Remember: Son's War

Remember : Son’s War Ep 9 Recap (and forks in roads less taken)

In Ah gets brained by the real killer prior to revealing that she’s at Saerim-dong 33 and falls unconscious. Jinwoo’s not too far at Saerim-dong 17 but has no idea where she is in order to proceed. Dongho gets off in the neighbourhood and fails to notice Jinwoo, taking a different fork in the road. (This feels strangely symbolic)
He rummages through his eidetic memory for a map of the neighbourhood and what the killer had been saying the last time Jinwoo saw him and manages to triangulate the area the killer should be in and the store he might be at. He takes off running. In Ah wakes up to the realization that she’s bound and very close to death. The killer doesn’t bother with any preliminaries and ignores all the questions she throws at him (“Who hired you to frame Jinwoo?”) He simple pulls out a length of fishing line from his watch and proceeds to strangle her.

Dongho smashes his way in and proceeds to incapacitate the killer (banging his head against all object close at hand). Jinwoo’s not far behind and rushes to In Ah’s side. Thankfully, she’s fine.

At the police station, Joo Ik shows up and tells the killer that he’ll take of everything. In Ah, Jinwoo, Lawyer Song and Seo leave the police station in good spirits. Unfortunately, Secretary Ah is watching and reports to Gyuman who’s infuriated that In Ah’s managed to ruin his plans again. He takes his anger out on a beginner driver who makes the mistake of swerving in front of him.

He literally climbs on her car with a golf club while she’s inside and smashes the windscreen.

With that bit of stress-relieving he climbs off and calls Dongho to take care of the ‘accident’ he caused. (How did no one else on the freeway see this?) Dongho gets more trouble inthe form of Joo Ik who storms into his office and demands to know how long Dongho’s going to keep this up. Dongho doesn’t want Joo Ik to keep having to get blood on his hands but Joo Ik doesn’t care at this point. He doesn’t regret a single decision he’s made and asks Dongho whether he’s going to throw everything away for Jinwoo or truly join Gyuman’s side. His position isn’t going to change, but he’d like for Dongho to walk the same road he is.

He asks her not to risk herself next time and she agrees just as the witness’s daughter appears. She hands over a phone tells them that her mother told her to release the video within to the world if something happened to her. The daughter apologizes over and over to Jinwoo and hopes that his father will be released soon. Dongho pays off the traumatized woman with a sigh and wonders why he’s even doing this.

In Ah and Jinwoo watch the video together where the witness, Kim Hyeon Ok, admits to never having seen Seo Jaehyuk near the villa office on the night of the murder. She sobs, apologizing over and over on video. Jinwoo stares at the picture of his father by his monitor.

Jinwoo wastes no time sending it to Judge Kang Seokgyu and there’s a lovely transition from them watching her on screen to the judge doing so. He hesitates for a moment, his hand hovering over the seal but goes for it.

Gyuman’s a bundle of barely-controlled nerves in front of his father as they watch Jinwoo onscreen vowing to out those who are manipulating the law to their own advantage. A reporter asks him how he’s approaching this case, given that Jaehyuk’s his father.

The truth will win and he will ensure it does. CEO Nam tosses the remote away and Gyuman goes straight to his knees and begs for a chance to fix things. His father is furious at having to clean up after him all the time and Gyuman barely stops him before he goes for the whip again. CEO Nam warns him to bury this or he’ll end up like his mother. (I don’t even want to guess at what happened to her)

A furious Director Hong bursts into In Ah’s office and yells at her for overstepping her investigational bounds as a prosecutor, ignoring her protests that she couldn’t overlook the omission of vital evidence. He warns her that should anything like this happen away, a disciplinary warning is not all she’ll have to deal with it. Worse, after he leaves, In Ah gets a call from her detective friend at the station who informs her that the murder of witness Kim Hyeon Ok is about to be wrapped up with a bow, seeing as Detective Kwak is busy burying everything. It frustrates In Ah but she’s not to take it sitting down. Lawyer Song and Jinwoo head to visit Jaehyuk and notice the elderly rich CEO of Kosan Group being wheeled out of prison into a car, surrounded by reporters. The man was sent for prison for 10 years and had his sentence reduced to 8 years but got out after 8 months. Jae Ik scoffs that the man’s been putting on quite a show, pretending to have Parkinson’s. (This will probably be relevant later). Jinwoo visits his father but his smiles upon seeing Jaehyuk advance very hesitantly towards him, while clutching his stomach. He happily relates the news that the retrial has been approved but his father doesn’t want it, believing that he did kill the girl due to Gyuman’s visit. Nearly in tears, Jinwoo tells his father that Gyuman was the one who killed her and slowly manages to convince him that he’s innocent. Jaehyuk thanks him gratefully but Jinwoo grows more and more worried when he keeps clutching his stomach.

He bursts into the prison doctor’s office, furious that both his father’s Alzheimer’s and ulcer aren’t being treated. the doctor’s clearly in any rich fellow’s pocket and doesn’t give a crap.

