The premiere week of SBS’s latest installment turned out to be quite interesting, with good character introductions to the leads and the premise hinting that there is so much more to be explored. The drama comes from the director of Midas, Giant and Bride of the Sun; while the screenwriter has written movies The Attorney and I Am Father so I believe we’re in good hands for future episodes. Though it might be too early to say this ha. Most of the two opening episodes are spent in the past, which I believe is necessary for us to see how Dad ends up being wrongfully accused and jailed for a crime he didn’t commit. The backstory allowed me to understand the main characters’ personalities and empathise with them emotionally as well.
I really looked forward to this because it’s a thriller, not to mention the cast! It’s been a long time for Yoo Seung-ho~ And we have veteran actor Park Sung-woong starring, which definitely isn’t a bad thing 😉 Time to let the mystery unfold!
A man is tied up and dragged into a prison cell by two policemen. He is Daddy Seo Jae-hyuk (Jun Kwang-ryul) and looks very afraid as he is about to be sentenced to death in front of officials and his son, Seo Jin-woo (Yoo Seung-ho). He sees Jin-woo through the glass panel that separates them and desperately asks for help. Jin-woo goes down on his knees and begs for his father to be saved but it’s too late…
It turns out to be a nightmare as Jin-woo awakens with a start. That was scary. He heaves a sigh of relief and looks at the calendar on which the date is circled in red- 9th December (the airdate of the pilot episode in Korea).
Dressed in a suit, he goes to the prison to visit Dad who is unable to remember him due to Alzheimer’s disease and introduces him as Dad’s lawyer who is appealing to re-open his case after four years. As he begins to tell Dad about what he must prepare for the trials that will begin the next day, Dad tells Jin-woo that he will not stand for the appeal trial.
Jin-woo’s eyes are filled with sorrow as he questions the reason, but Dad’s answer is not surprising to him. He quotes Dad’s words whenever he said the same thing or something similar and including today, it’s a total of 26 times. Jin-woo firmly tells Dad that he is innocent and asks for him to promise not to give up because there is another person who needs to be in his place and he will make that person pay for his crime, no matter what. This triggers Dad’s memories from the past as they flash through his mind. He asks Jin-woo if perhaps, he had a son and Jin-woo just says he might be very close. Jin-woo walks out and in his mind, tells Dad to wait; he will take him out of there.
Flashback to 4 years ago, AKA that fateful day.
Dad and Jin-woo share a meal in their home and the latter is full of praises for his father’s homecooked food. Dad asks if Jin-woo’s all ready for the broadcast he’s going on, to which Jin-woo replies, what is there to prepare with his uber good memory haaa he’ll just have to answer questions based on how he remembers things. He tells Dad he’s going to make Kimchi stew when he gets back from the broadcast. Dad promises to get off work and come home early. Just then, the doorbell rings. It’s Oh Sung-taek (Maeng Sang-hoon) and his daughter Oh Jung-ah (Han Bo-bae) who probably live in the same neighbourhood. They brought over some groceries they got from the market to give to them. They have an amicable relationship and share a conversation like neighbours do.
Cut to someone with a dragon tattoo on his back singing in the shower. Later he’s busy choosing from an array of coloured suits he has from his closet and picks out a red one but comes out in a blue suit short after. As he prepares to leave a lady whom he had spent the night with calls after him to stay but he tells her he’s busy because he has a trial today. She is in disbelief because really, which prosecutor has a dragon tattoo on his back? He all but laughs and this is when he formally introduces himself with a name card. He is Lawyer Park Dong-ho (Park Sung-woong), who receives a call from someone he addresses as hyungnim (meaning an older male friend or brother) and tells him that he’s coming over.
Dong-ho sits across his client Suk Joo-il (Lee Won-jong), who’s in handcuffs and the court case is put forth. Apparently his client was at a club the previous day and has been put in a very sticky situation due to a conflict with a young man, who is the Director of a chaebol conglomerate Il Ho Group and he’s determined to do him in. Furthermore, the prosecutor-in-charge of the case is Tak Young-jin (Song Young-kyu) who is not wavered by bribes. It’s going to be hard to convince him but Dong-ho calms agitated Joo-il down, reassuring him that he’ll find a way.
