Genre- Legal, Mystery, Fantasy, Time travel
” A country can survive war, illness and poverty. However, one cannot survive in a country where justice does not exist.” – Pablo Victoria
Kim Hee-Woo (Lee Joon-Gi) takes the Prosecutor’s oath of service.
At night, Prosecutor Hee-woo drives up to a location where the policemen are standing watching a group of thugs who seem to be ready to beat them up. Hew-Woo coolly asks the captain why they are hesitating despite having the authority.
The captain says they don’t have a warrant. Hee Woo says he gave them the go-ahead but the captain says it is not that easy. Hee Woo walks towards the group stating the law which says that armed men confronting people for more than three minutes is considered criminal activity. He says they can be imprisoned for 3 years or be fined 50000 dollars. He asks for a wooden club and the thugs pass him one. He then goes on to say that he made it all up. He uses the wooden club and hits himself over the head and asks the police to retaliate.
He gives the thugs an ultimatum to come along but they don’t budge. Hee Woo and the cops have a clash with the thugs.
Hee Woo’s voiceover says he is a brave prosecutor who fights to eradicate injustice.
The next day Hee Woo finds an old woman selling gimbap by the subway. He warns her that the police will tell her to move. She says she hasn’t sold anything yet. He calls work and tells them that they will have gimbap for lunch. He buys the entire lot from her.
Hee Woo’s voiceover says that he is a warmhearted prosecutor who cares for the weak and marginalised.
The next day Hee Woo walks into work swarmed by reporters asking how his heavy-handed investigation targetting major corporations will affect them during the recession.
Hee Woo says the prosecution must eradicate corruption as corruption leads to a country’s demise than recession.
During the interrogation, Hee Woo asks the man to name the politicians to whom the slush funds went. The man raises his eyebrows when Hee Woo mentions Jo Tae-Soeb. Hee Woo says all the man has to do is report Jo and he will take care of the rest, but the man doesn’t budge. Hee Woo has no luck as the investigation progresses as nobody is ready to report Jo Tae Seob.
Just then, he is told that the Director of Business Strategy wants to talk. Hee Woo visits him. The Director says he is counting on Hee Woo and agrees to testify.
Hee Woo comes back and files the request for Jo Tae Seob’s arrest warrant.
The Chief Prosecutor Kim Seok Hoon warns Hee Woo not to go ahead with this as Jo is extremely powerful. He adds that he is already facing pressure through phonecalls because of Hee Woo. Hee Woo asks him to name those people and says he will arrest them all. Kim calls him crazy. Hee Woo says that is what a prosecutor does. He tells Hee Woo that conviction should be carried out only when you are sure of winning. Hee Woo says he is prepared. Kim says Hee Woo is mistaken.
Kim says if Hee Woo starts this, it will no longer be a one on one fight as there is a lot of power involved.
Hee Woo says no one has the right to a lawless life and asks if Kim is also involved with Jo’s group. He asks why Kim met Jo the previous day and Kim says it was a dinner he couldn’t avoid. Kim asks if Hee Woo won’t listen. Hee Woo says he tends to filter out bad advice.
After Hee Woo leaves, Kim makes a call and tells the person on the other to be prepared for what is coming.
An irate Jo Tae Seob (Lee Kyoung-Young )is at the Minguk Party Meeting. He is told that Assemblyman Yoon (the President’s father in law) and others are opposing the idea.
Jo pulls up a headline criticizing Yoon for defending his party Member Gu Wook Chang in a sexual assault case. He says they can’t afford to slack off after winning the legislative elections. He says they should be more gender-neutral now and gather the youngster’s votes as the times are changing now. He tells them to remove Gu from the party and he will handle the rest.
Jo goes over to the Blue House and meets with President Jae Geun. Jo gives the President an earful for siding with his father in law. He replays a video (spycam video) on his phone as Jae Geun watches. In the video, Jo offers to give more funds to Jae Grun’s presidential campaign and Jae Geun says he will not forget this favour. Jo says all he wants is one of his people to be in the Presidential office.
Jo shows Jae Geun photos of Jae Geun with a woman. Jo Tae Seob says they call him the Kingmaker as his candidates always win. He says his vetting process is 10 times more rigorous than that of the Party. Jo asks if he should go to Los Angeles and make Jae Geun’s mistress talk.
Jo tells Jae Geun to understand that there is a semi-presidential system in place and he tells Jae Geun to take some trips for photo ops while Jo manages the things. Jo reminds Jae Geun that in this country, Jo Tae Seob is more powerful than the president.
As Jo walks out, Kim Jin Woo tells him that the Prosecutor has summoned Jo. Jo laughs saying he gets to finally meet him. He says he will take Jin Woo to dinner.
Later, Jo, accompanied by Jin-Woo, arrives at the district prosecutor’s office. The journalists state that the charges against Jo are for violating the Act on Aggravated Punishment for Specific crimes. Jo denies all charges.
