A relevant, well-handled theme and strong character work make “The Pied Piper” another fine episode of Extraordinary Attorney Woo.
This recap of Extraordinary Attorney Woo season 1, episode 9, “The Pied Piper”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
What we’re beginning to see with Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a show operating at the peak of its powers and confidence. This is where all the chickens are coming home to roost, narratively speaking, as we enter that middle period of a series that continues to go from strength to strength.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo season 1, episode 9 recap
As ever, the format remains relatively unchanged. A case crops up – this one isn’t as drawn-out as last week’s two-parter – which is embedded with a relevant theme or message, and against it, personal relationships continue to flourish and expand. It’s a simple formula but it works mightily well given the quality of the character writing and the performances.
The theme in “The Pied Piper” is a common one – the aggressive, stifling nature of the South Korean education system and how it essentially forces children into studying at the expense of their physical and mental health. It’s explored through the Mujin Academy, which denies its students bathroom breaks and time to eat, and Gu-ppong, a guy who takes a busload of the put-upon students on a “trip” that ends up being a fun, exploratory day out that, legally speaking anyway, is technically a kidnapping.
This guy’s very charismatic and likable and his cause is just; he’s railing against a system that deserves criticism and attempting to liberate kids who desperately need the break, so he’s a good match for Young-woo. I enjoyed this case a great deal, perhaps more so than any of the others.
But “The Pied Piper” – hopefully, the logic behind that title has become obvious now – also furthers some ongoing subplots in interesting and satisfying ways. Myeong-seok counters Min-woo’s petulant game of one-upmanship against Young-woo, and there’s a nice bit of development in the relationship between Young-woo and Jun-ho. But the cliffhanger that we leave things on in the epilogue relates back to Tae Su-mi and the potential exposure of that familial connection, so there’s plenty going on here heading into tomorrow’s episode.