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EPISODE 3 RECAP 

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Lee Yong-yeon forces her way inside her husband’s hotel room. He’s with another woman and the room is lavishly decorated with balloons and flowers. Hilariously, Go Cheok-hee has no regard for the chaos around her. She steadily snaps pictures of the decorations and “the other woman” as Yong-yeon’s husband drops a bomb—it’s their anniversary, the hotel room and decorations were a surprise for her, and the woman Yong-yeon just attacked was hired to help him with the surprise.

He’s angry that he was planning a nice anniversary event for her while she was plotting a divorce. He agrees to divorce her and storms out, and Yong-yeon collapses to the floor in shock.

So Jung-woo, who arrived in time to hear her husband’s speech, encourages her mother to help her home while he grabs Cheok-hee. He takes Cheok-hee to the hallway and warns her not to act without consulting him again and to stop speaking to him in banmal.

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That night, Cheok-hee goes next door to vent to Bong Min-gyu, but he gets a phone call in the middle of her rant. After his call, Cheok-hee is shocked to learn he was talking to his fiancée. He doesn’t know his fiancee’s name, where she lives, or what she doing—he called her Yoo-jung (her name is Ha-jung), he thought she was in Rome (she’s in Milan), and he thought she was studying music (she’s studying art).

His fiancée called to invite him to her sister’s wedding, and Cheok-hee goes with him to attend it the next day. It turns out, he doesn’t know his future sister-in-law’s name either—which is a problem as there are several weddings at the hotel that day.

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They’re still standing in the hotel lobby trying to figure out where to go when Cheok-hee learns that Min-gyu’s fiancée is the niece of the late CEO Ma Dong-gu. Dong-gu’s sister, Ma Dong-mi, walks up to them and demands to know why Cheok-hee is at her niece’s wedding. Min-gyu tells Dong-mi that Cheok-hee works at his firm, and she demands that Min-gyu fire her immediately and then storms off.

Min-gyu is unfazed by Dong-mi’s ire and tells Cheok-hee he only agreed to marry into the DK Electronic family to get away from his dad’s law firm. Either way, Cheok-hee decides not to attend the wedding, and she heads out.

As she’s leaving, she passes by a press conference for Han Mi-ree’s recent Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. She hears Mi-ree saying that winning the award feels as if it’s to compensate for all of the hard times she endured, and she starts laughing.

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Mi-ree takes a break to speak to Cheok-hee alone, and Cheok-hee vows to reveal the truth about Mi-ree without breaching their attorney-client confidentiality. Mi-ree just laughs though and tells Cheok-hee to do it if she can. “I’ll look forward to it,” she says before she returns to her press conference.

Jo Soo-ah and Min-gyu are at the stables visiting his horse, which he’s walking around the pen instead of riding. Apparently, he just likes to buy the things everyone else buys, including a horse, even if he can’t actually ride said horse because he has a bad back. Soo-ah uses the time alone with him to whine about Cheok-hee working at his firm, and Min-gyu ignores her as usual.

While they’re shooting the breeze, Jung-woo and Cheok-hee meet with Yong-yeon’s husband. Cheok-hee surprises them all by presenting the husband with a divorce contract. She tells him the firm will handle their divorce for free if he signs within thirty seconds. He hesitates so she rips up the contract and Jung-woo swoops in to tell him Yong-yeon hesitated too and suggest marriage counseling.

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We learn that Jung-woo’s mom runs a small restaurant. That night, Soo-ah stops by on her way home and there’s a news report on tv about a subway accident that killed 42 people back in 2008. Jung-woo was somehow involved in the accident and Soo-ah wonders if “that person” is really dead. Whoever “she” is, it’s been seven years since they’ve seen her and Jung-woo still hasn’t gotten over her. Soo-ah wonders if she should try to find out for sure whether that person is alive.

Over at the Choice Law Firm, Yong-yeon shows up again and asks for Jung-woo’s help getting her a divorce. Only this time, the divorce is for her mother, who she doesn’t want to suffer anymore. Awww.

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Cheok-hee’s dad shows up at the office, and she hurries him out to the hallway to avoid him finding out that she’s no longer a lawyer. Jung-woo sees them in the hall when he’s walking Yong-yeon and her mother to the elevator, and he reluctantly plays along with her ruse. Apparently April 21st is a significant day (perhaps the death anniversary of her mother?) and that’s why he’s in town.

At work the next day, Jung-woo is livid to find that Cheok-hee has marked up the divorce petition he wrote in Yong-yeon’s mother’s divorce case. He’s yelling at her about it when Kyung comes in to announce they need to come to the team’s marketing meeting.

Min-gyu has been forced to attend the marketing meeting against his will and begs off. Cheok-hee reminds him that marketing is important or they won’t be able to pay the rent at the end of the month. Min-gyu is shocked to find that he’ll have to pay rent instead of receiving it. Everyone is incredulous that he hasn’t grasped the concept of paying rent for the office space and Cheok-hee asks if he owns the building. Turns out he does, and with that settled, he walks out. Ha!

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During the meeting, Cheok-hee gets stuck with sidewalk marketing but she trades assignments with Yoo-mi instead. When Yoo-mi messes up the banner that goes on the outside of the building, instead of confessing that it was her mistake, she blames Cheok-hee and tells her she should quit. Min-gyu notes that there are now three people at the firm who want her fired so Cheok-hee tells them she’ll quit if they take a vote and the majority votes to oust her.

She gives Kyung her credit card to take the staff to dinner to see who’s for her versus who’s against. Kyung is shocked to learn that Manager Yoon dislikes Choeok-hee but won’t vote to fire her. CEO Min-gyu likes Cheok-hee so she’s voting with him, she says.

