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EPISODE 12 RECAP   

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While Go Cheok-hee stands outside of Jo Yoo-sang’s house in Yangpyeong waiting for someone to answer the door, So Jung-woo wanders around the neighborhood. He ends up at a nearby park and meets a child playing with a soccer ball by himself. He befriends the little boy, who introduces himself as Woo Ra-mi, just as Cheok-hee sees the front door opening.

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It’s just the housekeeper though. Cheok-hee claims she’s from the census bureau and starts asking questions about who lives in the house. Inside the house, we see Han Mi-ree as she tries to duck out the side door to avoid running into Cheok-hee. She hurries to her awaiting van as Cheok-hee notices movement on the side of the house and runs after her. Mi-ree makes it to the van before Cheok-hee can get a good look at her, then she calls Yoo-sang demanding to know why Cheok-hee showed up.

Mi-ree left the back gate open when she made her escape as well as the side door. Cheok-hee sneaks inside when the housekeeper goes in search of someone and starts snooping around. She finds the script from Mi-ree’s latest drama, with her name written on the cover, so she at least gets confirmation that Mi-ree does visit the house.

The housekeeper returns with Ra-mi, the same little boy Jung-woo just met, fussing at him for wandering off by himself. She catches Cheok-hee inside the house and kicks her out, but not before Cheok-hee notices Ra-mi and starts wondering who he is.

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Jung-woo is still waiting outside for her and sees the drama script with Mi-ree’s name on it in her hand when the housekeeper chucks her out. Cheok-hee admits to Jung-woo that she came to the house to find evidence to reveal the real reason behind Ma Dong-gu’s suicide.

At home that night, she does further research on the Yangpyeong house, finding out that Mi-ree initially owned the house and transferred it to Yoo-sang three years ago. Aware that it won’t take Cheok-hee long to figure out their connection, Yoo-sang calls Cheok-hee and agrees to give his wife the house as part of the divorce settlement. Cheok-hee brings up the fact that she found the deed to the house and knows Mi-ree gave it to him three years ago. He claims the house was repayment for a favor he did for her, but he refuses to reveal what he did to deserve such a big reward in return. He claims the child she saw at the house is the housekeeper’s son.

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The scene then shifts to introduce the firm’s latest divorce case: a woman whose husband’s unrelenting food demands have driven her to seek a divorce. He requires her to cook three meals a day. The meals must have at least twelve side dishes, soup, and stew, and he refuses to eat the same thing more than once in a day. She’s tried threatening to leave and compromising on the number of dishes, but he won’t budge. After forty years of marriage, she’s finally had enough (it sure did take her long enough!).

Jung-woo decides to pay a visit to her husband the next day, and Manager Yoon’s residual issues from her own divorce shine through when she insists on coming along. She says she understands exactly how their client feels from having to do all the housework and cooking at her house when she was married.

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After work, Jung-woo and Cheok-hee share a meal. They plan to see a movie after they eat, but Jung-woo’s mom calls him and he has to hurry home to handle something urgent. It’s Jo Soo-ah. She’s moving out, and his mom wants him to stop her from leaving. Jung-woo grabs her hand to stop her from going, but she tells him to let her go unless he plans to hold onto her forever. He slowly lets go and allows her to leave.

His mom yells at him for driving Soo-ah away from home. He tells her he has no problem trying to convince Soo-ah to come back but bringing her back won’t change his mind or change his heart—Cheok-hee is the one he likes. His mom asks if he even feels sorry towards Soo-ah, and he says he does. But sorry and love aren’t the same thing, he tells her. She gets offended by what he says, noting that his father said the same thing to her when he left them. He offers to leave too if it’s that difficult for her to handle, and she yells at him that he should leave. She’ll live alone from now on she tells him.

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When Soo-ah arrives at Bong Min-gyu’s penthouse suite, the doorbell rings. It’s room service! Good old Min-gyu has ordered her a cart load of food. His doctor told him the pain they’re feeling can’t be cured with medicine, but they can eat and grow stronger, he says. Awww. I lurrrve him! He’s funny and thoughtful. Second lead syndrome is now in full effect!