Dad works as a cleaner, and he receives a video call from Jin-woo who is a high school student waiting for the bus to the broadcast station. They are sweet as ever and Dad tells his dear son to lift the phone up higher because he wants to see his handsome face. Awww. An ahjumma at Dad’s workplace chides him that he forgot he cannot leave a trolley out in the hallway. Jin-woo greets her before she comments that Dad seems to be forgetful today.
On the bus law student Lee In-ah (Park Min-young) drops her handbag and Jin-woo picks it up for her as he is alighting. But she realises her handbag is slit and her wallet missing. In-ah stops everyone from getting off and asks the bus driver to keep the doors closed until she finds the thief who stole her wallet. Driver ahjusshi doesn’t agree at first but In-ah recites a section of some criminal code from her textbook so he’s left with no choice.
The bus crowd, including Jin-woo ends up at the police station. Clearly, everyone is grumbling. When they quieten down, the detective asks if there is anyone In-ah suspects to be the pickpocket since they cannot check the bus’s CCTV. In-ah points Jin-woo out because of their earlier encounter. It’s not him but she claims to remember it all. When Jin-woo asks her the exact time when they bumped into one another and what the person next to her was wearing, In-ah is left stumped. With his hyper memory, Jin-woo recalls every single detail and recounts it. He remembers everything, including the fact that In-ah’s bag was torn before she had boarded the bus and who the person who stole her wallet was. Everyone is in awe of Jin-woo’s perfect memory.
At the Prosecution Service building, the lift doors open and Dong-ho’s eyes meet with Prosecutor Hong Moo-suk (Uhm Hyo-sub). Seems like they aren’t very happy to see each other, and the prosecutor’s words come with pricks. He says they should go up against each other in a court trial if the opportunity arises so that their bad relationship could be worked out. Dong-ho’s smiley face changes the moment Prosecutor Hong gets off the lift. Ah, I wonder what feud these two had before this.
Prosecutor Tak goes to the washroom and Dong-ho follows suit sneakily, blocking the restroom’s entrance on his way in. His attempt to convince the prosecutor doesn’t work until he provides a big news scoop: there is a narcotics deal going down in Busan and Prosecutor Tak will be able to score lots of promotion points if he cracks the case. That is because Dong-ho knows the prosecutor’s weakness with cases on organised crimes. In exchange, he wants to get deferred prosecution for his client. Prosecutor Tak doesn’t give him an answer, but he seems to be moved.
In-ah chases after Jin-woo outside the police station to apologise for her mistake. He doesn’t accept her apology readily, but takes the chance to tease her for reciting the wrong article and section of the criminal code book. Heee~
Later In-ah sneaks into her ongoing lecture. The lecturer poses her questions but she is unsure of the answers and another student beats her to answering them.
Prosecutor Tak and Dong-ho chat over a meal, where the former asks if our attorney has thought of a way to deal with the supposed victim of his client’s case, Nam Gyu-man (Namgoong Min). The prosecutor describes him as someone who has everything including money and power, but no humanity. Sure enough, we see him at his company with disrespect even for his older staff. The reason why Prosecutor Tak decided to help Dong-ho is also because he doesn’t want to do the chaebol any favours. Dong-ho tells the prosecutor he’s still thinking of a way, but will settle it.
Gyu-man is in the car with his secretary, Section Chief Ahn (Lee Shi-un) and tells him to drop the formalities since they’re friends outside of the company. He was also Min-ho’s secretary in Falling For Innocence! But the vibe here is so different.. Obviously, Secretary Ahn is nervous in the presence of his superior. They talk about the court case with Suk Joo-il. Gyu-man thinks that it’s insufficient to just put the man in jail because he was humiliated in front of his close friends and makes Secretary Ahn think of more ways to deal with it. He is also in preparation of an event at Seochon villa and asks the secretary to find a female singer, whose face is unknown. Gyu-man leaves his said friend on the road and tells him to flag a taxi.
Little do they know Dong-ho has been spying on them in another car at the far back, with his underling taking some snapshots. He tells himself that this is not going to be easy.