Jinwoo growls that he’s requesting his as Jaehyuk’s lawyer and asks for his transfer to another facility if he’s incapable of treating him. Lawyer Song jumps in too, arguing that people like the Parkinson-faking CEO get out scot-free while those who are actually ill never get treatment. The doctor couldn’t care less and tells Jinwoo that it’s up to the prosecutor who was in charge of the case to approve any transfers outside the facility.

Speaking of prosecutors, we cut to In Ah coldly walking into the station and staring down Detective Kwak.

He shrugs saying that the culprit was caught and this is all they can do, besides it was an order from her superior. In Ah freezes, not having known of Director Hong’s involvement and can do nothing to override his orders. Jinwoo gives her his notes on Director Hong’s relation to Il Ho group. Meanwhile Jaehyuk’s at the doctor’s office, innocently asking him to save him whatever ails his stomach. The doctor smirks (I can’t watch. Please don’t hurt him). But he just doesn’t do anything. Jaehyuk pleads for medicine but the doctor has him dragged out of the room.

He calls Secretary Ahn who relays the message to Gyuman who finds it amusing. He chuckles that it’s not like Jaehyuk could remember even if he did take medicine.

He visits Dongho and tells him that he pleased at his handling of the car accident but incredibly pissed at how messily the murder case was taken care of.

He even imitates Dongho’s famous wink before leaving. (Nam Goongmin is on fire!)

Prosecturo Tak Youngjoon and his Seoul cop friend Bae Joonshik who was demoted due to digging too deep into a drunk driving incident. Joonshik is drunk out of his mind and vows that the man back then couldn’t have driven drunk back then because his son was in the car. That stirs up painful memories for Dongho who remembers arguing with the cop in charge of his father’s case that his father couldn’t have been drunk because he’d been in the car with him. He wonders if it’s the same case Joonshik is referring to.

CEO Nam and Gyuman roll up to the prosecutor’s office the next day. His gaze lingers on Prosecutor Choi for too long as In Ah watches with disgust. Gyuman invites her to tea with him and Dongho as she’s manning the opposite end of Jaehyuk’s retrial. Dongho gets quite a surprise upon seeing her though. the air between them is awkward enoughf or even Gyuman to notice though Prosecutor Choi says that they were just law school friends. Once Gyuman’s gone, Dongho lapses into brief reminisce which reveals that she was the top of their class and watched to be best prosecutor there was. He sighs that the world really does change people, but she argues that she’s different from him. Unlike him, she’s not gone as far as to switch faces in court, or to buy and sell the law (then why is she working for Gyuman?) She leaves with that. Dongho visits Joonshik at the police station and asks to look over his father’s car accident case once more. Meanwhile, Jinwoo rushes over to Dongho’s house for some strange reason only to find that he’s moved. He works on hunting down witnesses for his father’s retrial. In Ah is presented with a horrific dilemma upon being called to Director Hong’s office. Prosecutor Choi’s waiting there and he tells her that they’ll be working on Jaehyuk’s retrial. Director Hong smirks, remembering Gyuman’s orders.

In Ah has no choice but to acqueisce. (Oh crap)

Jinwoo barges into the sleazy doctor’s office who’d denied that his father had Alzheimer’s back during his initial trial and blackmails him into complying this time around. Dongho reads over the case files and his horrified to discover that Jaehyuk and Jinwoo were in the car his father rammed into and that his mother and brother were killed as a result. He recalls what he said about their entangled fates being dirty at the Columbarium and cries in frustration and grief.

Prosecutor Choi tells In Ah that she understands how In Ah feels but opinion is poison on the job. They just have to stick with it. In Ah has nothing to say. Dongho meets with Jaehyuk in a poignantly crafted scene. Jaehyuk quietly asks if they ever met before and Dongho can barely get out the words that he was his lawyer four years ago. Jaehyuk apologizes for not remembering and thanks him for fighting so hard back them. Each word comes as a huge blow to Dongho who barely holds back tears.

The prison doctor laughs at Jaehuyk’s plight and inquires to his status in Gyuman’s fold which gets Dongho so furious that he pins the man to the wall and dares him to ever call himself a human again. Jinwoo gets a nasty shock upon meeting Director Hong who drops the bomb that In Ah’s now on the opposing side. He doesn’t freak out though and discusses what’s to come with her.

Dongho goes straight to his vault with his minion and pulls this out.

(Good grief, that’s precisely what I think it is). The minion looks really worried. In Ah comes home only to find that her mother has some friends over and wants her to take over their minor quibbles what with her being a prosecutor. She’s not in the mood and refuses, but her mother presses on. Even the police or government workers have to listen to her, so surely she can do this much. It grates hard on In Ah who’s had to deal with a lack of power as opposed to this imagined surplus and she yells at her mother before leaving. Gyuman gives Dongho a call, and Dongho is so done with everything at his point and he’s intentionally noncommittal.

