5 Things From Episodes 5-6 Of “The Devil Judge” That Had Us Worried for Yo Han
“The Devil Judge” continues firing on all cylinders, not easing its breakneck pace as we head into week three. Yo Han’s (the brilliant Ji Sung) revelation last week had Ga On (GOT7’s Jinyoung) reconsidering everything he believed about the titular devil judge, especially when Yo Han softens around him. But just how strong is that faith? Because it’s about to be tested.
Warning: spoilers for episodes 5-6 below.
1. Ga On’s wavering loyalties
Ga On’s initial suspicion of Yo Han made logical sense, but it’s presently bordering on the ridiculous. Ga On lives in the man’s house, despite having fully recovered. He’s had all the time to see just who Yo Han is and it’s pretty evident that the man isn’t a monster.
There’s something powerful between them, and they know it. Ga On fusses over Yo Han post-nightmare, makes him food, and has breakfast with him and his niece Elijah (Jeon Chae Eun) like they’re parenting her. And yet, Ga On continues to assume the very worst. Soo Hyun (Park Gyu Young) gets hurt? Yo Han did it. Something shady about the first trial’s witness? Of course, it’s Yo Han being evil.
It’s heartbreaking because Yo Han is opening up to Ga On, which is a huge step for him. In his study, Yo Han attempts to manipulate Ga On, then stops as though he can’t continue doing that and immediately spews nonsense about how he is a monster. It’s Yo Han’s main defense mechanism: making people he loves hate him, because he’s so scared of letting someone in and getting screwed over. And what does Ga On do? He jumps to conclusions and attacks Yo Han like an enraged bull whenever anything goes wrong. At this point, Ga On doesn’t deserve Yo Han.
Both Yo Han and Min Jung Ho (Ahn Nae Sang), Ga On’s mentor, point out that Ga On has to make a decision: Yo Han or the elite? Yo Han, for all his competence, is a step away from a mental breakdown and needs someone at his side. But will Ga On and his easily-shaken trust be able to pick what’s morally gray but just over what’s legal but evil?
2. Sun Ah’s identity and assault
What a brilliant reveal. Who would have thought that a throwaway line by Yo Han’s housekeeper, Ji Young Ok (Yoon Ye Hee) would hold the key to our charming villain’s identity? Sun Ah’s backstory prior to entering the Kang mansion remains shrouded, but it’s clear that her time spent there created the woman she is today: a woman who takes what she wants and erases anyone who stands in her way.
Sun Ah and Yo Han are sides of the same coin, but where he exercises his power in the name of vengeance and punishment, she does so for glitz and more power. That difference in motivation makes one a villain and the other a (morally ambiguous) hero. The show posits Yo Han as devilish when he’s an avenging angel, while Sun Ah appears as sweet as honey but is cruel to the core. She even has a female helper, Jae Hee (Lee So Young), to match Yo Han’s male helper, K (Lee Ki Taek). And while Yo Han is drawn to Ga On, Sun Ah is very interested in Oh Jin Joo (Kim Jae Kyung).
It’s fascinating because the woman is a hypocrite. She whacks Chairman Seo Jung Hak (Jung In Gyeom) for sexually assaulting a woman, and turns around and does the same thing to Yo Han. She leans on her underprivileged background to win sympathy from Jin Joo when the Dream Homes project stands to make her millions off the lives of the poor. Her motivations aren’t pure, or she would be teaming up with Yo Han to bring these rich men down; instead she’s all the more determined to protect them. But why? She makes so many good points, but does she truly not believe any of them?
This week, Cha Kyung Hee (Jang Young Nam) is her pawn of choice – a pawn who is only too happy to be moved around on a chessboard. Unlike Sun Ah with accomplices galore, Yo Han bears the weight of being surrounded by enemies on all sides, alone. And it’s all about to come down on him.
3. Cha Kyung Hee strikes back
Jang Young Nam is killing it. Look at the power in that gaze!
As dislikable as Cha Kyung Hee is, it’s hard not to admire her. She commands the room just by stepping into it and was the only one shrewd enough to figure out Sun Ah’s real identity. The women really shine in this show. Kyung Hee picked her career over her son, but that doesn’t stop her from making a scene sobbing on national television in an attempt to bring Yo Han negative publicity. The flaws of a public trial are laid bare as the very people from whom Yo Han has been deriving his power start to turn against him. Unlike the elite who have eternal power so long as they have money, Yo Han’s newfound power is fickle and easily manipulated.
The Nam Seok Hoon (Kang Seo Joon) case presents Yo Han with a lose-lose scenario: go with what he would normally do (physical castration, in this case) and set a terrible precedent (while giving power to the crazy portion of his fanbase), or ruin his reputation as a judge for the people by giving the man a slap on the wrist. Ga On worriedly watches as Yo Han ruins several sheets of paper and many pens while trying to hold back evident anger (and you still suspect him, Ga On?). True to form, Yo Han manages to create a third option where only two are provided, but it’s enough to show him that he needs to secure his power in a more concrete way. After all, he could be removed from the TV show altogether.
