3 Moments From Episodes 13-14 Of

It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end. After last week’s cliffhanger, “The Devil Judge” takes no time in getting right back up and gunning for the finish line. But the chips are starting to fall in strange directions, and our beloved characters have never been so fractured. Here’s everything we loved and hated about this week’s episodes!

Warning: spoilers for episodes 13-14 below.

1. Bad writing: Soo Hyun


Soo Hyun (Park Gyu Young) as a character has been colossally underwhelming from the very beginning. We know she’s in love with Ga On (GOT7’s Jinyoung) and that she’s a police officer with a very black-and-white idea of right and wrong. That’s it. That’s all we know.


What are her interests outside of Ga On? We don’t know. What’s her family life like? Does she have any personality beyond being unreasonably angry with Yo Han (Ji Sung) and fawning over Ga On? We don’t know. So when this show rapidly shoehorns a romance, which suddenly culminates in a kiss followed by Soo Hyun dying 30 minutes later, it’s hard to feel anything beyond bewilderment. Why is she being killed off to further Ga On’s character development? Was that her purpose all long?


This is such wasted potential. This romance could have been built up so much better or could have been removed altogether (men and women can be just friends!). The same Ga On who disregarded Soo Hyun’s words and strangled Doh Young Choon (Jung Eun Pyo) in front of his wife and daughter suddenly cares a whole ton about what Soo Hyun would think? The same Ga On who still hasn’t told Soo Hyun the truth of how Doh Young Choon was arrested wants to have an open and honest relationship with her? Really?

Even worse, Soo Hyun died pitifully as a consequence of her own decisions (which have always been questionable). Who goes to a dangerous crime scene to visit their boyfriend? Maybe just call him? And the cherry on top is that she died without ever telling Ga On the truth that Yo Han called her to rescue him. She just ended up looking pathetic, lying to Ga On like that.

And yet, it’s not that this show hates women, by any means, because look at how wonderfully-written our Oh Jin Joo (Kim Jae Kyung) is.

2. Great writing: Jin Joo

Jin Joo takes her first foray into the world of the elite and quickly realizes two things: that the men will never let her stand at the top, and that she’s made a huge mistake.


What’s so wonderful and refreshing about Jin Joo is that she doesn’t take matters at face value. She finds out the truth for herself. Ga On, Soo Hyun, and Min Jung Ho (Ahn Nae Sang) all need to watch and learn. Upon hearing that the virus containment efforts aren’t what they seem, she immediately rushes over to the slums and watches in utter horror at what she unwittingly helped unleash. It’s even more horrifying that her own voice plays over in the background.


Jin Joo immediately pivots upon realizing that she was wrong and joins Yo Han in fighting against the elite. She’s intelligent and successfully fools the elite all by herself! Yo Han should have chosen her instead of Ga On. This is great writing, giving us a layered character whom we’ve seen in the background fight her way to becoming a main player. She’s made mistakes but admits to them and gets to where she wants on her own feet — no man included. And she isn’t the only amazing woman we have.

3. Amazing writing: Sun Ah


We still have some squandered potential here in terms of a great womance between Sun Ah (Kim Min Jung) and Jin Joo (they flirted so much at the start of the show!), but what’s quite interesting is that their character arcs mirror each other this week.


Sun Ah makes the same realization as Jin Joo, albeit much later. Steeped in blood and corruption, she’s long gotten used to the nature of the game. But when Heo Joong Se (Baek Hyun Jin) mentions purposefully infecting the poor with the virus, some long-buried part of Sun Ah (that remembers the agony of being poor) stirs to life. She can’t hide her anger and distaste. However, while Jin Joo rights her wrongs, Sun Ah digs in deeper because she doesn’t know where else to go from here. It’s so sad watching her realize that she’s become a monster, hurting girls just like the girl she used to be. But not knowing any way out, she resolves to climb even higher.


It’s hard not to feel sorry for her, while finding her actions reprehensible. And that’s fantastic writing, giving us a layered female villain who’s easy to love, understand, and hate. Her actions may not always be palatable, but what’s important is that there is a basis for those actions. They don’t just come out of nowhere. On the other hand, Ga On’s actions continuously do.

4. What-on-earth-is-happening writing: Ga On

Beyond Evil,” one of the best shows of this year, was a superlative showcase of the enemies-to-partners-to-I’d-die-for-you trope. What made it so compelling was the initial suspicion and friction between the two leads, which then built into a deep trust and acceptance as they understood each other’s philosophies.


As Ga On lived with Yo Han, he saw who the man truly was and started to warm up to him, change him, and help him. It appeared that the show was heading into “Beyond Evil” territory with a terrific bond between the leads. Then, this suddenly vanished. We got a random romance, and the show jumped between serious scenes of a wounded Yo Han doing actually important things like planning to take down the elite, while Ga On and Soo Hyun played a game of puppy love, ignoring the world burning around them. It felt like whiplash.

What has become sadly evident is that Ga On takes more than he gives. He uses Yo Han whenever he wants revenge. He runs to Yo Han screaming that they should do something about the Foundation dragging people away, when he was the one who left in the first place. He asks Yo Han for help in catching Soo Hyun’s killer. And every single time things get tough, Ga On runs away.