He pays Jinwoo a surprise visit (this is a great bit of acting on Yoo Seungho’s part. The measure way he gets out of the chair reminded me of a snake uncoiling in preparation of attack. Graceful and gorgeous, this man) and offers to buy him out. Does he want money? or power? Or both?

Dongho arrives then and is the focus of Jinwoo’s death glare. Under Gyuman’s orders, he warns Jinwoo that this case is doomed to failure but Jinwoo isn’t taking it.

Gyuman sighs at how irritating the whole thing is, because Jinwoo has nothing to lose but his life but Gyuman has far more on the line. He leaves, asking Dongho to do come convincing. Jinwoo’s not interested in heraing a word Dongho has to say but…

The court is in session the next day. Jinwoo meets Prosecutor Choi Jinkyung in the hallway who lightly mocks him saying that she’d heard that he was the youngest attorney in Korea but he really does still have the look of a high-schooler. She ends with a light barb, saying she hopes his father is released seeing how very ill he is. People start to file in and Jinwoo seats himself opposite the Prosecutor.

He looks worriedly at In Ah’s seat just as Dongho comes in. The two stare at each other silently, both in turmoil. As is In Ah.

She thinks back to being handed the case and slowly makes her way to the courtroom. She’s the last person to come in, so she’s also been holding up the trial. There’s a gorgeous series of cuts where you see everything from her point of view. Everyone watching her expectantly. Prosecutor Choi’s conspiratory smiles, Jinwoo half-pleading eyes, Judge Kang waiting for her decision. Park Dongho wondering what’s going on.

And whew! She sits in the audience. (I LOVE THIS GIRL!!!) Jinwoo gives her the most adorable smile of relief while Prosecutor Choi’s eyes darken and she calls another prosecutor down.

Kim Hyeon Ok’s video is played in court and creates a huge amount of buzz. Jinwoo’s first line of defence is simple: “The main witness has revealed her previous testimony was false. He never went near the villa office. That is all.” Prosecutor Choi says that the video can’t be accepted as evidence as the witness was coerced to give such a testimony. Gyuman is informed that Prosecutor’s Choi started to hit hard and smiles.

To Jinwoo and In Ah’s horror, she produces her own witness who had seen Jinwoo and Hyeon Ok argue previously. Jinwoo brings in the witness’s daughter who defends him saying that the video was not filmed under duress. Prosecutor Choi tries to overrule this as the daughter’s opinion but is silenced once the daughter reveals that she filmed it and Jinwoo didn’t even know if its existence until she gave it to him. The crowd gasps and In Ah sinks back in relief.

The judge calls for a break during which In Ah and Jinwoo have coffee. He asks her why she choose to give up everything but she tells him to just focus on the trial.

His next witness is the doctor. He starts introducing him and when his memory fails him mid-sentence. OH SHIT. Everyone watching him wondering what’s going on.

He repeats the line in shock, trying to figure out what his next words and when that fails again, runs to his notes to figure out what he meant to say. The doctor’s name. A brilliantly inserted cut shows him running through his memory remembering everything on the doctor’s desk but not what was written on his name plate. NO NO NO!

He collapses against the desk and can barely hear the judge asking him what the matter is. He flashes through the past four years and his face starts to contort in grief.

He tilts groggily on his feet before collapsing. Dongho and In Ah freak out and the judge calls for an ambulance.
(This is likely just spur of the moment but the way Park Minyoung’s fingers linger on Yoo Seungho’s lips was pretty amusing. It was like she didn’t know what to do with her hands. Or you know, she wanted to feel the hottie’s mouth. Nothing wrong with that, especially is his time is running out.)


The subtitle for this episode comes not only from the Robert Frost poem but the general visual and narrative ways this drama brings up forks in roads and how far astray some can take us. Jinwoo chooses the high road while Dongho takes the easier route, but is now faced with a difficult decision: to continue on the path he’s on, or take the road less taken. If anything, I hope the first five minutes of the episode will be indicative of where these two are going from now on though. They’ve taken different paths but perhaps they’ll end up in the same place at the same time anyway.

Onto the Alzheimer’s. I knew it was coming but it really hurt to see him fall down like that because of course the trial is going to be delayed and we’ll have 11 more episodes of pain until Jinwoo’s father is freed. But what happens to Jinwoo afterwards? Alzheimer’s may not be a death sentence but no Kdrama can whip up a cure for it. I would frankly prefer it if he was dying like Kim Raewon in Punch because it’s so much more tragic to see someone who intelligent, dedicated, and passionate with so much to offer the world, to end up unable to experience any of it. Given the light loveline we’re seeing budding with In Ah, perhaps the show will delay the progression of his Alzheimer’s and we’ll end with something like Scent of a Woman where the dreaded future may come to pass but it won’t be now, and he’ll have some chance of a happy ending. One that he can remember for at least a decade or two. Yes, show? Yes? You can’t have Jinwoo forgetting his father!!

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