The role of a judge is difficult. They must uphold the law, yet they must be able to temper justice with mercy. So often what should be black and white, is just shades of grey. Join us as we discuss how our three favorite judges learn when to stand firm for the right, and when to look for the causes that draw out compassion, while delivering all the feels along the way.

Cici: Well, I have to say that I was getting really annoyed with the sibling feud in Episode 7. There wasn’t a single sympathetic character in that family. . . until the adopted son brought in the father. And then I sobbed. I wanted the judges to award him the entire estate so badly, but apparently adopted children have no inheritance rights in Korea. Not that he wanted anything other than to be with his father, anyway.

Janet: It was so sad to watch the adopted son say good-bye to his father - his love was so pure; such a contrast to his adopted siblings obvious greed. You could see the judge’s disdain in every conversation. I’m with you 100% in wishing he could have been awarded the estate so he could continue to take care of his father.

Tanya: I definitely agree. When it became clear that the only child that the father remembered was the adopted son, it was extremely telling. The case was a bit obnoxious and I wish it could have ended a better way, but it did serve as a teaching lesson for Oh Reum to teach Ba Reun what family can really mean. Once we moved on to Episodes 8 & 9, I became very intrigued by our lovely Secretary Do Yeon!

Cici: Poor Bo Wang! He really has it bad. And Secretary Do Yeon seems to be fond of him, but she is also enjoying tormenting him a bit. She makes me laugh. And I’m as curious as anyone to find out what her night-time “hobby” is, but I’m sure it’s nothing nefarious. Such a tease.

Janet: Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. I feel that Do Yeon wears it like armor - she wants to protect herself. But, where the diligent pursue, who knows what will happen. I think she really likes giving the wrong impression.

Tanya: Best scene ever - Bo Wang entering the bathroom while the other two guys are talking about Do Yeon and they KNOW they did wrong. I couldn’t stop laughing. Bo Wang has no hope though! Do Yeon is going to eat him alive, but I give him so many props for being straightforward and pursuing her.

Cici: Well, we finally got a confession, so that’s something. I just think it’s funny that everyone is making evil assumptions about her second job, instead of coming out and asking her what she does. All this pussy-footing around must be very amusing to her, but probably a bit annoying, too. I can’t really blame her for making everyone curious. I know if it was me, I’d want to say, “Just ask me!”

Tanya: Definitely! We kept with the family theme for several episodes, so let’s mention the case dealing with employee depression. This particular case did upset me a little bit and, in truth, I believe Ba Reun came to the correct conclusion that all parties were partly responsible. The company needed to pay more attention to their managers, but the pressure from his parents and the assumptions of his wife certainly weren’t helping anything.

Cici: I find it interesting that this drama is bringing to light so many problems that exist in Korean society, from horrible working conditions to familial pressures to the prevalence of suicide. Each of the episodes is based on actual cases, so it’s a little like opening festering wounds. But having judges who truly care about making fair judgments gives me hope for the society. I really feel for both Ba Reun and Oh Reum--how is it possible to remain objective when so many cases bring up their own painful memories?

Janet: Painful memories, yes, but inspiration to each of them to “walk in the shoes” of every person in the cases they judge. The law may be cut and dried, but the members of the bar who wield the authority to pass judgment can also temper their judgments with compassion. Again, you can see the struggle within all three of the judges.

Tanya: I think the fact that you can watch all three of them internally struggle with the situations in the courtroom gives me more appreciation for the actors themselves because it is very subtle.

Cici: I have to agree about the quality of acting in this drama. The cast is amazing. I honestly have to remind myself that the three leads are actually actors, not judges. In fact, right up to the moment when Ba Reun started playing the guitar for Oh Reum’s mom, I had completely forgotten that he was originally a musician. Kudos to L! And oh, the feels!

Tanya: I love when they utilize his guitar skills! One sad part about all of the situations this week is that our Judicial Unit works hard to remain fair and yet we had another example of corruptions in the courts. A Senior Judge was arrested for asking for favorable judgements for a friend’s company. Oh Reum again led the charge and this time it led to a very painful scene of her essentially being outcast.

Janet: It was sad that she had to take the brunt of the blame, even as Ba Reun tried to shield her by talking to his Senior himself. She knew what the Senior Judge did was wrong, but I don’t think she expected the repercussions that followed. But, I feel that had she known, she wouldn’t have done anything differently. She is definitely true to herself.

Cici: We also saw how pulling rank or asking for favors can happen so easily when you’re desperate. Ba Reun certainly wasn’t thinking that he was doing anything wrong when he had a colleague help him get his mother seen quickly at the hospital, yet once he learned that her condition was painful but not life-threatening, he realized that having her seen before other patients was unfair and wrong.

Tanya: That was definitely a slice of humble pie and the doctor let him know it. He’s a bigger person that I am for actually apologizing. I mean, I definitely would have had guilt, but I don’t know if I would have been able to kneel before someone and apologize. I don’t know if that is cultural difference or just a great aspect of the character.

Cici: Maybe both? It does seem that Koreans take guilt and responsibility very seriously, so that’s a cultural difference. But this incidence also shows how much the character has grown. Can you imagine him behaving that way at the beginning of the drama? Nope. It’s nice to see how much his character has grown.

Janet: I love how he is opening up to people. Especially when he was talking to his Mom about people and how some need protection. For someone who did not show (or even acknowledge) his emotions he has come such a long way. It will be fun to watch his metamorphosis!

What do you think? Have you developed a greater understanding of the trials (!) a judge must go through to administer justice? And will true love ever blossom in such emotional ground? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

For previous episode reviews, go to:

|1-2| |3-4| |5-6|

For more from your Drama Club members, check out:

Cici: @cicikdrama | My Shy Boss | My Secret Romance | The Bride of the Water God | Temperature of Love|

Janet: | My Shy Boss | The Bride of the Water God | Temperature of Love |

Tanya: | Joseon Gunman |


Miss Hammurabi

Starring Go Ah Ra and Kim Myung Soo (L)

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