In-ah returns home, and her mother is watching Jin-woo on the television programme being broadcast. Her family runs a pizza store and Mum is amazed at his photographic memory. In-ah switches the channel in annoyance, but it’s showing the news that the pickpocket who stole her wallet has been arrested. She just switches the TV off, haha.
Jung-ah is driven to the villa by Secretary Ahn, and it turns out that Daddy Seo is working there. She spots him in the distance but the secretary hurries her, telling her she just needs to sing a few songs and ensures that no one knows that she was coming here. Upon entrance, Jung-ah starts to feel unsettled at the atmosphere. She is brought into a room and asked to change into a dress. It is only then that she is informed that all the people here are chaebols with high social standing because she refuses. The secretary then tries to convince her with an envelope of money.
Gyu-man arrives at the villa and Secretary Ahn is out to receive him. Gyu-man asks him to get rid of the cleaning staff which happens to be Dad, who’s told to knock off for the day. Back at the room, Gyu-man stares at Jung-ah who is now dressed up. I don’t feel good about the way he looks at her…
Jin-woo has prepared the delicious kimchi stew, ready to fulfill his promise with Dad that morning. He’s eager for Dad to come home and taste his cooking, so he calls his father but it goes unanswered because Dad is at a shop picking out a new mobile phone for his son. The store’s assistant tells Dad he has already bought it before, and this is the third time but he tells her that she must have made a mistake. Oh no, memory loss..
Jung-ah goes on stage and starts singing an English song; Gyu-man loses his temper and breaks a few glasses, demanding for the music to be turned off. He reprimands her and tells her to sing something else, so she immediately makes amends and sings a Korean one. After her performance, a drunk Gyu-man enters the room where Jung-ah is removing her accessories. He asks for her to drink with him.
We see the next morning that Jin-woo has fallen asleep by the dinner table while waiting for Dad to come home. He didn’t come home last night. Jin-woo wakes and picks up a call from Dad, asking where he is but Dad doesn’t know his location. Jin-woo tells Dad to calm down; he will go and find him.
Somehow, Dad has ended up at a forest and he chances upon an unconscious young lady. It’s Jung-ah and he fails at an attempt to wake her. She’s gone. Appalled, he wants to call someone but has forgotten the pattern to unlock his handphone. He faints just as Jin-woo arrives, alarmed to see Jung-ah lying on the ground, not moving.
At the hospital, Jin-woo anxiously looks over his dad. He awakens, and two police detectives arrive to request for a witness’ statement. However, Dad’s memory of the previous night is fuzzy and he cannot remember how he ended up at the forest. He’s also unable to remember Jung-ah, when asked if he knows the victim. Jin-woo finds it strange, until he spots a new handphone at the bed side. He goes home and finds boxes of the same phone, as well as other boxes of the same item. Realisation hits. Then he accompanies Dad for a memory test, and surprisingly he does well.
The news of Jung-ah’s death is broadcast and has captured the attention of the South Korean society. Prosecutor Hong watches the news in his office as the detective in charge of investigating the case enters. He is the main prosecutor-in-charge and rushes for the case to be solved, as he sees no progress and notes that the President is paying much attention for the truth to come to light. What’s suspicious is that he has narrowed down the list of suspects and tells the policeman to look at the last name in the file: Seo Jae-hyuk. Hmm…
Dad and Jin-woo attends Jung-ah’s funeral to offer their condolences. The police detective comes in with his team and a warrant to arrest Dad as a murder suspect. He was given three days to get a confession. Jin-woo chases outside after Dad is pulled away, getting drenched in the downpour. The police car with Dad inside doesn’t go to the police station though, and the siren of the vehicle is turned off as it heads to somewhere unknown. Jin-woo returns home dripping wet, only to see that the whole house has been ransacked.
The next day it is reported that Dad has confessed to the crime. Unfortunately, I can’t say this is thanks to the efficiency of the police. In-ah’s dad says that Dad isn’t that type of person according to his impression of the man, having delivering pizza over a number of times. In-ah’s mum asks her if the victim was her classmate back in 5th grade and she’s horrified to realise that it’s the Jung-ah she knew.
Jin-woo visits Dad at where he’s locked up, but he cannot recognise his son. A while later Dad is able to tell, and the two mirror each other’s tears.