Chief Prosecutor Kim apologises to Jo. Jo says it is fine as they have to deal with this eventually. Kim says Hee Woo won’t go easy on Jo. Jo smiles saying he didn’t come all the way to meet a wimp.
Kim bows to Jo as Jo leaves. He turns around to see Hee Woo watching him. Hee Woo gives a curt greeting.
Hee Woo walks into the interrogation room. Jo smiles in confidence as he says he is pleased to meet Hee Woo. Hee Woo says he isn’t. Both of them smile as they have a civilised exchange of words.
Hee Woo’s tone turns cold as he reminds Jo that though he is powerful in the outside world, he is still an accused here. Jo’s smile fades as Hee Woo makes it clear that Jo’s ways won’t work on him. He calls Jo Tae Seob a scumbag.
Jo tells Hee Woo to bring up his A-game. He talks about the powerlessness of justice without force. He says ignorant peasants don’t know that and calls them morons. He states that justice chooses who can have it. Jo says Hee Woo should have first destroyed the system that was built to protect him. Hee Woo says he will destroy it one by one and Jo smiles as he asks what will happen if the witness can’t fulfil his testimony.
Elsewhere, the witness (Director) is abducted by an assassin.
Meanwhile, Jo says he just came here to meet the Prosecutor who has the guts to summon him. Just then, Hee Woo’s investigator comes in looking flustered.
After learning that the witness is not reachable, Hee Woo drives down the road. He receives a message from the witness. Hee Woo opens the message to find a video of the witness tied to a pole on the roof of a building. Hee Woo screams in fury. He realises that someone leaked the information.
Hee Woo comes up to the roof to find the witness missing. The assassin says he sent him to a safe place. Hee Woo runs after the assassin but is confronted by 2 women who are ready to attack him.
Meanwhile, Jo tells the journalists that he answered all the questions truthfully and goes away.
Hee Woo is still fighting the women as Jo and Jin Woo have dinner. Jin Woo receives a call informing him that Hee Woo has reached there.
Hee Woo finally makes it to the roof and says he is not a sissy like other prosecutors. The assassin says that he is not a normal thug.
Hee Woo rushes towards the assassin and fights him but the assassin proves too smart for him. The assassin floors him and starts choking him. He says he will let Hee Woo go if he stops. Hee Woo says he could lie. The assassin says he doesn’t care about a dog that has tucked in its tail. Hee Woo says he won’t stop. The assassin tells Hee Woo to beg for his life. Hee Woo begs for his life but says he will get them good this time. The assassin says he has to kill him.
Hee Woo uses a leg choke and pushes the assassin off him. He pins down the assassin. He states the Miranda rights as the assassin grunts.
The assassin pushes upwards, dislocating his shoulder in the process. He pushes Hee Woo down and lands hard punches with his good hand on Hee Woo’s face. He pops his shoulder back into place and straightens his hand. He continues to punch Hee Woo’s face.
He grabs Hee Woo and drags him to the edge of the roof. He calls up Jin Woo and tells him that Hee Woo will be handled. Jin Woo passes the information to Jo. Jo is disinterested as he sips on the coffee.
The assassin says the world will remember him as a corrupted drug-addicted prosecutor who committed suicide. He injects Hee Woo with a lethal injection and throws him off the roof.
Hee Woo is helpless as he falls. Suddenly, he finds himself on top of the roof. The assassin is frozen in movement.
Hee Woo sees a woman in red (Cha Joo-Young)standing beside him. He asks if he is dead and she confirms it. He winces and says he is still in pain. She says pains don’t stop after death.
She says she will do her work while he regains energy. He calls her a strange human and she says she isn’t human.
She waves her hand and shows him a glimpse of his past life.
In a montage we see a young Hee Woo being beaten up by bullies who harass him because he is poor.
Hee Woo tells the woman that kids with a sense of justice but no power get beaten up.
In the montage we see a young Hee Woo crying out in grief at his parents’ funeral (killed in a hit and run) and training in martial arts and winning wrestling matches. He says he decided to get stronger and protect himself.
She says he took the entrance exam thrice to get into the Hankuk University of Law, became a prosecutor and ran into Jo Tae Seob. She says he failed to put Jo in jail and got murdered. She says it is because he has justice but no power. Hee Woo says he has no choice but to agree. She asks if he would put Jo in jail if he survived this night and Hee Woo says he is unsure.
She asks if he would try to put Jo Tae Seob in jail again if he has another life. Hee Woo says he already put his life on the line for it and it is his duty to do so. The woman in red tells him to do it. She asks him to take time to prepare and do it perfectly. She warns him to not act rashly and die in vain again.
She says she will save his life and asks him to catch Jo. She asks Hee Woo to show that pain exists in this world too.
She asks him to promise her that he will make Jo suffer. Hee Woo says he will. She says if he gets close to Jo Tae Seob, he may meet her. She tells him that he can’t catch a monster until he becomes a worse monster. She requests him to succeed and vanishes into thin air.
Instantly, Hee Woo finds himself as a cashier at the departmental store. Kim Han Mi(Kim Jae-Kyung) asks if he is ever going to bill the items.
Hee Woo recalls that this is the same store he used to work part-time after graduating from school.
Hee Woo runs into the restroom and realises that he has been granted another life and has travelled back in time to his past. He recalls the woman in red’s warning not to act rashly and take his time to prepare.
Hee Woo rushes back home and is almost run over by a car on the way. He is nostalgic as he walks up to the gate of his house. He feels that he was an immature son.
Hee Woo walks into the house and bangs the door shut without responding to his parents who are on their way to work. His mother asks him to eat and they go to work.
Hee Woo’s voiceover says that was the last time Hee Woo saw his parents. he says his parents were busy making ends meet so they couldn’t care for him. He resented them and looked down on them. He says he left their food untouched to get back at them.
Hee Woo eats fast food when he receives a call that his parents have passed away in a hit and run accident.
Hee Woo’s voiceover says his parents passed away leaving behind their resentful son whom they always worried about. He says he could never redeem himself as an ungrateful son.
After his parents’ funeral, he returns home and cries as he eats the meal his mother prepared for him.
At present, Hee Woo wonders if this moment in time is before his parents’ death. He goes in desperately hopeful. He yells out for his parents. He gets no response and sinks to the floor and bursts into tears.
His mother walks out of the room and asks if he is already done with his shift. Hee Woo hugs his mother and cries tears of joy. His father walks in and he hugs him too.
Hee Woo realises that having law and justice on his side he became enthusiastic and it made him arrogant. He understands that the red woman wants him to prepare from today. He circles the date 18th May (2007) on his desk calendar.
Hee Woo sees his parents off as they leave for work. They find his behaviour odd and wonder if he is going to become a monk. Hee Woo smiles.
Hee Woo feels that he has no idea if this is a dream or reality, but he is certain that he should live differently.
He eats his mother’s home-cooked meal and goes to the academy. Hee Woo decides to become stronger so he can protect himself, his family and everyone.
Hee Woo goes to the academy and he is told he will start at the bottom class. He collects his ID card and goes to his class.
Han Mi is in class and she recognises him. She asks if he plans to go to college. He says he can’t be a cashier forever and tells her to get serious and study.
Later, his teacher shows full faith in him as she gives him a guidebook to help with the math.
Hee Woo works hard. One day he dozes off during class and he has a nightmare where his parents are killed in an accident. He wakes up with a start and realises that tomorrow is the day of his parents’ fatal accident.
Hee Woo stays up at night and plans to stop his parents from going to work today. He joins his parents at the dinner table. His mother notices he has lost weight and tells him not to overwork. Hee Woo says he is exercising and he is fine. He asks them to skip work today. His parents decline saying that they are lucky to even have jobs during this economy. Hee woo gives up and plans to escort them home after work.
When he was a Prosecutor, Hee Woo had tried to look for information on the accident. He recalls that there were no CCTV cameras. The police could have tracked down the vehicle with bumper repairs.
At present, Hee Woo wonders why the police didn’t do the bare minimum and wonders if the time of the incident was fabricated too. He realises that the time of death mentioned in the report was when his parents were at their work shift.
Hee Woo goes to the accident location. He plans to make his parents walk on the inside of the street and then follow them. He checks his watch as he waits outside their factory.
His parents get off work earlier than the shift time. They are surprised to see him and his mother says that they got off work early as the machine stopped working.
The three of them walk back home. At the time of the accident, a car drives down the road. Hee Woo panics and runs in front of his parents in an effort to shield them. The car swerves away from them and goes away.
Just then, another car comes from the end of the road and it seems to have lost control. Hee Woo pushes his parents to the other side and he jumps the other way as the car comes right at them.
Hee Woo looks up to see the car crash onto the pavement. He is heartbroken as he wonders if he is going to become an orphan again.
Image Courtesy- SBS
The first episode started off with a legal game of cat and mouse but it quickly changed to a different plot altogether.
Kim Hee Woo comes across as a Prosecutor who has a strong sense of duty. His recklessness and ignorance of his enemies’ power cost him dearly.
The Lady in red is an interesting character. It looks like she has been wronged by Jo and she has enough power to grant Hee Woo another life. The clock has been turned back to 2007 and Hee Woo wasted no time in making amends to his life.
Jo Tae Seob is a political mastermind who is the central power hub of the country. He claims to have built a foolproof system that will keep him away from the clutches of the law.
It will be interesting to see what plan Hee Woo devises to bring Jo crashing down as he promised to the woman in red as it won’t be an easy task.
-By Soul Sword-