Another lovely and complex episode sees Extraordinary Attorney Woo firing on all cylinders.
This recap of Extraordinary Attorney Woo season 1, episode 10, “Holding Hands Can Wait”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
There’s a distinct pleasure in a very good show continually one-upping itself. Each week, I say a lot of the same things about Extraordinary Attorney Woo, about how it’s charming and funny and well-written. And yet I keep being surprised when it reveals itself to be even better at those things than I first realized. It keeps being funnier and smarter and more romantic and understanding; it keeps presenting morally complex cases – this one is about a man being charged with raping a disabled person – in an even-handed way that respects the audience and their ability to think for themselves.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo season 1, episode 10 recap
Perhaps more importantly than anything else, though, the show knows we love the main character by now. And that counts for a lot.
In many respects, then, this case is kind of a mirror for Young-woo’s relationship with Jun-ho, which is obviously consensual, but is deeply rooted in the idea of authentic human connection despite outside influences – Young-woo’s ASD, other people’s perceptions of the same, and so on, and so forth – threatening to get in the way. The accused here, Yeong-il, claims that he and his supposed victim, Hye-yeong, are in love. And what if they are?
Love doesn’t look the same to everyone. It doesn’t follow the same pattern in every instance; it doesn’t always, if we’re being frank, abide by what’s typically considered “right”. I suspect this is why Young-woo’s romantic life dovetails so clearly with her professional one in this episode – we’re being shown one off-kilter, non-traditional relationship so that we can more readily entertain the possibility of another.
But Yeong-il has previous when it comes to seducing women with the mental age of children; he assaulted someone before and paid hand over fist for it not to follow him around, which might charitably be described as a red flag. And yet we’re to understand as the case progresses that these two really are in love. Hye-yeong claims to have been coerced into making her statement by her mother. Telling her truth would be defying her. So, nothing is quite as easy as it might be. Yeong-il is ultimately sentenced.
Again, it’s no coincidence that the development of this case is interspersed with scenes of Jun-ho being judged for his relationship with Young-woo. Love is never easy. It’s never clear or obvious and is often difficult to understand. But there’s a resolve in Jun-ho that is supremely admirable. The episode builds to and ends with him and Young-woo kissing in silhouette against the backdrop of the city, which is a stand-out moment in the season thus far. Concerns raised in the epilogue involving Su-mi feel distant, like they can’t penetrate the power of the moment. And perhaps that’s just how it should be.