Welcome 2 Life Episode 1 Recap
Lee Jae Sang (Rain) waits in the park with a smile and flowers for the woman he loves. When Ra Shi On (Lim Ji Yeon) arrives, he produces the flowers with a flourish and declares happy second anniversary. She stares at him then hits him repeatedly with the flowers. Everyone stares. Jae Sang demands to know why she did that. Shi On can’t believe he doesn’t know what he did wrong. She strides away leaving an angry and confused boyfriend behind.
The public watches the news reports of about the alleged sexual harassment of a young woman by Seok Kyung Min, son of a CEO who also assaulted a man who attempted to stop the harassment. Video proof exists (taken by Kyung Min).
The police officers watch the news reports and decide to head to court to see Kyung Min tried and convicted. Shi On has a bad feeling that things won’t go as they hope because of the defense lawyer, Lee Jae Sang.
Lee Jae Sang meets with Mr. and Mrs. Seok and Kyung Min. They aren’t happy to appear in court. Lawyer Lee declares they aren’t going to support their son but rather to sway the judge who is ambitious and might be open to joining their company as legal advisor.
They march into the courtroom as a unit. The prosecutor isn’t happy to see Lawyer Lee. Officer Ra isn’t happy to see Lawyer Lee. Mrs. Seok smiles at the judge.
The first witness is the assaulted a man who attempted to stop the harassment of the young woman. She fled and Kyung Min beat him for an hour only stopping when a security guard came upon them. The man relates the humiliation of begging for Kyung Min to stop, only to have it recorded and uploaded by KM. The prosecutor points out all wounds from the medical photos. He demands the judge sentence Kyung Min so he knows he isn’t above the law. Shi On twists her hands in her lap.
Lawyer Lee cross examines the witness. He asks why the offered settlement was refused. The witness scoffs Kyung Min didn’t offer it sending a secretary instead. Lawyer Lee asks who accompanied the witness to the meeting. The witness hesitates then states his father attended. Lawyer Lee asks if his father’s counter offer was four times the settlement. The witness protests his father was angry when he made the request. Lawyer Lee counters with proof that the father has been convicted of insurance fraud. Shi On shakes her head knowing this isn’t good. The prosecutor objects. Lawyer Lee counters that the family’s medical debts (sick mother) are high and exactly the amount requested in the counter offer. The prosecutor objects. Lawyer Lee tells the judge a trial wasn’t necessary and calls the assaulted woman to the stand.
The assaulted woman admits she wasn’t sexually assaulted. She claims she and Kyung Min had too much to drink, got amorous, and she got scared when the man found them. She didn’t want to be considered promiscuous so she lied to the police that she was assaulted. She claims the female officer pushed her to say she was assaulted. Shi On mutters that’s a lie. She starts to rise but Detective Koo Dong Taek (Kwak Si Yang) stops her. The woman further states that the assaulted man had a crush on her that was not returned. She claims the man started the fight not Kyung Min. The prosecutor protests and points out the video and upload. Lawyer Lee retorts that the Kyung Min’s medical prescribed drug mixed with alcohol has side effects that robbed him of rational actions. Lawyer Lee submits a letter from Kyung Min’s doctor.
Lawyer Lee asks the judge to render the correct verdict. Kyung Min looks smug, Mrs. Seok looks triumphant, the assaulted man can’t believe the turn of events, and if looks could kill, Shi On’s glare at Lawyer Lee eliminate him from the earth.
Outside the courtroom Shi On seethes. Detective Koo tries to calm her but she takes off running.
Mrs. Seok thanks Lawyer Lee and invites him for a meal soon. She’s wants his help on another case.
The prosecutor and Lawyer Lee spar. He points out the public know prosecutors, judges and police don’t walk the straight and narrow.
Shi On literally knocks Lawyer Lee down and gets him in a locked position. Her coworkers pull her off.
At the police station Detective Koo chastises Shi On for attacking Lawyer Lee. She retorts Lawyer Lee won’t press charges. Detective Koo calls her a coward stating she only attacks because Lawyer Lee won’t press charges. He points out she gives the police a bad name. Shi On apologizes. Forensics officer Ha Min Hee sees Shi On is down. Shi On admits that trying to make everything right in life is harder than going with the flow. When the assaulted man texts and thanks for her help but he’s not pressing further she laughs in frustration.
Lawyer Lee and Lawyer Kang Yoon Ki meet with Mrs. Seok’s assistant about the case. Turns out Mrs. Seok hired someone to beat up the opposition. Lawyer Lee sighs but presses on. Alone Lawyer Kang praises Lawyer Lee for his win. He asks about Lawyer Lee’s injured eye and wrist. He guesses it was curtesy of Shi On. Lawyer Lee remembers the many physical assaults from Shi On. Lawyer Lee is surprised to learn he’s being made partner. He smiles, thanks Lawyer Kang and they shake hands.