Undaunted, Kyung lies and tells Cheok-hee that Manager Yoon is part of the group against her. So the next day, Cheok-hee brings Manager Yoon flowers and a drink to get on her good side. Manager Yoon sends her on an errand to buy office supplies, and she sees Jung-woo on his way to work. She greets him from all the way across the street, calling him “So Byun” (aka urinate) while everyone around them stares and chuckles under their breaths.

He gets his revenge later that day when she’s about to head out for the evening though. He tells her she can’t leave until she shreds a huge stack of documents (by hand). She asks if she can do it later because she has something to do that evening, but he just throws the words she told him back at her: “There are only two things an employee needs to say to his boss: Yes, I understand or I’m sorry.”

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He goes back to his office only to see Kyung sitting at his desk hand shredding the stack of papers he gave to Cheok-hee. Cheok-hee passed off the job to him so Jung-woo stalks out of the office to go to Choek-hee’s house to reprimand her. It actually is the anniversary of her mother’s death though, so when Cheok-hee’s dad opens the door, he thinks Jung-woo is there to commiserate with them and he forces Jung-woo to join the ceremony.  

We then flashback to 1999 and learn that Cheok-hee’s mom gave her money to go to college instead of using the money to treat her terminal illness. Her sister Go Mi-hee has hated her ever since and Cheok-hee has held onto the guilt of accepting the tuition money knowing that it meant her mother would die.  

Cheok-hee’s father shares the story with Jung-woo and sends him home with some (gross) eel tonic. Jung-woo, ever the nice guy, heartedly drinks the tonic in front of Cheok-hee’s dad but promptly throws up when he gets outside.

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The next day, we get introduced to a new prospective client for Jung-woo—a woman who catches her husband cheating with his fifth mistress. She shows up at the firm with her young daughter in tow and rejects Jung-woo’s offer to let her daughter wait outside. She wants her daughter to know exactly what’s going on in their relationship. The daughter is quite mature for her age and even recognizes that Cheok-hee may be useful to the family. She swipes Cheok-hee’s business card from the table before she leaves even though her mom ignored it when Cheok-hee introduced herself to them earlier.

Jung-woo sends Cheok-hee to the courthouse to file a divorce petition. She has no idea how to file it, seeing as how she always had employees to handle the administrative side of things before, but she’s too proud to admit her lack of knowledge and heads out anyway.

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Jung-woo rushes to the courthouse to intervene when he learns that she has no idea what she’s doing. He arrives just in time to see the clerk rejecting her petition and CEO Bong belittling her about her fall from grace. He’s about to speak up when Soo-ah arrives and asks what he’s doing there.

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Min-gyu arrives too, and unlike Jung-woo, who continues to watch the scene unfold from afar, he immediately heads over to interrupt his father’s mean-spirited attack and help Cheok-hee pick up the divorce papers from the ground (the clerk made them fall when she shoved them back at Choek-hee). CEO Bong demands to know why Min-gyu hired Cheok-hee after what she did, but Min-gyu reminds him that he has a law firm full of lawyers who do much worse that what Cheok-hee did. He points out that his father is just mad because Cheok-hee beat his legal team.

When his father and Soo-ah leave, Min-gyu calls Jung-woo out for standing nearby and not intervening to help his subordinate. Cheok-hee tries to defend Jung-woo, but he grabs her hand to stop her from talking and Soo-ah chooses that moment to look back, and she sees Jung-woo holding Cheok-hee’s hand. She’s not pleased, but she heads out anyway.

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Meanwhile, Jung-woo bows and apologizes to Min-gyu, but Min-gyu just takes Cheok-hee’s other hand and walks away. Jung-woo is left standing there looking after them.

MY THOUGHTS

With Cheok-hee’s back story in place now, I’m glad I held off on completely disliking her before we learned a little more about her. Although I really empathize with the horrible situation she found herself in with her family, she’s still not the most sympathetic character in the world. Because to me, no matter how much someone has suffered in life, I can’t give that person a total pass to be a complete jerk to everyone around them. There is a way to be a hard working go-getter and maintain one’s humanity, and Cheok-hee seems to have just barely managed to do that despite all appearances to the contrary.

I like Jo Yeo-jung’s portrayal of Cheok-hee very much though. Yeon Woo-jin is not bad either—although I must say his character could stand to be fleshed out a little more. Their performances, though still early in the drama, have saved it from total mediocrity, because really there is very little new or fresh about this drama. I think the story itself is only mildly entertaining, but as I’m watching it, I find myself thinking—well at least the main leads can act.

The best thing about this drama for me so far is Shim Hyung-tak’s character and the slight twist on the rich chaebol rescuing the poor Candy trope. I like that instead of being another lazy chaebol slacker who lives off his family’s wealth, he’s an absurd and quirky lazy chaebol slacker who mostly lives off his family’s wealth—not that much of a difference, but oh so much more fun! And yes, he does come to the rescue of Cheok-hee, but she is definitely not a Candy. She’s hardworking and upbeat, but much more driven, cynical, and not nearly as nice as the average Candy.

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2 thoughts on “Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 3 Recap

  1. I don’t like Cheok-hee character. She is so nasty and definitely not likeable at all. I don’t think I will ever like her especially when she called Jung-Woo a dog and even splash the seaweed soup at him infront of his Mother. Cheok-Hee does not deserve our hero Jung-Woo. I watch till episode 3 and decided that I will never like this person. 😤😤😤😤😤

    • Hi Janet! I felt the same way about Cheok-hee at first. Her attitude and behavior was just too much–even though the show made her out to be a hard-working, driven person, I thought she was cruel and mean-spirited. But as the series progressed, I did come to understand her and even like her a bit. And ultimately I could forgive her early behavior because she changed.

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