As promised, Jung-woo, Cheok-hee, and Manager Yoon pay a visit to their new client’s house the next day. They marvel at the refrigerator full of food she’s had to prepare and witness her husband in action as she sets the table with an elaborate lunch that still is not good enough for him.

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The husband breaks down when he realizes his wife may very well leave him though, and he admits that his food demands stem from his childhood trauma. He watched his stepmother feed his half-brother rice and other good food and prepare elaborate birthday meals for him while she made him eat barley and never once made him food for his birthday. He associates love with food and only feels loved when he sees the table full of food just for him.

Cheok-hee gets the idea to make them sign a contract with the husband agreeing to two meals a day with no more than five side dishes at each meal. He’ll also have to choose between soup or stew, but not both, and eat leftovers.

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Over at Cheok-hee’s apartment, her dad is rushing out of the house just as Min-gyu is returning home. Min-gyu sees how frantic he is and asks what’s the matter. It seems he got a call from the police station. His daughter Go Mi-hee attacked a restaurant patron’s vehicle with a baseball bat, and the patron is demanding that she pay for the repairs. Min-gyu steps in with his usual aplomb and gives the guy his credit card, telling him not to bother fixing a damaged car. He should just buy a new one, he glibly says.

Min-gyu gives Dad and Mi-hee a ride back to Cheok-hee’s apartment, warning them not to tell Cheok-hee that he helped them out. Cheok-hee arrives home and is excited to see Mi-hee again after so many years. She doesn’t even seem to care when she learns the real reason her father has been staying with her in Seoul—Mi-hee sold his seafood store and blew all the money. Ignoring that her sister needs a major beat down instead of more coddling, she merely tells little sis to quit the restaurant and they can all live together.

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Jung-woo’s mom pays a visit to Soo-ah’s new digs to check on her, and afterwards she calls Cheok-hee to meet her at a café. She tells Cheok-hee she can forgive her for throwing seaweed soup in Jung-woo’s face, but she’ll never accept her relationship with Jung-woo. She tells Cheok-hee that Soo-ah sold her apartment to put Jung-woo through law school and made him into a lawyer. She’s lived her life thinking Soo-ah is the one for Jung-woo, therefore she won’t be able to accept Cheok-hee because she’d feel too sorry towards Soo-ah.

She takes things even further when she tells Cheok-hee that Jung-woo’s father left them when Jung-woo was in fifth grade. They only had each other since then, but now he’s willing to leave home because she disapproves of their relationship. She implores Cheok-hee not to come between a mother and son and asks that this be the last time they see each other.

Cheok-hee takes her words to heart, especially when she meets Jung-woo later and notices that he ignores his mother’s call. She uses a family dinner as an excuse to hurry home, telling him to go have dinner with his mom.

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At home, she’s distracted as her father grills meat for her sister and her. Mi-hee’s rudeness snaps her out of her reverie though. She yells at Cheok-hee for daring to refer to them as family and storms off to her room. Cheok-hee wonders if her mother would blame her as much as Mi-hee blames her for her death, and her dad assures her that her mom died happy. Cheok-hee notes that her mom never cried in front of them even though she was facing death. But her dad tells her there’s only one reason for a parent to cry in front of their children, and that’s when they’re faced with the prospect of losing a child.

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The next evening, she’s out eating with Jung-woo when his mom happens to walk into the same restaurant with a group of her friends. She confronts Cheok-hee for not adhering to her warning to stay away from Jung-woo. Jung-woo realizes that his mom saw Cheok-hee and yells at her for meeting Cheok-hee behind his back. Undaunted, she gives Jung-woo an ultimatum: he’ll have to choose between the two. If he continues to see Cheok-hee, he won’t be able to see her anymore.

Jung-woo takes Cheok-hee’s hand and pulls her out of the restaurant, leaving his mom behind to cry alone. Cheok-hee looks back and sees her crying and resolves to end things with Jung-woo.