In-ah sees Jin-woo outside the court, watching the public protest for Dad to get the punishment he deserves. The bus with Dad arrives and he is escorted inside, unsure of what’s going on. Jin-woo is at a loss and looks on helplessly when someone recognises him as Seo Jae-hyuk’s son. Everyone comes at him, and the police set up a human barricade to prevent more chaos. But people continue to throw eggs at Jin-woo, and he stays rooted to the ground, speechless.
[End of EPISODE 1]
Note: I’ll leave my thoughts at the end of the post 🙂
In the dark night, barefoot Jung-ah runs for her life. She’s terrified and keeps looking back until she falls. Very afraid, she crawls backwards…
Dad awakens from his bad dream in the cell he’s locked up in, shivering.
During Dad’s visitation, Jin-woo tells him not to worry, as he’ll be freed at the court trial. Since they cannot afford a lawyer, a public defender will help them fight their case. Someone enters and it’s Song Jae-ik (Kim Hyung-bum), the public defender for Dad. It’s going to be a tough trial, with the evidence and the written confession that was forced..but anyone can see that Attorney Song has zero sincerity in helping his client because he doesn’t even trust that Dad is innocent.
In-ah coincidentally bumps into her classmate, Nam Yeo-gyung (Jung Hye-sung) outside the court. She’s been selected as a juror for the trial and she says trials are fun, like a game. Okay.. Then we see the ending scene from the previous episode.
Dong-ho is washing his hands in the restroom and hears someone vomiting at one of the cubicles. It’s Attorney Song and Dong-ho asks after him out of concern. The public defender immediately recognises his sunbae-nim and they talk about the trial by jury which is about to take place. Woah, it’s the attorney’s first trial and he’s getting jittery nerves. Worse, he’s up against Prosecutor Hong who’s good at weaving stories with a specialty of convincing the jury by touching their hearts. Tough luck there.
We’re in the courtroom, and Jin-woo as well as Jung-ah’s father is present to watch the trial’s proceedings. Dong-ho quietly enters as the trial begins. The very first statement Attorney Song makes is full of stuttering because he had developed a phobia of the courtroom after he came out to work in the real world. According to the doctor, the only way to overcome his fear is to face it. On the other hand, Prosecutor Hong calmly and confidently states his case. Indeed it includes a very detailed description of the murderer’s actions, which doesn’t spell good for Dad. The court is adjourned after the judge asks Prosecutor Hong to make statements based on actual evidence. Jin-woo, Jung-ah’s dad and In-ah look worried; whereas Dong-ho makes remarks about the trial throughout.
Jin-woo’s eyes are filled with tears worrying over Dad when In-ah comes over to return him the necklace with a ring that had dropped when he was hit by eggs outside. He takes it and holds it tightly.
The trial continues and the defendant is cross-examined by the prosecutor. Prosecutor Hong finds loopholes in Dad’s witness statement and attacks them, but Dad is unable to answer his questions convincingly because of his declining memory. Jung-ah’s father blows up in rage and storms over to the witness’ stand, pointing a fountain pen at Dad’s neck. He threatens to kill Dad if the judge does not punish Dad with a death penalty. Dong-ho manages to stop him. Looking at the man triggers Jin-woo’s super memory: he had seen him when he visited his family members on their death anniversary.
As Dad boards the bus that will send him back to prison, he reminds Jin-woo to wear a suit he has ironed for him to visit his mum and brother as it’s their memorial day. They tell each other not to worry before the bus is driven off.
In-ah watches from behind before Yeo-gyung comes along asking her if she wants to bet who’s the real murderer. In-ah tells her to stop it as anyone should be given a fair chance in court before proven guilty. She agrees before a chauffeur comes to pick her up.
Jin-woo rides on the same bus as In-ah but they are unaware of each other’s presence until she spots him on the crowded vehicle. Soon they are the only two left on the bus and In-ah offers him a handkerchief to wipe his tears. She tries to comfort Jin-woo, saying that the truth will eventually reveal itself. And although she isn’t sure what it is yet, her dad had said that Dad definitely isn’t someone who would do this kind of thing. The two part ways after In-ah offers to deliver pizza to him and he tells her his name because she keeps calling him ‘high school kid’ haha.
