The Devil Judge -- Episode 15 & 16: Somethings Once Done Can Never Be Undone But Can Be Forgiven
Undoubtedly the most impactful ending week. They always say keep your enemies close but your friends even closer; the devil comes in many guises, and one of the deadliest is in the form of justice and duty, and Justice Min ended being the most monstrous devil of them all. As much as I expected the heartbreak I would find in this episode, as much as I wasn't ready for it, not even one bit.
For the longest time, I knew something about Justice Min wasn't trustworthy, and to find out he was the devil all along didn't surprise me. Still, I didn't at all expect him to have gone as far as he did, at least not with the people who trusted him the most. Not only does he betray Soo Hyun, but he had her murdered to stop her from knowing the absolute truth behind the church fire; he didn't want to believe that Yo Han wasn't a monster but a man fighting for the people's right to justice in his own unconventional ways.
My heart shattered for Ga-On to have lost his one anchor and now to be deceived by the one man he trusted most next to his anchor is just too much to bear for one person. No matter how I feel about Ga-On, I finally realized he did what he did. He cared about Yo Han and wanted to save him from himself; I admire that in him. But choices have consequences, and assuming one knows and truly knowing are two entirely different things. No matter how he tries, there is no way of taking back what he's done to Yo Han. He should've investigated for the truth rather than just blindly believed.
Sun-Ah, on the other hand, doesn't even interest me anymore. All she cares about is herself, and no matter how high she climbs or how far she runs, she will never be able to escape her past. She's not even as big a villain as she wants to be. I don't even want to talk about President Han; just seeing him and his goons on screen made me feel dirty. I knew Sun Ah was only using President Han as a pawn to get what she wants and that she would turn his goon on him. He should've at least expected that from her the way she took care of the Foundation's Chairman. When he decided to play with fire, he should've at least expected to get burned.
Yes, Ga-On cared for Yo Han and Elijah, but despite having lived with them for the time he had, he really didn't know them, or at least he didn't know Yo Han. He let Justice Min manipulate him, and not only that, Sun-Ah had been grooming him for one purpose to get back at Yo Han, and it worked like a charm. The only redemption I can see for Ga-On is if he and Yo Han devised a plan together to out Sun Ah and the Justice. It's hard to imagine seeing how things unfolded, but I'm hoping for this final twist. As for Justice Min, it was never about justice or injustice, for that matter; Justice Min cared nothing for any of that.
As for Yo Han and Elijah, I was in pieces for him and her. Yo Han for having carried the burden he has for as long as he has and to have been accused and hated for it must have been indescribable pain. I suspected Elijah might have accidentally caused the fire in the church. However, it was still hard seeing it unfold and even harder to see Yo Han reduced to his knees, begging for everyone to protect Elijah from that awful truth. If they continued to think it was him, they wouldn't need to try and find out the truth. As they say, when it comes to devastating truths, some things are better left hidden. I now get why he never bothered to clear up the misunderstandings with Elijah or the Nanny or anyone else for that matter.
Manipulated or not, in the end, Ga-On had a choice, and he made the choices that he did and in the most unforgiving way. There are some things, once done, that can never be undone -- Ga-On letting Justice Min manipulate him the way he did is one of those things. There is no disputing Elijah accidentally caused the fire, but she didn't cause the mayhem that paralyzed her or led to her parent's death. People can say what they want about Yo Han; he is unmatched in everything he does, a man in a league of his own. Yo Han begging Ga-On not to watch the fire's CCTV footage was done well in the ending scene. Kudos to the director, the actors, and the writer for scripting and bringing such fantastic scenes to life.
Yo Han was always the power to the powerless, a man with a soul. Yes, his methods were unconventional, but at least he did not stand silently in the face of evil even as he lived with his unimaginable pain. Because as they say, the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. Yes, Ga-On (kudos to Park Jin Young for a well-done job) was a man of conviction. Still, he proved time and time again that nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. The same goes for Justice Min, who thought doing the wrong thing for the right reasons justified his actions which he will have to spend the rest of his days atoning as Ga-On told him no better judgment than that for someone like him. As they say, when one dances with the devil, the devil doesn't change. The devil changes them.
I expected Ga-On to take extreme measures to atone for his mistakes, quite ironic for a man who blindly followed his conviction, a lesson learned the hard way, that the law is powerless in the face of power. If you want to make a dent, you may have to become the monster you so fervently abhore. I loved that Yo Han's people stayed loyal to him to the end; they are all heroes in my book who understood the choices they made came with responsibilities they never floundered. But everyone deserves a chance at cleaning up their mistakes, and that Ga-On does that even if Yo Han saves him more than he saves Yo Han.
Sun-Ah and her goons, on the other hand, were always prisoners of their greed. They lived in its bottomless pits, endlessly trying to satisfy that unquenchable hunger to no avail. The more they got, the more they wanted, but Sun Ah was her own doom and most significant enemy, and she did exactly what I expected her to do take the cowardly way out. I thought it quite hypocritical that Sun Ah was moved by a single orphan getting caught in the hell she made yet felt nothing as she killed countless others. It's so true when they say hypocrisy is the vice homage pays to virtue. Hats off to the talent that is Kim Min Jung in how she effortlessly portrayed the complex yet compelling Sun-Ah who lived and ended her own hell and on her own terms. Her life was the sum of all her choices. It must've been torture being her.
True to his word Yo Han made the lot of evil goons stand in judgment at the very live court tv they created to popularize their image speak about a double-edged sword. It was not just righteous, but justice in action as history repeated itself. The only complaint I have is that we didn't get to see Sun-Ah's flunkey get her due judgment as well. I really wanted that for Mr. K. The Devil Judge was a delightful investment. Ji Sung again proves why he deserves to be on my top five list with his tremendously fantastic acting abilities. Kudos to many gifted cast and production teams that made The Devil Judge the success it became, standing ovation for a well-done job. Yo Han strolling in a blaze of glory gives me great vibes for a second season. Watch episodes 15 & 16 here.