervous while working on his computer, but he closes out of his browser when Yi-deum and Jin-wook ring his doorbell. His eyes widen when he sees their faces on the intercom and he takes a moment to calm himself before answering the door.
Yi-deum doesn’t wait for a greeting and immediately steps into the apartment when the door opens. Jin-wook informs him that a high school girl is missing, which seems to strike a chord. Min-ho feigns ignorance when Yi-deum shows him Soo-ah’s picture and Jin-wook accuses him of setting up a meeting with her, but falls silent when presented with the photo of his ID.
All throughout this exchange, Min-ho’s phone has been ringing and Yi-deum suggests he take the call. It’s Sang-ho and Min-ho nervously asks if he’s found something. Sang-ho says not yet and asks if Min-ho remembers anything more than the woods—he’s in the same general area where Min-ho had woken up. Min-ho tells his brother that the prosecutors are with him and entreats Sang-ho to be the first to find what they’re looking for. I have a terrible feeling about this.
Sang-ho continues to drive along the winding road, stopping every so often to get out and look around. Eventually, he ends up in the same place Min-ho had woken up with Tae-gyu, and jumps out of the car to search the area. He comes up empty and returns to driving, stopping again further down the mountain. This time he finds Soo-ah’s boot, but before he can search further, he hears sirens and sees cops arrive through the trees, so he leaves.
Back in Min-ho’s apartment, Yi-deum asks for his whereabouts last night and Min-ho pretends to think before replying that he was at work all night. Yi-deum is incredulous but Min-ho says he works better when it’s quiet and urges them to check into it if they don’t believe him. Jin-wook asks which law firm he works for and Min-ho answers Hyungjae before telling them to leave.
In the car, Yi-deum thinks back to Min-ho’s claims and wonders aloud how he could consider the Hyungjae offices “quiet” when she had made such a huge fuss last night on the roof. Just then they receive a call that Soo-ah has been found.
Arriving at the scene, Yi-deum and Jin-wook find section of the woods has been surrounded with yellow crime tape, in the center of which is a corpse with one booted foot and the other clad in a pink sock. Kneeling next to the body, Jin-wook carefully pulls back the sheet to reveal Soo-ah’s bloodied face. The detective walks up to them and shows them Min-ho’s ID, which was found next to the body.
Across town in Jo Gap-soo’s office, Sang-ho drops to his knees and tearfully begs Jo to save Min-ho.
Oh no! I really liked Soo-ah and I had been hoping that by some miracle our team would manage to save her. Seeing that pink sock at the end really drove a knife through my heart because, although brief, Soo-ah and Yi-deum had such a lovely connection and it would’ve been nice to see Yi-deum help Soo-ah see that she had other options.
Tae-gyu seems to be the true culprit, throwing Min-ho under the bus once again, but I can’t say that I feel all that bad for Min-ho. I by no means want him to pay for Tae-gyu’s crimes while that weasel gets away with it, but Min-ho can’t deny his own culpability. It’s not like Min-ho doesn’t know the kind of jerk Tae-gyu is, and yet he continually chooses to hang out with him. This time, he even helped him dump a body! And for what? In return, all he gets is Tae-gyu’s derision and a ticket to prison. I do hope Tae-gyu gets his just deserts but Min-ho needs to learn a few lessons as well.
It would seem that after a two-week break, we’ll likely be returning to the courtroom next week which surely means we’ll be seeing more of Lawyer Heo. She hasn’t had much to do during this time and I’m happy that we’ll be getting to see a bit more of her because while I despise her as a person, she makes for an interesting character.
I am curious to see what Jo Gap-soo will do in regards to Sang-ho’s request. Sang-ho has served him faithfully for the past two decades, but helping to clear Min-ho’s name puts Jo’s nephew at risk and although I don’t see any love lost between that particular family, scandals like murder can hurt an election…
As for his standoff with Yi-deum, I couldn’t have been more proud of our girl! Yi-deum is such a spitfire and can’t take a hit lying down. I love that rather than mope about and roll around in denial, she immediately went out and confronted her demon. It’s disappointing that things didn’t turn out well despite her brave efforts, but she’s not one to let a setback get her down and despite Jo’s dirty tactics, she took it in stride. Yi-deum understands how to prioritize and the most important thing to her is figuring out what happened to Mom and bringing justice to the ones responsible.
We were pretty light on the romance this episode, which I can’t help but be bummed about (was anyone else shouting when Jin-wook pulled his hand back?). After all the fun last episode, it was kind of a letdown to take a step back but in exchange, we delved into the dark underbelly of the drama a bit more. A lot of secrets are coming to the surface and our heroes are zoning in on Mom, Hyungjae group, and Jo Gap-soo. I only hope we get back to more kisses soon!