Gyu-man is sitting in his spacious office room watching the news regarding the postponement of the trial. He receives a call and leaves the company, with Dong-ho tailing behind. Joo-il calls, and Dong-ho tells him to prepare to leave as he’s going to meet with Gyu-man now.
The meeting point is on the rooftop of some building in construction. Gyu-man meets with his friend who was also at the party. He wants to knows if Gyu-man committed the murder but before he says a word Dong-ho has arrived, and he pushes his way past Gyu-man’s secretary and bodyguards. He catches Gyu-man’s attention with a video he has captured by the CCTV at the crime scene on his handphone and also tells him that he’s aware of him taking drugs, so he can’t run away. Provoked, Gyu-man beats him up severely. But of course there’s no such video when Gyu-man checks the lawyer’s phone. Battered and bruised, Dong-ho tells Director Nam that he wouldn’t have put himself in harm’s way if the clip really existed. Grabbing him by the collar, Gyu-man pushes Dong-ho to the ledge and intimidates him. Dong-ho then stretches out his arm and waves. His underlings are on the opposite side, filming everything that has been going on. So he is let off, but Gyu-man wonders why Dong-ho went to this extent for a gangster; are they related?
In the car, Dong-ho thinks back to the time when his father had passed away. No one came until Joo-il brought numerous flower wreaths over. He even paid for the funeral service and gives him a sum of money for Dong-ho to attend school. We also learn that he was the one who inspired Dong-ho to become a lawyer instead of a boxer like his dad was. Back in the present (still 4 years ago), the lawyer waits for Joo-il to be released outside the police station. Joo-il thanks him and they share a bro-hug before he is driven off first as Dong-ho needs to visit his dad’s memorial.
Jin-woo thinks back to the time when a car accident took the lives of his mother and hyung. At the memorial, he apologises for being unable to come with Dad. He meets Dong-ho there and uses his great memory to tell the lawyer ahjusshi that he remembers he had come on the first day he became a lawyer, among other details. He asks for Dong-ho to defend Dad but is refused because he has no money. Later he stops Dong-ho’s car the same way the lawyer did back then with Joo-il’s car to request again, but to no avail.
Jin-woo returns home, only to be bullied by fellow neighbours because others are too scared to come here after the news of Dad’s case has been reported. He is saved by In-ah who chases them away by giving threats to take pictures on her phone.
The next morning, a pizza has been delivered outside Jin-woo’s home, which he sees as he leaves. Red paint has been sprayed on the walls beside the gate. He flags down a taxi but it is sent off by In-ah who asks where he’s headed. He’s off to get money and she tries to stop him but no, he flags another one and goes off.
Jin-woo barges into Dong-ho’s office and requests for the lawyer to defend his dad. He empties all the money from his wallet but it’s not enough. Then he spills stacks of 50,000 won bills amounting to 100 million won on Lawyer Park’s table, which he had earned from gambling at the casino since he can memorise the order of cards that are dealt. But it was so suspicious that he had gangsters coming after him. In-ah pulled him out of danger on the pretence of delivering a pizza to the casino. They escaped unscathed, but with much difficulty: they were chased to a rooftop which they had to jump off and land on a truck of soil. Even with the money, Dong-ho still declines: it’s GAME OVER.
After Jin-woo leaves, Dong-ho is deep in thought as he stares out of the office window. His underling wonders why his boss doesn’t want to help, it seemed like the money was sufficient. But Dong-ho doesn’t want to fight a losing battle. And he has his subordinates checking up on Gyu-man’s vacation house.
The next day, the postponed trial is about to resume while Dong-ho is having steak. Just then he receives a call telling him that his guess was right. I think he has found some useful information from digging into Director Nam? Back at the courtroom the doors swing open and Dong-ho, enters introducing himself as Dad’s defense counsel from today onwards. YES! He changed his mind 😀
[End of EPISODE 2]
Woah that was a lot to take in. It has been an eventful week for Remember, and both my hands are not enough to give the number of thumbs-up the acting in the drama deserves. The cast has done really well and it leaves us in good stead for what we will get to see in the coming episodes. I was so captivated by everything it had to show- the story, characters and the lines!