Shi On is stuck doing traffic duty for punishment. She thanks Detective Koo for making her punishment bearable. She leaves singing and Detective Koo smiles.
Shi On checks drivers at a DUI checkpoint. Paralegal Moon Ji Ho drives Lawyer Lee. When it is their turn Shi On confirms PM is good and ignores Lawyer Lee. Not happy with being ignored Lawyer Lee has PM pull over into a police area. Shi On approaches. Lawyer Lee shows her his eye and wrist. She shrugs and tells him to charge her. She starts to walk away. Lawyer Lee points out he doesn’t irritate his coworkers like she does. He yells a defense lawyer is an important part of the system. She laughs. She points out the assaulted man was just like him 12 years ago. Shi On regrets working as hard as she did on his case, her first case.
At home, Jae Sang thinks back…12 years ago…
Jae Sang is walking at night and a woman grabs him and asks him to save her from the drunk angry man coming at them. The man pulls a knife. Jae Sang blocks the knife with a thick book and hits the man with the book.
At the police station, Jae Sang is arrested for assault. The police recommend he settle. They couldn’t find the knife or the woman that asked for his help. Jae Sang can’t believe he has to pay for defending himself. Shi On enters the police station and watches.
Jae Sang pays the man half the amount. He threatens to press charges. Shi On appears with the woman that asked for his help. Things work out and Jae Sang thanks Shi On for her help. She’s thrilled all went well. She thanks him for being such a terrific guy for her first case. Jae Sang can’t help but smile at her enthusiasm.
Present day…Jae Sang feels like a splinter is stuck in him.
Nice flashback. Nice to see the young pre-lawyer Jae Sang and an eager Shi On.
At the celebration party, Detective Koo declares that Lawyer Lee is partner and co-CEO of the law firm. They drink and smile.
Shi On gets off her traffic duty and sees an older man waiting for the police. He explains her daughter called worried that someone was following her while she walked home. The father went to the area but she was gone. He knows something is wrong. Shi On says there isn’t enough evidence of foul play. The father shares that his daughter works for Mr. Seok. That gets Shi On’s attention. The father says her daughter said Mr. Seok might led to her early demise. The father knows something is wrong. He begs Shi On to help. Shi On recalls begging Lawyer Lee to help in the past.
The Seok secretary is surprised to get a call about the closed case. She calls Lawyer Lee. He arrives to speak with Mrs. Seok and learns that a charge of abduction of Mr. Seok’s secretary has been made by Detective Ra. Lawyer Lee advises her to not engage. But Mrs. Seok can’t forget Detective Ra’s unwanted arrival at a shareholders meeting during her son’s case. She’s upset that Detective Ra might cause another scene when the inspectors arrive tomorrow. To top it off, there’s something the shareholders must never find out.
The Seok secretary escorts Detective Ra and the father down the company hallway. She and the father meet with Lawyer Lee and Mrs. Seok. Lawyer Lee informs her the chairman is out of the country. Detective Ra asks for proof. Lawyer Lee points out she doesn’t have a warrant. Detective Ra points out that Mrs. Seok was quick to call him for a supposedly benign incident. Mrs. Seok retorts her husband would never personally abduct. Detective Ra asks why the secretary was worried for her life. Lawyer Lee offers the text messages from the secretary’s phone which shows she was having an affair with Mr. Seok. Detective Ra counters that secretary was worried for her life. She wants to speak with the chairman. Lawyer Lee refuses and tells her to press charges. He declares he’ll block the investigation citing it as revenge for the previous case Shi On didn’t like the outcome of. He promises she’ll be charged for slander.
But in the parking lot Jae Sang knows there could be trouble. He calls to have Mr. Seok’s records vetted. Then Shi On appears and calls him a jerk. Jae Sang believes she’s angry because the assaulted woman referenced Shi On as coercing her. Shi On points out the window to find someone after abduction is closing and she won’t stand by idly. Jae Sang yells she’s only guessing. Shi On yells that’s what she did for him 12 years ago, guessed and acted and solved the crime. Jae Sang counters that she uses that methodology because she craves being a hero. She punches him, flips him, and warns next time she’ll really hurt him.
Shi On picks up a brochure and realizes the letters match security firm with the pin found in the abduction location. Jae Sang recalls Mrs. Seok declaring her husband would never personally abduct. Shi On wonders if the security firm is really hired thugs. Jae Sang knows this is a possibility but doesn’t want to get involved. Shi On challenges him to help and prevent his client from receiving a bigger sentence for inciting murder instead of abduction. She declares they’ll both get what they want. Jae Sang sees the Seok secretary drive past. Shi On implores him to help.
Shi On drives quickly and pulls over the Seok secretary. She shows her the pin and asks if the security firm abducted Mr. Seok’s secretary. She demands to know where Mr. Seok is. The woman declares he’s on a business trip out of the country. Jae Sang gets a text stating Mr. Seok is in the US and his flight left recently. Lawyer Lee tells the secretary Mr. Seok is out of the country but asks if Mrs. Seok was the one that abducted the secretary. He states it was strange Mrs. Seok called him. The secretary hesitates. Shi On demands to know where Mr. Seok’s secretary is. She claims not to know. But she confirms that the security firm are former gangsters. She offers a warehouse they might be operating out of.
