Prosecutor Princess or Geomsa Peurinseseu — episodes 5 to 8
The Prosecutor Princess or Geomsa Peurinseseu Episode 5 continues with the case of the music teacher accused of child molestation. Seo In Woo (Park Shi Hoo following on from Iljimae and Family’s Honor) is waiting for Ma Hye Ri (Kim So Yun) outside the office and acts as her driver for the day. Well, first she bakes biscuits. Her decoration style is somewhat crude but they taste good. Then they go to the home of the young victim and, after feeding her biscuits and making clothes for her dolls, the victim slowly opens up. Now she knows what happened, the mother and girl come into the office and a formal statement is given. In due course, the alleged molester comes to trial. The girl must repeat her evidence in a closed court but with the testimony piped to the public through a video link. For this to be inflicted on a seven-year-old says a great deal about the Korean justice system. Ma Hye Ri wins the girl’s confidence by taking off her robes and doing a little dance. The girl recognises the music she’s humming as from Swan Lake. Then she gives a moving and credible account of the assault. Seo In Woo’s role is becoming even more blurry because he has secretly obtained evidence from America showing this is not the first time our violin teacher has been accused of improper behaviour towards a child. He causes this evidence to be delivered to Ma Hye Ri and this completes a very strong case. Suddenly Ma Hye Ri is hot news and the press feature pictures of her on the front pages of local newspapers. Her father, Ma Sang Tae (Choi Jung Woo, continuing in father roles from Brilliant Legacy), is suitably pleased and resumes pursuit of a suitable match.
The next case involves a young man accused of a violent assault. It looks open and shut but Seo In Woo turns up and asks for more time. Ma Hye Ri is not inclined to give it. Not deterred, Seo In Woo investigates and finds evidence that the accused was acting in defence of a woman about to be raped. When he produces the woman, Ma Hye Ri takes a moment and then accepts defeat, reducing the charges and allowing the man out on bail. Now comes a pivotal moment. Jealous of her success, co-workers release a picture of Ma Hye Ri when she was at university. This takes us into the same territory as Ruthless People with a sideways glance at Sherman Kump in The Nutty Professor. We get to see Kim So Yun in a prosthetic fat suit as she goes through school and then into the first year at law school. She’s the most intelligent girl in the school and the top-performing law student, but deeply conscious of her excess weight. Unfortunately she misunderstands a boy’s kindness for sexual interest and unilaterally falls in love. When her “friends” mock her, “How could she possible believe anyone could love her?” she breaks down. Her mother locks her in the cellar with three personal trainers and feeds her salad until she loses weight. The reward for achieving the perfect body is that her mother will engineer her daughter’s departure from law school. So now we know why she’s so obsessed with her clothes and, more importantly, why her emotional growth has been so stunted.
For once Seo In Woo is too late to intervene. This is left to Yoon Se Joon (Han Jung Soo). He becomes like a spreading tree to her, offering shade. This is a pivotal moment because he not only gives her advice but talks to himself when he says, “You have to give up the past to make way for the future.” He’s three years into mourning and has left no room for his own future growth. Ma Hye Ri decides to pursue Yoon Se Joon but, every time she tries to get him on his own, Jin Jung Sun (Choi Song Hyun) is in the way. She decides she has to move into the same neighbourhood so that they can carpool. Ma Hye Ri stages an accident which spooks her father into allowing her to move out. Now Seo In Woo’s creepiness goes up a notch as he covertly engineers her moving into a house next to him. He’s driven by a past injustice and we await his backstory to see if it will keep him sympathetic.
Episode 7 is marking time with little forward progress. Ma Hye Ri’s next case involves bloggers libelling celebrities and she gets to see her first autopsy with Jin Jung Sun. There’s a tedious sequence demonstrating her fear of ghosts. Yoon Se Joon finally catches up with the counterfeiters from Episode 1, but as he explains his backstory and the death of his wife, he also makes it clear Ma Hye Ri makes him feel uncomfortable. We get a big hint that Seo In Woo holds some kind of grudge against Ma Hye Ri’s father. It’s connected to some football boots. We await further clarification. To try and patch things up, Ma Hye Ri invites Yoon Se Joon to a picnic but his daughter intercepts the message and he does not turn up. More fool her for going ahead without getting his agreement in advance. However, we’re left on a cliffhanger because, when he finally realises what he has missed, Yoon Se Joon runs round to Ma Hye Ri’s home only to see Seo In Woo kissing her.
Episode 8 sees Seo In Woo justify the kiss by saying he wanted to make Yoon Se Joon jealous. Ma Hye Ri is now caught up in uncertainty. She didn’t see the prosecutor and doesn’t know who to believe. She goes back and checks the mailbox. The invitation is not there so she finally gets up the courage to ask Yoon Se Joon why he did not come. He admits to seeing the kiss but says that’s her personal business. Meanwhile she’s allocated a vehicular manslaughter case and goes with Seo In Woo to investigate the site. They discover the victim was visiting a local buddhist temple and had been considering a divorce because of her husband’s unfaithfulness. On the way back, Seo In Woo injures his foot but carries Ma Hye Ri when she breaks her heel. They shop for practical things around the home and then cook together. He falls asleep while she works on the file but has a nightmare. Ma Hye Ri comforts him. The next day, she cracks yet another case because of her knowledge of high-end jewellery and celebrates by buying the team lunch. Yoon Se Joon then shows he may be jealous by warning her about Seo In Woo who’s suspected of having paid witnesses to change their stories to get clients acquitted. He challenges Ma Hye Ri to say what she truly knows of the man.
Well, this has been interesting. We’re expected to suddenly feel sorry for Ma Hye Ri because she was fat and abused. This cod psychology is extraordinary. She was stuffed with food by her mother and bullied by her father. Then her mother kidnaps her and forcibly slims her down in the cellar, so now she’s only bullied by her father who seems not a little weird. The fact she’s beginning to develop more empathy for investigating crimes and may be experiencing more real emotions about others is not changing the underlying reality that she’s severely dysfunctional. Seo In Woo is getting ever more creepy as he manipulates situations, dressing in different clothes depending on the social effect he wants to achieve. He just looks sad and rather lonely. Let’s hope he’s not a criminal as well. Yoon Se Joon has been ruthlessly exploiting Jin Jung Sun as an unpaid and unloved babysitter for his daughter. Now he’s also beginning to experience emotions again, he’s allowing a complicated situation to become worse. So the fate of this series hangs in the balance. I’m still inclined to like it but it’s testing my patience.
For the reviews of all episodes, see:
Prosecutor Princess or Geomsa Peurinseseu — episodes 1 to 4
Prosecutor Princess or Geomsa Peurinseseu — episodes 5 to 8
Prosecutor Princess or Geomsa Peurinseseu — episodes 9 to 12
Prosecutor Princess or Geomsa Peurinseseu — episodes 13 to end
For those of you who are fans of Park Shi Hoo, there’s a fan site at http://parksihoo4u.com/