This is one of Yoo Seung-ho’s army comeback projects and I applaud his performance as the son whose father becomes a murder suspect overnight. I’ve seen his expressions range from smiling brightly to shedding tears in the course of 2 hours, it’s fantastic. We now know more of who he was 4 years ago and I’m excited to see more of the matured, grown-up Lawyer Seo Jin-woo. I’m sure he would have changed a little from the high school student he was. Something I loved was his confidence that did not change from the past to the present. Back then he was really confident of his memory skills and he has the same certainty now to win the battle in clearing his dad’s name. He will definitely face many obstacles along the way, so this confidence will help him persevere.
His close bond with his father is very nice to see; it’s clear that they share a good relationship. It’s heartwarming to see them love and care for one another, and also heartbreaking when they break down in the face of adversity. This is also to the credit of veteran actor Jun Kwang-ryul, who has certainly played many roles as a father throughout his career. For instance, he was Lee Hyun’s dad in Hello Monster and the evil dad in Masked Prosecutor. He carries the weight of Seo Jae-hyuk’s emotions so well: the fear, sorrow and a father’s heart were conveyed to viewers.
Park Sung-woong made the role of Lawyer Park Dong-ho look as if it was made for him only haha. It’s daebak. I love his lines the most- they’re beautifully written and the way he says them is just great. His accent and the word play: WOW. The best part is that he makes all of it sound so natural. And his wardrobe! All the coloured suits and ties 😄 can’t wait to see more of his outfits. The way his character was introduced was one of the coolest. HAHA it was so good and fitting for his character.
We know that he has an interesting backstory, which would have some influence on his present decisions in one way or another. That ending in Episode 2 though; I can’t wait to watch the court trial in the next episode. From the way he does things we already know he’s not that simple a person, so I am curious as to how he ends up being unable to acquit Dad of the murder charge. I’m guessing that they find something on him and threatens him with it. Or pressure from the higher-ups? He’s a loyal man, and I really like his brotherhood with Lee Won-jong’s character. That fist-bump was… ^^ I’m now a fan of the bromance between these 2 ahjusshis! I do hope to see more scenes with Dong-ho and Prosecutor Tak; I think they would make good buddies but might have some conflicts in the future which remain to be seen. I’m also eager to know what happened between him and Prosecutor Hong in the past. Probably it’s got to do with something from Lawyer Park’s gangster days, from their conversation during the lift scene.
Park Min-young’s Lee In-ah reminds me of her in City Hunter, which I think is because of her hairstyle? Her friendly nature is different from Jin-woo, who is quieter. Their first encounter wasn’t a really pleasant one but I guess I can call them good neighbours? This was 4 years ago, and we didn’t see enough to call them friends yet since they barely know each other. I wonder how their work(?) relationship will develop into romance, 4 years down the road. She will be a major player along Jin-woo’s journey to expose all the facts regarding Jung-ah’s murder, especially when he begins to lose his memory. There’s going to be lots of cover-ups, and I cannot imagine the number of layers they have to rip open followed by investigate before Dad’s name can be cleared.
In-ah and her classmate Yeo-gyung always seem to be at odds; I get the feeling that they don’t really like each other much. Each of their way of thinking is also very different, as seen from their clashes. I’m sure we will get to know more about both of them later, and how they are like 4 years later!
If Namgoong Min had to make his chaebol heir character Nam Gyu-man as hateful as possible I think he succeeded. The acting was superb. Gyu-man is a total jerk and as rude as he can get. He’s full of pride and tramples on the staff below him at Il Ho Group, not to mention how he sees no one in his eyes when behaving wildly and irresponsibly. I think there must be a reason behind his extreme actions, which I hope will be explained. The details of what happened that night weren’t shown but what’s certain is that Dad did not kill Jung-ah and it’s likely to be Gyu-man. But I guess the murder case is more complex than it looks, so I hope there is some form of a twist along the quest to rediscover the truth.
From the teasers and synopsis we know that it will be a race against time for the hero in this drama. In this way it is similar to Punch, though for a different purpose and reason. It has so much potential to be exciting, so I hope the level of awesomeness we got in the beginning will be sustained. Thank you for reading and hopefully I can keep up with this.