The Devilish Judge -- Episode 5 & 6: The Fire that Keeps Burning
Just as the opening sequence of this drama drew a stark contrast between the have and have not. That Yo Han still carries along with the burden and guilt of survival, the loneliness. The cinematic opening of episode five with the fires ablaze engulfing Yo Han's mind with painful memories only to be brought back to the harsh reality by the heart-wrenching cry of loss -- brilliantly directed, edited, and acted.
Yo Han may have committed many criminal acts; the one thing he didn't do is kill the one person who taught him how true love feels. So, it's ferocious to see how Elijah (Jeon Chae Eun) treats him like she believes he is a murderer, but that is far from what she believes. And Yo Han pretends like he doesn't care what she thinks of him when that's what he cares about the most. They are all they have, each other. It's that silent love; it doesn't know rejection.
The way Elijah reacted when Yo Han didn't come home and Yo Han when he didn't find her home speaks of how much they care for each other. I hope they both get a chance to show it before it's too late. I also think he very much cares for Kim Go-On; if not, why does he go to the trouble of telling him the fire story to get him on his side; there has to be a reason. Everything Yo Han does is purposeful, so whatever it is, there is a reason why he keeps Go-On so close despite all his outburst; it feels like he has a much bigger plan that involves Go-On. I also think they are blood relatives.
I figured the Foundation would go after Yo Han seeing how he's been going against their wishes with the live court cases -- going for power rather than the types of cases they want. I'm sure they thought they could control him. I'm sure he expected them to try and strong-arm him into doing what they want to break him. Still, he sure did outsmart them and Sun-Ah because all she did was prove to Yo Han that she was the brains and the power behind the corruption he has meticulously and patiently planned to destroy.
Now that the true nature of Sun-Ah is revealed, she's creepier than all of the weird characters she surrounds herself with, and I get the sense she enjoys it. But kidnapping Yo Han to prove to him she was the one in control seemed callous, or maybe that was the point. The wicked have no conscience, be it Minister Cha, the president who is a total creep, the foundation helmed by Sun-Ah, or those around them who believe their greed will overpower the people. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what motivated Sun-Ah, but more her obsession with Yo Han, it felt intimate like she harbored some past grudge or something.
I was not surprised to see that Yo Han and Sun-Ah had a very tumultuous and manipulative past. I didn't expect that past was her a maid in his house when they were younger. I guess she must blame Yo Han for whatever happened to her after leaving that home and coming for him with a vengeance. One may argue that Yo Han is after revenge too, but the difference is that Sun-Ah wants vindictiveness while Yo Han seeks vindication.
I love that nothing sways Yo Han. When one is already broken, no threat of retaliation nor adverse actions will make a difference. I loved that he used the very method they tried to use against him to turn their world upside down, the public - live TV, the one thing the Foundation, the President, Minister Cha, Chairman Yong Shik (Hong Seo Joon), and the Media Chairman owner Park Du Man (Lee Seo Hwan) fear the most. Watching their reactions was immensely satisfying, especially seeing them running around, trying to assess the damage to their public image and the Dream Home Project.
As for Sun-Ah, now that we have a glimpse of what may motivate her, I wouldn't put it past her to have set the fire that killed Yo Han's brother. She's that twisted and is after blood with Yo Han. I still cannot understand where her obsession and hatred comes from, but as malevolently genius as Sun-Ah, maybe Yo Han is more of a brilliant mastermind with the public on his side and always ten steps ahead. It's so true when they say he who laughs last laughs best. I cannot wait to see what Sun-Ah does next. She is pretty good at this "divide and conquer" game she plays, and unlike Yo Han is willing to hurt anything and anyone to get what she wants. They messed with him first.
For some reason, the Yoon Soo Hyun (Park Gyu Young) and Kim Go-On storyline isn't working for me, or maybe it's Soo Hyun that's not working for me. She comes off as a bit obsessive and overbearing, but so does Jung Sun-Ah, so it must be the actor and not the character that's not getting through to me. Either way, when you're never had to face adversities like the one that Yo Han faced, it's easy to point the finger from a high perch and pass judgment, but neither Yoon Soo Hyun nor Go-On will ever understand Yo Han's pain until they are the ones feeling it, too. I wonder what choices they will make if they would ever find themselves in his shoes. Soo Hyun, in particular, seems like the kind of person who would break the law many times over to Go-On, and him her. I guess we will find out sooner than later and yet another appropriate OST -- Nightmare by Sondia. Watch Episodes 5 & 6 here.