This concern is touching, but where does it stem from? A desire to live up to Soo Hyun’s terrible philosophy? Or is Ga On trying to stop Yo Han from getting more blood on his hands? All we see is that the Ga On who begged Yo Han for help becomes a hypocrite, exposing the live court show as a scam, using all the good Yo Han did and throwing it in his face. It’s betrayal at a horrific scale, because Ga On has apparently chosen a side at last, and it is the side of the oppressor. In attacking Yo Han, he’s taking down the one person who wanted to fight the elites. Therefore, Ga On seems to have sided with the elite. (Unless this is all part of a plan?)

If this is not a plan and is truly Ga On’s decision, the show’s tagline that Ga On represents hope rings more false than ever. Yo Han’s brand of justice is to open people’s eyes to the hell on earth and give them the agency to make their own decisions no matter how ugly justice is. The side Ga On chose is to cover people’s eyes so that no one sees how ugly justice is. That isn’t hope; it’s fanatic belief in a dead system. Yo Han understands that in a society, people cannot sentence others for their crimes and pretend they don’t have blood on their hands. There is no real difference between people voting for Kim Choong Sik (Lee Hae Woon) to die, versus them killing the man himself. The distinction Ga On is trying so hard to find is an artificial one.


Ga On (like Soo Hyun and Min Jung Ho) does not seem to respect agency. He blames Yo Han for expecting that someone would die during their live broadcast on the scene of the forced removals of the poor. But the old man who died had a choice. He didn’t have to fight for Yo Han, but he did because he wanted to. Yo Han couldn’t have stopped him even if he wanted to. Yo Han understands that people make choices, and sometimes those are bad choices. He’ll manipulate their choices but never take them away.

If the drama had posited Ga On as finding his own path, not Soo Hyun and Min Jung Ho’s black-and-white nonsense and not Yo Han’s gray road, then this would have been excellent writing. But Ga On apparently just goes straight back to black and white, despite knowing it doesn’t work. It makes no sense (again, unless this is part of a plan!). And thus, we’re stuck with Ga On hating Yo Han part 500. Poor Yo Han.

5. Amazing writing: Yo Han


The most compelling character in this show remains our titular devil judge. Yo Han goes through hell and back this week. He always does! First up, there’s the death of his right-hand man, K (Lee Ki Taek). It’s horribly sad watching Yo Han mourn his partner of so many years, while sitting beside him thinking that he’ll follow him into death.


Only, Yo Han doesn’t get that break. He’s rescued, injured, and has to deal with Sun Ah threatening Elijah (Jeon Chae Eun), Heo Joong Se disbanding the live court, and the threatening and kidnapping of his partners in fighting the elite.


And finally Yo Han hits his limit in a country gone mad. He could walk away and let it all burn, but Yo Han has never been that way. Yet, he can’t fight without innocent people getting caught in the crossfire. So finally, bitterly, Yo Han breaks his promise to Isaac. It remains a stretch to say that the old man’s death was Yo Han’s fault, but there’s no denying that he feels responsible for it. But what’s important is that despite all his lip service, he still believes that they are innocent people, or he wouldn’t be upset at having to break his promise. His eyes as he gazes down at the citizens fighting Kim Choong Sik and crew are those of a man moved by their perseverance. Yo Han is no devil.

He tries in his own stilted way to comfort Ga On.


But Yo Han pulling out the death penalty frightens Ga On and Jin Joo. If there’s anything this week’s episodes proved, it’s that Yo Han doesn’t have a choice. So, it’s difficult to watch everyone blaming him, acting like he hurts people because he wants to. It feels like Yo Han has borne everyone’s unreasonable anger for so long. The show should be called “Everyone Hates Yo Han.” And the guy’s a walking marshmallow. Oof. 


This isn’t to excuse Yo Han’s actions of having a man electrocuted to death on television. But the question is whether it’s better for Yo Han to just do nothing and let people get dragged away by the Foundation, or to use the death of a radicalized young man as springboard to take down the elite (there’s some brilliant commentary in this show on how young men are radicalized and thrown away by political leaders here).

And to top it all off, Ga On has betrayed Yo Han. It’s amazing the man doesn’t explode then and there!


Now, it appears that the show is hinting toward Yo Han having been involved in Isaac’s death, raising the question of whether character assassination is in the cards for Yo Han. Everyone’s suspected him for so long, could the show be trying to manufacture an “aha” moment by saying that Soo Hyun and Jung Ho were right all along? If so, that is character assassination (if anything Min Jung Ho seems super suspicious). We’ve seen Yo Han lovingly cherish Isaac’s bracelet, grieve over Isaac, and have nightmares about him. Even Yo Han’s current goals of vengeance are based around that church fire. To suddenly flip and say that Yo Han caused the fire, and therefore all that hatred was justified, raises the question as to what this show is trying to say about people like Yo Han. That people who fight for justice using morally gray means deserve hatred? That they’re “devils”?


With the finale rapidly approaching, and Ga On flip-flopping for the 800th time, the question arises as to what this drama really wants to say about justice. Is it that Ga On is right, and good and evil are black and white? Or is it that Yo Han is right, and there is no such thing as good and evil but varied shades of gray? One can only hope that the show goes with the second answer; the former is too unrealistic to stomach. Or perhaps there’s a third path? We can only wait and see.

Check out the drama below!

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What did you think of this week’s episodes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Shalini_A is a long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she works as a lawyer, fangirls over Ji Sung, and attempts to write the greatest fantasy romance of all time. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and feel free to ask her anything!

Currently Watching: The Devil Judge,” “Undercover,” and “You are My Spring”
Looking Forward to: “The Veil” and “Lovers of the Red Sky

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