Mr. Seok’s secretary wakes to find herself tied up and surrounded by gangsters.
Detective Ra calls Detective Koo and reports the situation. They arrive at the warehouse. Shi On breaks the lock on the gate and enters the warehouse. Jae Sang lets her lead. Ha! As they search the premises, Shi On smells gun powder. They find the room with blood splattered walls and floors and a pair of high heel shoes. They find a metal can with a lid. Shi On lifts the lid. Jae Sang rushes to the wall and throws up. Shi On stares at the body of the bloody secretary.
Perfectly staged reveal.
The next morning, Detective Koo tells the father they couldn’t save his daughter. He apologizes. He states after the autopsy, the body will be returned and ready for burial. The father says its wrong he has to bury his daughter, its supposed to be the opposite. He cries. Detective Ra feels awful.
Lawyer Kang tells Lawyer Lee he made a statement on his behalf stating he was abducted by Detective Ra and taken to the crime scene. Further more the firm doesn’t agree with Detective Ra’s opinion that Mrs. Seok was involved. Lawyer Lee is outraged. Why make Detective Ra look bad? Lawyer Kang states Lawyer Lee should have called him and not gone with Detective Ra. Lawyer Kang reminds him that Lawyer Lee represents Mrs. Seok and cannot divulge her secrets. He warns Lawyer Lee not to do this again or he’ll lose his license.
Good confrontation. Lawyer Kang is correct, Mrs. Seok is the firm’s client.
Jae Sang storms into the parking lot. Shi On is there. She knows that his law license is the most important thing in his life. She tells him Mr. Seok’s secretary was shot point blank and they couldn’t ask her father to identify the body. Jae Sang tells her to be quiet. Jae Sang points out that the time of death was such that if he hadn’t obstructed her, they could have found her alive. Jae Sang points out his help made the difference in finding her. Shi On retorts that Jae Sang knew something was wrong, that’s why he called about Mr. Seok’s whereabouts. She says the secretary would still be alive if he valued anything more than his law license. Jae Sang yells at her to hit him and be quiet. Shi On scoffs that beatings only work on humans that know the value of life.
Ouch! Great scene!
Lawyer Lee calls Mrs. Seok to meet. They check that he isn’t bugged before he enters. Mrs. Seok declares the secretary ruined her life. She asks why he screwed up and took Detective Ra to the scene of the crime. Lawyer Lee states he wanted to stop at abduction not inciting to murder. Mrs. Seok points out someone else pulled the trigger. She states the security firm will reveal they found that someone was stalking the secretary and killed her. She has a backup plan if that doesn’t work. Lawyer Lee stares at her. She orders him not to screw up again. Lawyer Lee laughs surprising Mrs. Seok. Lawyer Lee explains that every tells him not to make a mess of things when they are the ones making the mess. He reveals a pen and plays their conversation back to her. Mrs. Seok is outraged. She yells she’ll get him disbarred and sue him.
Lawyer Lee stands and declares he’s the one lawyer she can’t mess with. If she strips his license, he’ll defend himself. She goes to strike him. He blocks the blow and warns her that she doesn’t want him as her enemy. He takes the pen with the recording and leaves. Mrs. Seok can’t believe it.
He told her!
Jae Sang gets into the car and tells the paralegal to take him to the police station.
Mrs. Seok order the security thugs to take care of Lawyer Lee.
Jae Sang calls Shi On enroute to the police station. He tells her his heading to the police station. He thought he was living a good life, but it was the wrong life.
The thug is in the car next to them at a traffic light.
Jae Sang says he needs her help to do this.
The thug rams the car. It spins and hits hard.
Shi On calls to Jae Sang but there’s no answer.
Another thug tells a large truck to drive into the disabled car with Jae Sang trapped inside. Jae Sang wakes and sees it coming. He thinks the more you try to help, the worse it gets.
Jae Sang wakes in a comfortable bed. He thinks he’s in heaven. Shi On enters the room in a nightgown. He can’t believe his eyes. Shi On calls him honey. Jae Sang sees their wedding picture. He can’t believe it.
Good opening episode. Writer Yoo Hee Gyeong laid the foundation for the lead characters. He gave them a past connection. We know why Shi On was frustrated with the man Jae Sang evolved to be. But Jae Sang still had a heart and conscience. He surprised his client and recorded her admission of guilt. But his client repeated the family’s pattern, order someone else to eliminate her enemy. Jae Sang died telling Shi On he was coming to her. Then he woke in alternate universe and found himself married to Shi On. The shocked look on his face when she called him honey and he stared at their wedding picture was the perfect ending to this episode.
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as very good. My rating chart is below: