I’ve finally managed to finish this! Here’s my review of Episode 16 and about the entire drama in general.
In this episode, Kang Seok manages to convince a firm of supposedly smart lawyers to turn down the merger; Yeon Woo turns himself in for impersonating as a real lawyer; his grandmother passes away the day he turns himself in; Kang&Ham turns itself around despite financial difficulties, and Yeon Woo goes to jail but gets out in 2 years.
My thoughts on this episode:
I wish that there were more details on WHY it was so hard to detect the fabrications – plot-wise, it’s obvious that this is to highlight that the firm would have gotten themselves into a tricky situation if not for Yeon Woo, but it still smells of lazy writing.
What I also don’t understand is why they didn’t try to ask the police to let Yeon Woo out earlier to see his grandmother. But I suppose since everyone on the prosecution side is so antagonistic with Kang&Ham, it wouldn’t really work either. Watching Park Hyung Sik break down in tears the first time when Yeon Woo told his grandmother he’s going abroad and the second time at the funeral was heartbreaking. The show has many flaws, but I do really like the depiction of the grandmother-grandson relationship. I don’t think I’ve shed any tears for this show up till the point where Yeon Woo cries that he has messed up.
Also, I was mulling over the thought that maybe Yeon Woo didn’t really get such a bad deal after all – remember, he was pushed into this corner of choosing to be a fake lawyer BECAUSE he was almost caught dealing drugs. Imagine if he wasn’t able to prove that it was a set up? It is very difficult in drug cases to prove that the carrier is innocent and framed. If he does get into jail for that, he may have gotten a much longer sentence than 2 years! (Not saying that fraud is good you know… just saying…)
My thoughts in general:
Kang as a representative of women power fails to convince – she indeed symbolises a kind of fierceness, determination and ambition that we want to see in our women leaders, but still makes mistakes consistently throughout the show. For some people, they might see an issue with how the two guys consistently bail her out; for me, I just don’t quite like the pattern of her starting something ambitiously and then not being quite the one to nail it at the end.
Take the merger in Episode 15 to 16 for example – usually before a merger is to take place, there will be due diligence conducted. There will be checks and reports done on everything on the other firm, including financial standing. What I’m understanding from the show is that they did do a preliminary due diligence thing but because Ham leaked their own financial reports, it allowed Kim & Jo to doctor theirs and therefore, makes it hard for Kang&Ham to detect the fabrications (I’m not quite following the logic here, but let’s just take it at that). I suppose the show did try its best within the realm of 16 episodes to convince us that Kang wasn’t to blame for rushing into the merger…but yet she still kinda is. When she tells Kang Seok that the decision was hers to merge, it rings hollow given that the scene of her being pressured by Ham came merely a few minutes before. Sure, she’s capable and we know that – for example, she must have been super respected to being able to stop all partners from leaking the information on Yeon Woo being a fraud. But I guess ultimately, she wasn’t quite the figure I will look up to, despite how she’s evidently supposed to be.
As evil villains go, I think Chae is actually quite likable – he was never actually threatening to begin with and you can tell all he wants was respect and acknowledgement. He’s also supposed to be really good with numbers so I felt like the show should have given him his limelight when he helped out with the merger thing. Instead, all he got was a one liner about cutting down associates’ pay which quickly got interrupted by the announcement that Kang&Ham was going to go through with the merger. But his change from ‘villain’ to a some-what ‘ally’ is pretty convincing and as Kang says, you never know when you want him on your side. And you can tell once you give him his much-desired attention, he shines. I suppose now that it is Choi&Kang, Chae can take over the position of being the ace partner.
As for Yeon Woo, I LIKE him! I don’t feel that he was being TOO emotional in dealing with clients. I do think that the show is a little unrealistic in that it takes a lot of guts and bravery to be even half of Yeon Woo in reality – you are unlikely going to meet a Yeon Woo in your life and if you do, I think you are blessed. This is why I don’t agree with views of those who don’t like the way Yeon Woo handles things and how he’s wishy-washy. He isn’t supposed to be like the stereotypical lawyer, or the ace Kang Seok is. He is chosen precisely because of his unique combination of brains and heart and I think Kang Seok puts it down quite well – he cannot be tamed.
I think my favourite part of the entire show has to be the Bromance. Watching how Yeon Woo tears up and telling Kang Seok that he shouldn’t be his weakness anymore, is quite oddly reminiscent of couple conflicts in Kdramas (and then where all the noble idiocy starts), but better and touching. You can tell clearly that Kang Seok cares for this guy here; his eyes were burning with RAGE when he realised Ham leaked the information. He was like “HOW DARE YOU TOUCH MY YEON WOO” (my interpretation of his eyes). Lovely.
But you also have Yeon Woo with a “NO DON’T GO IN BECAUSE OF ME”.
Omg HAHA I think I’m cooking up some other drama whilst watching this.
That moment near the end of Episode 16 was also so cute where Yeon Woo nonchalantly says, “There’s not much you can do living as a card in someone else’s hand,” and Kang Seok shudders at how similar they are before muttering out loud and randomly, “You are not like me.”
In fact, I really like how Yeon Woo represents a true problem in our society today – there are people out there who are so talented but didn’t have the right opportunities. Some of them just don’t have the resources to grow their potential and it will be wrong to say that “They didn’t work hard enough.” The character Yeon Woo highlights a kind of bias in our society that we should be warded against and a problem that we should work to ameliorate. However, I also appreciate how the drama points out that life doesn’t depend on coincidences, but chances – it’s about how you make use of the things that come your way and the decisions you make. Someone equally can’t be thrown about by life without putting in any effort and simply claim that life is just unfair.
I already liked Park Hyung Sik (his eyes) but wow Jang Dong Gun – I truly miss this one! I’ve never been into Korean movies (just because there’s not enough time for me to dive into this world) so the last show I’ve watched of his was All About Eve. And I just checked – that show was in 2000. My goodness, has it really been 18 years since I last watched this guy?? How can it be that I’ve never forgotten him hahaha. (Sidetrack, All About Eve in my memory was such a GOOD drama. Maybe I should give it a re-watch one of these days.) He ages SO well; like dude, he’s looking pretty elegant and charming at 46.
Overall, I enjoyed Suits. I just wasn’t as into it as I wish I was, so I ended up watching it in tranches and almost always when I have exhausted all other dramas. For me, the main factor was the plot. While I liked the cases and how they pan out, I felt like the pace was too fast at times to properly engage the viewer, and too slow at times such that it loses grip. But what I like, I like till the end and I’m glad the show didn’t turn these – Yeon Woo and Kang Seok the characters, Jang Dong Gun, Park Hyung Sik, and the supporting personalities – stale after 16 episodes. I wouldn’t say that acting in Suits was a wrong choice. In fact, I love the chemistry between Jang Dong Gun and Park Hyung Sik so much I can’t foresee any other pairing. Also, they look smoking good in suits. I’m quite sure that was a consideration before they casted the actors, like oh let’s see which one of them here looks good in suits eh? But I wish the writing was better, the series was longer and the cases better selected. The romance was also pretty innocent and sweet, but not superrr memorable. In fact, I liked Kang Seok’s subtle not-there romance with Ms Hong instead! Hehe.
Nonetheless, thanks for the good times! I can’t wait to watch another drama of the two leads!!