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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Good Wife" Episode 2

2016/07/11 | 1407 views | Permalink

We have another case involving women in episode two of "The Good Wife" and this time the crime is rape. Hye-kyeong's emotional bonding to her first client served her well, but she falters when she must defend someone who makes her uncomfortable. Our empathetic heroine's principles are challenged, the pressure starts affecting her and we learn that she may have a dark secret to answer for. To make matters worse, her husband keeps interfering with her work.

Both cases so far are personal to Hye-kyeong (Jeon Do-yeon) for different reasons. She felt empathy for the wife of an unfaithful husband who dragged her into his mess, because she herself is shamed for Tae-joon (Yoo Ji-tae). This time the victim lands on the opposite side of the spectrum. Like the woman Tae-joon cheated with, the client is a sex worker who may have also been hired by him at some point. Hye-kyeong struggles with this, which is an important part of her character development.

Hye-kyeongHye-kyeong and Eun-joo

It is also a good cautionary tale about the glorification of emotionally invested legal representatives. Fiction often presents lawyers who bond with clients as champions of justice, but bias is a flaw in real life. Hye-kyeong only hesitates momentarily, but it still influences her faith in her client. The rape case is used for valuable social commentary. Rape culture assures the potential victim's word is always undervalued and the preconceptions on sex workers makes their battle even harder.

Coming back to the main story, we get a better look how the scandal affects Hye-kyeong's family. I find it interesting that we have not seen any of her friends aside from Joong-won (Yoon Kye-sang). She feels isolated and her meltdown is understandable. Joong-won clearly has a crush on her, but I wonder how he would react to a possible rejection or continued disobedience by her at work. He is success-driven and I am not sure about his character yet.

Hye-kyeong and Joong-wonTae-joon

As I mention earlier, Hye-kyeong gets some much needed characterization here. I appreciate the first episode's focus on her current situation and actions, but her thoughts, feelings and growth as a character are important in her own story. I hope to see more of what she keeps inside and see her morality challenged. Aside from the current scandal, the writing suggests that Hye-kyeong is the perpetrator to a hit and run which Tae-joon shielded her from.

This event explains why Tae-joon feels entitled to interfere with her work. More importantly, the fact that Hye-kyeong accepts his help again feels a bit like making a deal with the devil twice. Desire can lead to corruption and I am interested in Hye-kyeong's choices. The writing is still shaky on the procedural part, but this is a Korean drama so I suppose I should accept this and move on.

"The Good Wife" is directed by Lee Jeong-hyo, written by Han Sang-woon and features Jeon Do-yeon, Yoo Ji-tae, Yoon Kye-sang and Kim Seo-hyung.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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