The law provides an unsatisfying outcome in a personal case, and a late development send Eun-seok spiralling.
This recap of Juvenile Justice season 1, episode 8 contains spoilers.
With Kang’s departure out of the way, it’s obvious that there’s something afoot with Do-seok’s case. This episode opens with a smoky meeting between several men, all of whom are discussing Do-seok taking the fall. It’s obvious that he’s a patsy, but quite who and what for remains a mystery for now. Luckily, Tae-ju is on the case.
Juvenile Justice season 1, episode 8 recap
Not that Eun-seok necessarily wants him on the case, though. Tae-ju is obviously too close to the matter and too biased to remain objective and Kang’s replacement Geun-hee is being militant about Eun-seok playing by the book after she snitched on her own boss. There’s clearly no margin for error here, so when Tae-ju snoops around the rental service where the car was hired, there’s immediate uproar. But he uncovers a lead. Someone was there with Do-seok that day, presumably one of the girls who was in the car at the time of the accident.
An anonymous delivery opens the case up — someone matching the description of one of the girls delivers a USB stick to the courthouse that contains a video of Do-seok being assaulted by the boys he was with. However, he’s a big, high-level taekwondo champion, so is obviously allowing the beating to take place rather than hurt anyone and face trial. The sound has been removed from the video, but Eun-seok is able to restore it and hear mention of photographs being deleted. When Eun-seok confronts one of the girls, Mi-ju, in court, she gets to the bottom of it. Mi-ju had compromising photographs taken of her, and Do-seok was helping to get them deleted for her. Hiring the SUV with a fake ID was part of that. She was there because she was trying to talk him out of it. But he was determined to help.
Midway through the trial, the motorcyclist, O Gyu-sang, dies. That means the case returns to the Prosecutor’s Office and could mean criminal charges being made against the kids. With Gyu-sang dead and Do-seok in a vegetative state, someone must be held accountable for what happened. But with the kids maintaining that there was no element of coercion, and Geun-hee seemingly determined to get the case off her plate as quickly as possible, no charges are able to be brought against the kids. When they’re cleared, they and their parents, who were gathered at the start of the episode, all laugh and cheer and high-five one another, with no thought spared for the grieving wife and mother sat only feet away from them.
At least those two women get to share an emotional scene together, not of forgiveness necessarily, but of shared pain and understanding. And Tae-ju, while he couldn’t help Do-seok in the way he wanted, gets some closure when the book he once gifted Do-seok is delivered back to him. He reads back over the passages he highlighted, the ones he found most important, and cries alone in his car, knowing that Do-seok understood and tried to apply them.
At the very end of the episode, Eun-seok is handed a file for a gang rape case and immediately recognizes the name of the perpetrator: Hwang In-jun. When she sees his mugshot, she immediately begins crying and shaking and quickly collapses.