And that’s very nearly what happens when Kyung Hee and Sun Ah broadcast how he paid millions of won to Jang Ki Young (Cha Gun Woo), the crucial witness in the first trial. His bosses, and Min Jung Ho (who grows increasingly dislikable), gloat as they remove him as a judge, only for Yo Han to turn the courtroom into his own trial and get reinstated by the people. It’s a brilliant, three-birds-one-stone strike that restores his reputation, strikes at the heart of the Foundation, and secures his position as chief judge in a way that prevents future depositions.
Yo Han has seemingly won, again. And yet, it’s hard not to be concerned for him. How much longer can he keep this up when he’s fighting enemies in every corner? Because it’s not just the elite after him, it’s the people he loves most.
4. Elijah’s hatred and Soo Hyun’s determination to bring him down
Yo Han’s niece is his Achilles’ heel. She, Ga On, and his robot butler are the only ones who’ve ever seen his playful side. It’s a shame then that, like Ga On, she’s so determined not to trust a man who’s come home every night to a house he hates just so she isn’t alone.
Just like Elijah worriedly sought out Ga On when Yo Han was missing, Yo Han also lost it when Elijah was missing. It hurt all the more to see her rage at him for taking her out of the café, because Yo Han looked so lost, realizing that he could have handled it better but having been so scared that he wasn’t thinking straight.
Add Soo Hyun to the list of irrational people determined to believe Yo Han is a monster, while the real monsters prance under her nose. Her dogged obsession with tearing Yo Han down reaches fever pitch as she starts interrogating a minor for information to use against him. It’s frankly disgusting because she’s an adult and a cop, and this was tantamount to coercion. For all Elijah’s anger at Yo Han, she was evidently uncomfortable with the situation. It’s quite telling that Ga On, for all his righteousness, didn’t see anything wrong with what Soo Hyun did, while blaming Yo Han if he so much as breathes.
Just how is Yo Han supposed to handle all this alone?
5. Yo Han’s psyche
Yo Han always seems like he knows what he’s doing, but the man’s a walking disaster mentally. He’s horribly traumatized, desperately needs an ally, and is all but begging Ga On for help. There’s his guilt from not saving Isaac, his unresolved trauma from childhood abuse, the weight of holding onto revenge for so long, and his shame at the unfair rulings he had to make to reach this point. The man is one step away from internal combustion.
He’s so alone, and, worse, he knows it. He watches Ga On interact with Elijah with such hunger, clearly wishing he could be a part of it, but knowing that no one wants him there.
He was so happy when Ga On made him breakfast, when they all ate together like a family, and he’s immediately made to feel guilty for it by his housekeeper. He’s evidently enjoying being domestic with Ga On, but the latter refuses to see the truth under his nose that Yo Han isn’t a bad guy.
Elijah says that Yo Han ruins everything he touches, but she sees the effect not the cause. Everything he touches has been ruined but not by him, and it’s made Yo Han all the more possessive because he’s terrified of the people he loves being taken from him. The housekeeper who was on his side? Hates him. The maid who seemed to actually like him? Likes his money more. Isaac? Dead. Ga On, whom he lets into his life and his home and trusts with his niece? Attempts to use his niece against him, accuses, and rages at him at every turn.
During that last fight, Yo Han bitterly stares at Ga On like he blames himself for opening up to the guy. No one believes in him, and that’s why his defense mechanism is to paint himself as a monster: being feared gives him some control and power. Being a victim gives him nothing but pain. (Huge shoutout to Oh Jin Joo, who was the only one who believed in Yo Han this week. If Yo Han wasn’t so busy mooning over Ga On, and if Jin Joo didn’t appear to be crossing into the dark side, this would be a great romance.)
It’s no wonder Yo Han is a mess. That’s why he overreacts to Elijah’s disappearance: because she’s all he has left and he dotes on the girl. That’s why he charges in after an ominous invitation from Sun Ah to meet in the middle of the night. He lies to Sun Ah that he has nothing to protect, but returns home to be slapped with the sight of the two people he’d do anything for and who don’t trust him. It’s heartbreaking.
This week ends with Yo Han earnestly staring into Ga On’s eyes: wordlessly saying that this is who he is, that he’s always been consistent, and that he will put everything on the line so he can take down the elite. He’s evidently asking Ga On to take his hand, and here’s hoping Ga On stops barking up the wrong tree and does that!
With Yo Han in the clear, next week shows things getting personal for Ga On with his parents’ case being featured in the trial. Yo Han continues to bear the weight of the world and fights multiple battles on every front. He can do this for only so long, but will Ga On be there when he inevitably falls? Because we need more of this!
Aww, look at them being parents.
What did you think of this week’s episodes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Check out the drama 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,” “You Are My Spring”
Looking Forward to: “The Veil”