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At a nearby park, Cheok-hee reminds Jung-woo that she told him before she wouldn’t date him if his mom opposed their relationship. She already lives with the guilt of having taken her mom away from her sister. She can’t live with separating him from his mother as well. She tries to tell him it’s time for them to break up, but Jung-woo interrupts her, begging her not to say those words. She apologizes, but she says the words anyway: Let’s end it.

Jung-woo refuses to accept the break up though. He insists the word “end” doesn’t exist between them, and he gets up and leaves, telling her he’ll see her tomorrow.

The next morning, Min-gyu is surprised when his doorbell rings and it’s Cheok-hee there to see him. She asks for vacation time and that surprises him even more than her visit—she’s someone who hates the very word vacation. He readily agrees to give her time off though and even offers to let her use the “company’s condo” as her vacation destination.

He goes into work later and ends up on the same elevator as Jung-woo. He tells Jung-woo that they should all go out to dinner after work, and Jung-woo agrees. The real reason behind his invite is revealed a moment later when he asks if Jung-woo thinks Cheok-hee will join them. Jung-woo promises to ask her, thus letting Min-gyu know Jung-woo isn’t aware that Cheok-hee left town on vacation.

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Manager Yoon pops a fire cracker and blows a party horn to greet Min-gyu when he makes his way into the office. The stink face he gives her (pictured above) is the highlight of the episode, lol.

Inside his office, he gets a call from Lee Ha-jung. She’s furious with him because apparently he didn’t book the venue for their wedding ceremony. She orders him to meet her within thirty minutes, telling him she’s almost out of patience with him. He agrees to meet her, but when he arrives she’s cooing on the phone to her Italian lover. He makes eye contact with her but turns around and walks away. She sees him and angrily calls out after him, but he keeps walking.

Back at Choice Law Firm, Jung-woo finally realizes that Cheok-hee hasn’t come in to work.   He asks where she is and finds out that she went on vacation.

We get a glimpse at Cheok-hee as she pensively sits in the condo deep in thought. She gets a text message informing her that the resort restaurant is offering free osso busco at dinner later, so she peels herself off the sofa to go to the restaurant for her favorite meal.

Min-gyu is already at the restaurant, and he cements a permanent spot in my heart as we learn he actually set up the event just for Cheok-hee. He pays for over 200 orders of osso busco as he waits for Cheok-hee and makes sure the waiter knows to seat Cheok-hee at a nearby table when she arrives.

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When she gets there, he accidentally/on purpose drops his fork so he has an excuse to make eye contact with her. Then he pretends it’s a coincidence that they ran into each other and invites her to sit with him.

He gets a call from Jung-woo, requesting permission to take time off from work as well. Cheok-hee’s phone rings as he’s talking to Jung-woo, and Jung-woo recognizes her distinct ring tone, realizing that she and Min-gyu are together.

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MY THOUGHTS

Our old friend Noble Idiocy makes its entrance this episode with Cheok-hee deciding to go along with Jung-woo’s mom’s ill-advised plan to give him up so she can fulfill her lifelong goal of obtaining Soo-ah as her daughter-in-law.   Why hello Noble Idiocy! I can’t say I’m surprised to see you.

Back in Episode 5 I pointed out that Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice came to mind when I saw how quickly Cheok-hee came around to the idea that Jung-woo was interested in her. I think the book is equally appropriate here as well as we delve into the source of angst for our OTP—better known as Mi-hwa or Jung-woo’s mom. His mom is acting quite like Lady Catherine de Bourgh in being so intent on running Cheok-hee away in order to give Soo-ah a chance with Jung-woo. But just like Elizabeth Bennet pointed out to Lady Catherine, Cheok-hee’s refusal to date Jung-woo doesn’t make it any more likely that he’d choose to date Soo-ah.

Elizabeth said it much more eloquently than I can in stating the obvious: “Supposing him to be attached to me, would my refusing to accept his hand make him wish to bestow it on [Soo-ah]?” Methinks not, which is the fatal flaw in Jung-woo’s mom’s logic. She professes that she won’t have anyone except Soo-ah as a partner for Jung-woo, but she’s taken such a hard lined approach that it’s unlikely Jung-woo will ever fall for Soo-ah now.

As I said before, I don’t think she’s wrong for disliking Cheok-hee, and I don’t blame her for holding a grudge. But she’d do well to take Jung-woo’s words to heart—particularly the fact that she only saw Cheok-hee for a short period of time all those years ago while he worked with her for years. She happened to have seen Cheok-hee at one of Cheok-hee’s worst moments and she saw her doing something that she herself has now done to Cheok-hee (well, at least attempted to do). She could stand to take a long hard look at herself in the mirror and evaluate what someone would think about her if they saw the things she’s doing now—moments where she’s equally (if not more) hateful than Cheok-hee was three years ago. A few episodes ago she tried to throw hot soup on someone. Last episode she actually threw a piece of fruit at someone. And this episode she’s been manipulative and selfish to a degree that goes beyond what’s justified based on her merely disliking Cheok-hee.

She told Jung-woo that a person doesn’t have to spend a lot of time with someone to know them—one can just look at that person’s actions. Well, her actions don’t say a whole lot of good things about her character, and I’d dare say she’s behaving a lot worse than Cheok-hee behaved to Jung-woo (at least as it relates to the seaweed soup throwing incident).

Cheok-hee is someone’s child too, and the same way Jung-woo’s mom believes her actions are justified, perhaps she should be willing to extend that same courtesy to Cheok-hee and understand that Cheok-hee may have thought her actions were justified too. I’m not one to condone physical violence in any form so I think she’s wrong just as Cheok-hee was wrong three years ago to throw soup on Jung-woo, but I find it a bit ironic that she’s taking things this far with her antics without realizing how inappropriate her actions are as well and seeing the parallels between herself and Cheok-hee.

On another note, I’m glad the show actually remembered Go Mi-hee’s story line. Although I don’t like her very much, I was starting to wonder if the show would even bother to address Cheok-hee’s strained relationship with her sister again. I don’t have much to say about Mi-hee except that she needs a good dose of tough love. She keeps harping about not considering Cheok-hee her family anymore and I find this sentiment remarkably strange in light of the fact that she keeps coming back to Cheok-hee again and again—this time she’s even staying at Cheok-hee’s house. If they’re strangers, I’d say she should be taking care of herself instead of living with big sis again. And when I say she should be taking care of herself, I don’t mean by helping herself to the family business or showing up to take the security deposit from Cheok-hee’s apartment either. I get that she’s angry and upset, and I get that her feelings are justified in light of her losing someone as important as her mother. But (and this is a big but) that doesn’t mean the whole family has to suffer for the rest of their lives just because she’s unable to move on.  Some good psychotherapy and/or a thorough thumping are in order for her.  At least that’s my take.  

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2 thoughts on “Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 12 Recap

  1. Thanks for the recap 😊

    I just wanted to say/ask, why didn’t you include the scene where Ms.Yoon re-enacted Jung-woo’s courtroom interogation plus confession as that was really funny and a jab at the show’s own idea.. 😀 last I remember secret garden doing that same thing with the foam kiss scene.. In any case, the re-enactment was funny and so were the reactions given by Jung-woi and Cheok-hee.

    Thanks again 🤗

    • Hmmm . . . I’m not sure I can answer your question. I did these recaps so long ago that I can’t even remember the scene you’re referring to with Manager Yoon. But in general, writing recaps requires me to cut scenes and/or try to summarize the scenes in as few sentences as possible at times. It’s a struggle–I often have internal debates about what to cut out of the recaps and what to condense. I have been reading recaps way longer than I have been writing them, and I know the feeling of seeing something really great in the show then going to the recap to see what the recapper had to say about the scene only to find that there’s no mention of the scene in the recap. That really sucks, so I make an effort to include as much as possible–especially the things that stick out for me. But alas, it’s just impossible to include everything.

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